Nelson, Mark I. Associate Professor

Associate Professor

  • Faculty of Engineering and Information Sciences
  • School of Mathematics and Applied Statistics
  • Institute for Mathematics and its Applications

Overview


Associate Professor Mark Nelson works in the area of engineering mathematics with over 20 years research experience. His key areas of expertise is in the application of mathematical techniques such as bifurcation theory, continuation methods, dynamical systems methodology and singularity theory to practical problems (mostly arising from engineering). An important part of his research is the interpretation of the mathematical results in terms relevant to experimentalist. He has a particular interest in problems featuring non-linear chemical dynamics.

Following his PhD he worked on problems in combustion and fire engineering. Since joining the University of Wollongong in January 2003 his research interests have expanded into the areas of bioreactor engineering and reaction engineering with a particular interest in the biological treatment of wastewater (environmental engineering).

Previously Mark worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Leeds (England), and in the mathematics
departments at the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury (both in New Zealand) and at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He hasheld a variety of visiting research positions, including in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland.

Mark is an Associate member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE) and is currently Chair of the Engineering Mathematics Group. He is an associate editor of Chemical Product and Process Modelling and on the editorial board of both the ANZIAM Journal and the International Journal of Food Engineering. He referees for a wide variety of journals, particularly those in the areas of applied mathematics, and chemical/environmental engineering.

In 2004 Mark was awarded the J.H. Michell Medal which recognised him as the most outstanding new researcher in the field of applied mathematics in Australia and New Zealand.

Research Overview


  • Associate Professor Mark Nelson works in the area of engineering mathematics with over 20 years research experience. His key areas of expertise is in the application of mathematical techniques such as bifurcation theory, continuation methods, dynamical systems methodology and singularity theory to practical problems (mostly arising from engineering). An important part of his research is the interpretation of the mathematical results in terms relevant to experimentalist. He has a particular interest in problems featuring non-linear chemical dynamics.

    Following his PhD he worked on problems in combustion and fire engineering. Since joining the University of Wollongong in January 2003 his research interests have expanded into the areas of bioreactor engineering and reaction engineering with a particular interest in the biological treatment of wastewater (environmental engineering).

    Previously Mark worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Leeds (England), and in the mathematics
    departments at the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury (both in New Zealand) and at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He has held a variety of visiting research positions, including in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland.

    Mark is an Associate member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE) and is currently Chair of the Engineering Mathematics Group. He is an associate editor of Chemical Product and Process Modelling and on the editorial board of both the ANZIAM Journal and the International Journal of Food Engineering. He referees for a wide variety of journals, particularly those in the areas of applied mathematics, and chemical/environmental engineering.

    In 2004 Mark was awarded the J.H. Michell Medal which recognised him as the most outstanding new researcher in the field of applied mathematics in Australia and New Zealand.

     

     

    Research Interests

    • Reaction Engineering
    • Bioreactor Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Biological Treatment of Wastewater
    • Spontanous Combustion
    • Combustion
    • Non-linear chemical dynamics
    • Applied non-linear dynamical systems

     

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Available as Research Supervisor

Potential Supervision Topics


  • 57 Varieties: The Origin of Life in the Primordial Soup

    This thesis topic is about the origin of life in the primitive soup of the Earth's oceans of the soup. It's life, but not as we know it.

    What can mathematics say about the origins of life in a solution rich in organic compounds?

    A sequence of four papers has been published recently (2015--2016) which use low-dimension dynamical models to investigate the conditions under which simple organic molecules can be transformed into complex organic molecules.

    There are two possible research topics. One will involve developing a model for a thermoreactive flow through primordial rock pores, where surface-catalysed polymerisation of nucleotides occurs. The second research topic will examine the origin of the homochirality of biological molecules.

    This project will be co-supervised with Dr Rowena Ball (ANU) who is the leading international expert in this area.

  • Eradication of invasive predators through genetic modification

    The introduction of invasive predators can lead to a cascade of unforeseen consequences on native flora and fauna. Invasive species may act as a disease vector, acting as either a reservoir or
    transmitter of diseases and/or parasites to both domestic and wild animals, as well as to humans. They may compete for resources with native species, such as breeding sites and/or living spaces, and forage on vegetation.  But most importantly of all is their predation upon native species.

    Across the world invasive predators have wreaked havoc on native wildlife. They often operate from a privileged position within the ecosystem as the environment contains no native predators to keep them in check.  Consequently, once they become widely established, their eradication is very difficult.

