solar panel farm on the outskirts of large modern city

Industrial Mathematics research

Explore our research in industrial mathematics

By applying a mixture of modelling and mathematical analysis to experiments, our Industrial Mathematics research delivers insights into the roles of different physical mechanisms within a given process – and in doing so, allows us to develop practical solutions and provide guidance that is improving practices across a range of areas in science and industry.

In particular, we provide recommendations on how to improve the current generation of devices used in renewable energy – such as batteries and solar cells – and give guidance on how future generations of these devices might be designed. We've also applied our research methods to projects focusing on glass manufacture, coffee brewing and signal propagation in neurons.

Outputs from our research are regularly published in leading applied mathematics journals, such as the SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics (SIAP), as well as in journals aimed at practitioners, including the Journal of Power Sources, and Energy and Environmental Science.

Our research covers the following topics

  • Mathematical modelling
  • Differential equations
  • Scientific computing
  • Asymptotic methods

Research Excellence (REF 2021)

We're ranked top among modern universities for research in Mathematical Sciences, with a vital and sustainable research environment. Read more about Mathematical Sciences in REF 2021

REF case study – Improving lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles through mathematical modelling

Our researchers created mathematical models that provide new methods to improve the lifetime, performance, safety and reliability of batteries — making electric vehicles safer, cheaper, more efficient and able to last longer between charges. This is crucial to the future uptake of electric vehicles and contributes to global goals to reduce emissions, waste and environmental impact. Results include the globally-used software tool Dandeliion for modelling prototypes of new batteries. The work significantly reduces the time and cost for companies developing electric vehicles. We work directly with the automotive industry (including General Motors), industrial partners (including Dassault Systèmes) and the universities of Southampton and Oxford in the UK and McMaster University in Canada. We also contribute to the Faraday Institution that works to power Britain’s battery revolution.

Partnerships and funders 

Our work is frequently funded by major funding organisations such as the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Faraday Institution, and Innovate UK. We also have strong links with partner institutions including Imperial College London, University College London, and the Universities of Oxford, Southampton, Warwick, Birmingham, Bath and Lancaster.

Publication highlights

Review of parameterisation and a novel database (LiionDB) for continuum Li-ion battery models

Progress in Energy, 2022, Volume 4, Number 3, A A Wang, S E J O'Kane, F Brosa Planella, J Le Houx, K O'Regan, M Zyskin, J Edge, C W Monroe, S J Cooper, D A Howey, E Kendrick and J M Foster

Staff members

Jamie Michael Foster Portrait

Professor Jamie Foster

Professor of Applied and Industrial Mathematics

School of Mathematics and Physics

Faculty of Technology

PhD Supervisor

Read more
Smita Sahu Portrait

Dr Smita Sahu


PhD Supervisor

Read more
Daniel James Burridge Portrait

Dr James Burridge

Reader in Probability and Statistical Physics

School of Mathematics and Physics

Faculty of Technology

PhD Supervisor

Read more
User profile default icon

Miss Yoana Grudeva

Research Fellow

Read more
Andres Felipe Galvis Rodriguez Portrait

Dr Andres Galvis Rodriguez

Senior Lecturer

School of Mechanical and Design Engineering

Faculty of Technology

PhD Supervisor

Read more

Discover our areas of expertise

Industrial mathematics is one of our areas of research expertise in Mathematics – explore the others below.

Nonlinear and Complex Systems Research Group

Our Nonlinear and Complex systems researchers are engaged in the study of how such complexity and order arises from simple rules. The subject is vast, spanning many topics from the highly abstract to the intensely practical. 


Romanesque broccoli macro
Read more

Centre for Operational Research and Logistics

We're using our expertise in analytics, system design, simulation, programming, and forecasting to help organisations around the world make better decisions.

shipping cargo
Read more

Logistics, Operational Research and Analytics Group

Our Logistics, Operational Research and Analytics Research Group members conduct and supervise research in a wide range of fields.

Shipping container in logistics process
Read more

Interested in a PhD in Mathematics?

Browse our postgraduate research degrees – including PhDs and MPhils – at our Mathematics postgraduate research degrees page.