prof helen wilson
- Department of Mathematics
- UCL, Gower Street
- WC1E 6BT
- Professor of Applied Mathematics
- Dept of Mathematics
- Faculty of Maths & Physical Sciences
Professor Wilson's research is mainly concerned with theoretical modelling of the flow of non-Newtonian fluids such as polymeric materials and particle suspensions. Fluids containing long polymer molecules behave very differently from ordinary (Newtonian) fluids. Under flow, the molecules become stretched and this can give rise to surprising flow behaviour, and can produce undesirable instabilities in industrial processes. Professor Wilson's current research in this area includes analytical and numerical investigation of flow instabilities in simple flows; and simulation of complex flows. She is also interested in shear-banding in entangled systems, a phenomenon in which a single fluid forms regions having quite different properties during shearing flows.
Another important class of complex fluids is suspensions of solid particles in Newtonian or non-Newtonian fluids. While the motion of single particles in Newtonian fluids is well understood, suspensions of large numbers of particles that interact through the fluid remain challenging, both analytically and numerically. Professor Wilson's current research includes investigations, using both asymptotic theory and large-scale numerical simulations, of the effect of contact between spherical particles in suspension flows; interdisciplinary work on toothpaste production; a study on the use of suspensions to remove rock cuttings from wells during drilling; and an investigation into the potential uses of shear-thickening suspensions for cryopreservation.
A parallel adaptive unstructured finite volume method for linear stability (normal mode) analysis of viscoelastic fluid flows.
A semi-staggered dilation-free finite volume method for the numerical solution of viscoelastic fluid flows on all-hexahedral elements
2004FHEAFellowship of the Higher Education AcademyHigher Education Academy
2002PGCLTHEPostgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher EducationUniversity of Leeds
1998PhDDoctor of PhilosophyUniversity of Cambridge
1994MA CantabMA CantabUniversity of Cambridge
Helen Wilson studied at the University of Cambridge, completing a BA, Part III and PhD in mathematics. Her PhD thesis, titled "Shear Flow Instabilities in Viscoelastic Fluids", was supervised by John Rallison. On graduation she moved to the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she began research on suspension mechanics with Rob Davis in the Chemical Engineering department. In 2000 she returned to the UK to take up a lectureship in Applied Mathematics at the University of Leeds, before moving to UCL in 2004.
She is an editor of the Journal of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics and of the Journal of Engineering Mathematics, and a member of the Editorial Advisory Board for Physics of Fluids. She is a Council Member of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications, and in 2015 she was elected President of the British Society of Rheology.