Name: Dr Anna Kalogirou
Position: Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship
I am an applied mathematician with research interests in the area of fluid dynamics, specifically in problems involving the motion of a fluid’s free surface or an interface between two fluid layers. My research follows a synergistic approach that combines mathematical modelling, asymptotic analysis and numerical computations, and facilitates the study of complex fluid dynamics problems with real-life applications. I am particularly interested in identifying the physical mechanisms that induce irregular fluid phenomena, and in utilizing experimental observations to verify results obtained by numerical calculations.
What appealed to you about your Fellowship?
Before applying for the fellowship I was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Leeds. My post was coming to an end and I was greatly encouraged by my advisors and mentors to consider applying for postdoctoral fellowships. Given the prestige of such fellowships and the really competitive nature of the application process, I knew that it was far from certain that I would be awarded one. However, I decided to apply as I realised that I had some really good ideas and nothing to lose.
I received a great amount of support from UEA, who made every effort to help me submit a fully polished and highly competitive application.
The application for a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Fellowship (ECF) was my first fellowship application. I considered a number of postdoctoral fellowship schemes and the Leverhulme ECF appealed to me as it had a really straightforward application process. Other aspects that attracted me to apply to this particular fellowship were: the 3-year duration, the generous research budget (giving me the opportunity to purchase necessary computing equipment, but also covering travel and subsistence for conferences and research visits), and the fact that the application process did not involve an interview.
How's it going so far?
8 months into the fellowship and everything is going as planned. I am pleased that my project provides me a level of independence, but at the same time benefits from the expertise and support of the project advisor, Dr Mark Blyth. Dr Blyth is an expert in multi-layer flows and surfactant-induced instabilities and his comments/suggestions are invaluable. My work is further enhanced by fruitful collaborations with researchers at Imperial College London, University of Leeds, University of Oxford, and Loughborough University.
...my project provides me a level of independence, but at the same time benefits from the expertise and support of the project advisor
While the proposed research programme remains the top priority, I have been given the opportunity to contribute to undergraduate teaching (starting from the second semester of the fellowship). Moreover, I participate in regular Applied Mathematics research seminars, for which I will be the organiser in the next term. I also plan to look for opportunities to formally join the supervisory team on a PhD project.
What’s life at UEA like?
What I like most about Norwich is the preservation of several historic buildings and sites, which reflect the past of the city and region. I particularly enjoy the medieval city centre and the riverside walks.
Working at the School of Mathematics at UEA feels like being part of a big family. The atmosphere in the school is very friendly and people often get together for social activities outside the school.
Further, the UEA campus has an impressive setting with great landscape views. Build on the grounds of what used to be a golf course, the campus is surrounded by green fields, woodlands and is located next to a beautiful lake. The highlight of the campus in my opinion is the barbecues by the lake that can be rented by anyone; it is not very common to be able to enjoy a barbecue after work!
Any advice for would-be-Fellows?
I would advise establishing contacts with potential advisors/collaborators early (a few months before the fellowship submission deadline), to give you enough time to tailor the application. Once you reach an agreement on the topic to propose and which fellowship scheme to apply to, make sure that the relevant person at Faculty level is informed. In the case of Leverhulme Early Career Fellowships, an outline application has to be first submitted for internal review at UEA. Outline applications will be reviewed by members of the relevant Faculty research executive. The selected applicants will then receive recommendations for their full application from the internal review panel.
While preparing the final research proposal and application, I received a great amount of support and guidance from a number of people at UEA, who made every effort to help me submit a fully polished and highly competitive application (for example, the project officers from the Research and Enterprise Services). My research proposal was read by 3 different people from UEA: the project advisor, the Head of School and even the Associate Dean of Research from the Faculty of Science. All of these are indications of UEA’s commitment to research excellence and success.
Dr Anna Kalogirou
Leverhulme Early Career Fellow, Mathematics
My proposed fellowship project suggests a mechanism for controlling the complex behaviour of flows with multiple fluid layers. The ability to control and manipulate multi-layer flows is fundamental in a range of industrial applications, such as the rapidly burgeoning field of microfluidics. One possible approach is by using chemical additives known as surfactants, which can greatly influence flows of this type especially at small scales. The study aims to broaden our understanding of this control mechanism and to facilitate our ability to systematically control flows.