Dr. Robert J. Whittaker

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Personal Information

I am a lecturer in applied maths, working in the School of Mathematics at the University of East Anglia, Norwich.

From 2007-2010 I worked at the Oxford Centre for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (OCIAM), first as a postdoc (working with Sarah Waters) and later as a lecturer. During the same period, I was also a Junior Research Fellow at St. Catherine's College in the University of Oxford.

Previously I spent a year as a research fellow at the Centre for Mathematical Medicine and Biology at the University of Nottingham, also working with Sarah Waters. Before that, I was a PhD student in DAMTP at the University of Cambridge, supervised by John Lister.

You may be interested in my text file of Linux and LaTeX tips. I've also written a few LaTeX packages, which contain various useful commands and macros.

Research Interests

I am an applied mathematician with expertise in the application of continuum-mechanics modelling and asymptotic methods to problems of industrial, biological and geophysical relevance.

Following on from my postdoctoral work with Sarah Waters and Matthias Heil, I have an ongoing interest in the instability of flow in collapsible elastic-walled tubes. For further details see my collapsible tubes page.

As a regular participant at Maths-in-Industry and Maths-in-Medicine study groups, I've been involved in a large number of modelling problems in both areas. Some of these have been taken further after the meeting, and I've been involved with problems as diverse as modelling fluid flow in a tissue-engineering bioreactor, quantitative measures of placenta size and shape, and modelling the arenavirus budding mechanism.

I have also recently developed an interest in soap films and minimal surfaces. For further details, see my soap films page.

For my PhD I looked at various problems of highly viscous thermal convection, with a view to better understanding some of the processes which occur inside the earth. My dissertation was entitled Theoretical Solutions for Convective Flows in Geophysically Motivated Regimes.

PhD Students

PhD and MMath Projects

If you are interested in doing a PhD or MMath project in any of these areas then please get in touch. I would be happy to discuss things further with any interested students. I also have details of some possible PhD projects for which I am interested in attracting students.

Recent Publications

The Effect of Wall Inertia on High-Frequency Oscillations in an Elastic-Walled Tube (pre-print)
Martin C. Walters, Matthias Heil & Robert J. Whittaker.
Accepted for publication in Q. J. Mech. Appl. Math., published by Oxford University Press.
A Shear-Induced Boundary Layer near the Pinned Ends of a Buckled Elastic-Walled Tube
Robert J. Whittaker, 2015.
IMA Journal of Applied Mathematics, 80 (6) 1932–1967.
Stability of a Helicoidal Surface inside a Cylinder with Pinned Diameters (pre-print)
Robert J. Whittaker & Simon Cox, 2015.
Quarterly Journal of Mechanics and Applied Mathematics, 68 (1), 23–52.
Nonlinear Flexural Waves in Fluid-Filled Elastic Channels
Neil P. Deacon, Emilian I. Părău, Richard Purvis, Robert J. Whittaker, 2015.
Journal of Fluids and Structures, 52, 16–36.
Arenavirus Budding Resulting from Viral-Protein-Associated Cell Membrane Curvature
David Schley, Robert J. Whittaker, & Benjamin W. Neuman, 2013.
J. Roy. Soc. Interface 10 (86), 20130403.
The Energetics of Flow through a Rapidly Oscillating Tube with Slowly Varying Amplitude
Robert J. Whittaker, Matthias Heil & Sarah L. Waters, 2011.
Phil. Trans. Roy. Soc. A 369 (1947), 2989–3006.

Full list of publications, presentations, etc. …

Academic Qualifications and Distinctions

Contact Details

Postal Address
School of Mathematics
University of East Anglia
Norwich Research Park
Office Telephone
+44 (0)1603 592587
Email Address
Personal Website