    In this project you will investigate a novel strategy for the eradication of invasive predators. This is based upon introducing genetically modified individuals into the population. For example, one recent proposal is to release males containing a genetic mutation that causes all their off-spring to develop as males. This genetic mutation is assumed to passed on to all successive generations.
    • Engineering mathematics
    • Biological treatment of wastewater
    • Environmental engineering
    • Non-linear chemical dynamics
    • Reaction engineering

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Controlled Release Drug Delivery Models- Polar Diffusion Problem Ormerod, Carl
    Doctor of Philosophy Recycling of Steel by Means of Spontaneous Combustion Berry, Matthew

Keywords


  • activated sludge, bifurcations, biological heating, bioreactor, chemostat, combustion, composting, Contois growth kinetics, flow reactor, Hopf bifurcation, mathematical modelling, membrane reactor, Monod growth kinetics, non-competitive product inhibition, non-linear dynamics, reaction engineering, reactor cascade, self-heating, sludge reduction, stirred tank, wastewater, wastewater reclamation, wastewater treatment, water treatment

Fax


  • +61 2 4221 4845

Research Overview


  • Associate Professor Mark Nelson works in the area of engineering mathematics with over 20 years research experience. His key areas of expertise is in the application of mathematical techniques such as bifurcation theory, continuation methods, dynamical systems methodology and singularity theory to practical problems (mostly arising from engineering). An important part of his research is the interpretation of the mathematical results in terms relevant to experimentalist. He has a particular interest in problems featuring non-linear chemical dynamics.

    Following his PhD he worked on problems in combustion and fire engineering. Since joining the University of Wollongong in January 2003 his research interests have expanded into the areas of bioreactor engineering and reaction engineering with a particular interest in the biological treatment of wastewater (environmental engineering).

    Previously Mark worked as a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Engineering at the University of Leeds (England), and in the mathematics
    departments at the University of Auckland, the University of Canterbury (both in New Zealand) and at the Australian Defence Force Academy. He has held a variety of visiting research positions, including in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Auckland.

    Mark is an Associate member of the Institute of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE) and is currently Chair of the Engineering Mathematics Group. He is an associate editor of Chemical Product and Process Modelling and on the editorial board of both the ANZIAM Journal and the International Journal of Food Engineering. He referees for a wide variety of journals, particularly those in the areas of applied mathematics, and chemical/environmental engineering.

    In 2004 Mark was awarded the J.H. Michell Medal which recognised him as the most outstanding new researcher in the field of applied mathematics in Australia and New Zealand.

     

     

    Research Interests

    • Reaction Engineering
    • Bioreactor Engineering
    • Environmental Engineering
    • Biological Treatment of Wastewater
    • Spontanous Combustion
    • Combustion
    • Non-linear chemical dynamics
    • Applied non-linear dynamical systems

     

Selected Publications


Potential Supervision Topics


  • 57 Varieties: The Origin of Life in the Primordial Soup

    This thesis topic is about the origin of life in the primitive soup of the Earth's oceans of the soup. It's life, but not as we know it.

    What can mathematics say about the origins of life in a solution rich in organic compounds?

    A sequence of four papers has been published recently (2015--2016) which use low-dimension dynamical models to investigate the conditions under which simple organic molecules can be transformed into complex organic molecules.

    There are two possible research topics. One will involve developing a model for a thermoreactive flow through primordial rock pores, where surface-catalysed polymerisation of nucleotides occurs. The second research topic will examine the origin of the homochirality of biological molecules.

    This project will be co-supervised with Dr Rowena Ball (ANU) who is the leading international expert in this area.

  • Eradication of invasive predators through genetic modification

    The introduction of invasive predators can lead to a cascade of unforeseen consequences on native flora and fauna. Invasive species may act as a disease vector, acting as either a reservoir or
    transmitter of diseases and/or parasites to both domestic and wild animals, as well as to humans. They may compete for resources with native species, such as breeding sites and/or living spaces, and forage on vegetation.  But most importantly of all is their predation upon native species.

    Across the world invasive predators have wreaked havoc on native wildlife. They often operate from a privileged position within the ecosystem as the environment contains no native predators to keep them in check.  Consequently, once they become widely established, their eradication is very difficult.

    In this project you will investigate a novel strategy for the eradication of invasive predators. This is based upon introducing genetically modified individuals into the population. For example, one recent proposal is to release males containing a genetic mutation that causes all their off-spring to develop as males. This genetic mutation is assumed to passed on to all successive generations.
    • Engineering mathematics
    • Biological treatment of wastewater
    • Environmental engineering
    • Non-linear chemical dynamics
    • Reaction engineering

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy Controlled Release Drug Delivery Models- Polar Diffusion Problem Ormerod, Carl
    Doctor of Philosophy Recycling of Steel by Means of Spontaneous Combustion Berry, Matthew

Keywords


  • activated sludge, bifurcations, biological heating, bioreactor, chemostat, combustion, composting, Contois growth kinetics, flow reactor, Hopf bifurcation, mathematical modelling, membrane reactor, Monod growth kinetics, non-competitive product inhibition, non-linear dynamics, reaction engineering, reactor cascade, self-heating, sludge reduction, stirred tank, wastewater, wastewater reclamation, wastewater treatment, water treatment

Fax


  • +61 2 4221 4845
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