Challenges in Nonlinear Systems – celebrating Tom Mullin’s 65th birthday

by Anne Juel

Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics and School of Physics & Astronomy,  University  of Manchester, UK
Challenges in Nonlinear Systems was a two-day meeting, held on 10th–11th September 2015 at the Chancellors Hotel and Conference Centre (Manchester), to celebrate the 65th birthday of Professor Tom Mullin.  The meeting successfully showcased Tom’s important contribution to Nonlinear Systems and Complexity research, which is unique for its broad cross-disciplinary focus. By means of exquisite, very precise experiments, covering a broad range of important applications (from fluids, to liquid crystals and solids), he has collaborated with several generations of applied mathematicians to develop significant results in theory and numerical simulations. A major success has been the development of the Manchester Centre for Nonlinear Dynamics (MCND), a research institute comprising of applied mathematicians and physicists, where research is based upon the application of a combined approach of mathematical modelling, computation and detailed quantitative experimental investigations of nonlinear phenomena.

The programme consisted of a series of 30-minute talks given by a world-class group of  invited speakers, and a poster session, for which contributions were invited from all attendees. The IOP contribution of £250 was used to help fund invited speakers’ travel costs. The following invited talks were presented:

  1.   David Schaeffer — Imperfect bifurcation and finite-length effects in Taylor–Couette flow.
  2.   Gerd Pfister — Experiments in Taylor–Couette flow.
  3.   Rich Kerswell — Taylor–Couette flow: an old friend that continues to give.
  4.   Simon Tavener — Parameter sensitivity and inverse sensitivity for nonlinear systems.
  5.   Christophe Clanet — Physics of weightlifting
  6.   Olivier Pouliquen — How plants feel gravity: a granular problem…
  7.   Mike Gaster — The Influence of surface roughness on boundary layer instability waves.
  8.   Jane Wang — Insect flight: from Newton’s law to neurons.
  9.   Laurette Tuckerman — Extreme multiplicity in cylindrical Rayleigh–Bénard convection.
  10.  Eric Clement — Bacterial suspensions: a living example of active fluid.
  11.  Fabian Waleffe — Do optimum heat transport solutions control turbulent convective transport?
  12.  Ray Goldstein — How a Volvox embryo turns itself inside out.
  13.  John Hogan — Rocking, hunting, shimmying and dynamic substructuring.
  14.  Pedro Reis — P.D.E.s: Precision Desktop Experiments to study the mechanics of soft structures.

The website for the meeting is: