Engineering Math Research
Our department strongly believes in the interdisciplinary nature of research in Engineering Mathematics, and is involved in a wide variety of research activities. Much of these relate to using mathematics to handle problems occurring in engineering, science, social science, etc. Our individual areas of expertise are as diverse as we are.
Learn about some of our Research Areas:
Marine Ecosystem Modeling
This research relates to the structure, function and connectivity of living marine systems, and understanding how those systems respond to changing environment and human activity at different time and space scales. Dr. Gentleman's expertise lies in developing, implementing and applying mathematical models of zooplankton dynamics, including characterization of the processes that link them with other system components. Her work is aimed informing on best model design practices, ocean ecological science, as well as decision-making related to carbon cycling and managing valuable living marine resources.
Figure showing simulated settlement distribution of larvae of benthic aquatic species (left) and pie charts illustrating connectivity of among different source zones (right) along the Northwest Atlantic. This work is part of a project with Fisheries and Oceans Canada that is seeking to identify natural barriers to dispersal and the implications for management.
Buildings and bridges are supported by foundations which in turn are supported by the ground. So in a very real sense, the ground is another of our engineering materials. However, the natural ground is spatially variable and quite uncertain, so there is uncertainty in the capacity, or resistance, of our foundations. One of Dr. Fenton's research goals is to estimate the distribution of the random foundation resistance and use that to develop safe, yet cost efficient, design standards.
There are many cases around the world of retaining wall failures, and these can be quite catastrophic. Current retaining wall design assumes that the ground being retained is spatially uniform, applying predictable pressures to the back of the wall. However, we know that in fact the ground is spatially variable, and the pressure it exerts on the wall varies randomly with position. This means that any retaining wall design has some probability of failure, and it is the topic of this research to quantify that probability and use that to arrive at safe designs that are also economical. The balance of cost versus safety is at the heart of all engineering design -- and this picture is an example of the research which aids in finding the correct balance.
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the leading cause of death and responsible for more deaths than all cancers combined. CVD leading to death depends mainly upon standard atherosclerotic variables and peripheral autonomic nervous system maladaptations. Cardiac control is exerted through a neural network hierarchy that begins at the heart and ends at the central nervous system. We research the structural and adaptive characteristics of neurally networked interactions that define the dynamics and the new normal of cardiac control in the aftermath of pathology that may or may not precipitate autonomic derangement or ‘storm’. Our research into the properties of neural network hierarchies has validated the clinical practice of reducing sympathetic efferent neuronal tone to aggressively target autonomic storm. We are now moving into the laboratory setting to understand the role of various hierarichy components to improve treatment of CVD.
Mathematical modeling of non-stationary fluid-structure interaction
Current Research Opportunities
Looking for an opportunity to do some research? This webpage will be updated with faculty members who are actively searching for prospective student researchers.