Dr Ashley Willis

Position: Senior lecturer
Home page: http://apwillis.staff.shef.ac.uk
Telephone: (0114) 2223746
Office: H12 Hicks building
Photo of Ashley Willis


MAS280 Mechanics and Fluids Information uses MOLE


Interests: Fluid dynamics, Magnetohydrodynamics (MHD)
Research group: Fluid Dynamics
Publications: Preprint page, ArXiv, MathSciNet


Current grants, as Principal Investigator
Optimisation in fluid mechanics
Past grants, as Principal Investigator
Efficient capture of the dominant periodic orbits underlying turbulent fluid flow
Past grants, as Coinvestigator
Application to STFC for Consolidated Grant Support for the Solar Physics and Space Plasma Research Centre (SP2RC) STFC


Admissions Head, Programme Leader: Study Abroad


2010/18-present: Lecturer/Senior Lecturer, School of Mathematics and Statistics, Sheffield, U.K.
2008-10: EU Marie Curie Fellow (PI), Laboratoire d'Hydrodynamique (LadHyX), Ecole Polytechnique, Paris, France
2005-08: EPSRC Research Associate, School of Mathematics, University of Bristol, U.K.
2002-05: NERC Research Fellow (RA), School of Earth Sciences, University of Leeds, U.K.
2002: Ph.D. Applied Mathematics, Newcastle University, U.K.

Research interests:

Google Scholar page for APW

Images/videos on my page

General interests:
  • Patterns in fluid flows and their stability to perturbations.
  • Transition to turbulence and chaos in shear flows.
  • Generation of magnetic fields by the motion of fluids, e.g. the geodynamo.
  • Founder of openpipeflow.org.

How about a PhD with me?

I am always looking for motivated students who would like to apply and broaden their mathematical skills. As the focus of my projects is usually on the development of mathematical methods and the study of dynamical systems, I expect you to be familiar with differential equations and vector calculus, but you do not need to have taken advanced courses on fluids.

The modelling of fluid flows is perhaps the traditional test-bed for the development of new methods. Often, even simple-looking setups exhibit all sorts of interesting phenomena, and our understanding of nature is greatly enhanced through numerical simulation and experiments.

I am particularly interested in the appearance of turbulence in fluid flows, and in modelling flows in the interior of planets. The latter is usually responsible for the generation of planetary magnetic fields.

For further information please contact me. The following links to snippets of my work may also be of interest: Turbulence. Dynamos.


Fun stuff

Working arrangements:

I'm currently available at most times on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Please email me to ensure I'm in or to arrange another time.