Applied Mathematics PhD student wins Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2017 award
Floriane Gidel has won the Leeds Doctoral College Showcase Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2017 award.
Floriane is the first winner of this award from the School of Mathematics. Her presentation Variational water-wave models and pyramidal freak waves; with implications for global shipping described her work on the EU-funded Marie Curie European Industry Doctorate (EID) project “Surfs-Up”, which links mathematical theory and computational methods at Leeds with experimental work at the Maritime Research Institute Netherlands (MARIN).
Floriane is co-supervised by Professors Onno Bokhove and Mark Kelmanson at Leeds and Dr Tim Bunnik and Ir Geert Kapsenberg at MARIN.
Leeds supervisors Onno and Mark said: “We are utterly delighted not only for Floriane but also for the School of Mathematics. It is a measure of Floriane’s skill that she was able to capture the imagination of the panel (through a beautifully prepared and executed talk) even after having presented an enormous and complicated variational principle!”
It is a measure of Floriane’s skill that she was able to capture the imagination of the panel (through a beautifully prepared and executed talk) even after having presented an enormous and complicated variational principle!
The motivation behind Floriane’s project was the frequency with which large ships sink in the ocean, sometimes with tragic consequences. Every week, two large ships sink, which suggests that maritime structures are being struck by stronger waves than those they were designed to withstand – a phenomenon known as “freak waves”. There has been an increase in research into freak-wave origins over the past 20 years, but scientists are still yet to understand their formation. Freak waves remain an unavoidable threat to ships and their crew.
The goal of Floriane’s project is to develop reliable damage-prediction tools. This will have positive safety and cost impacts that are of international importance to the maritime sector. In order to understand and quantify the behaviour of freak waves, Floriane has developed robust computational methods for the low-cost simulation of freak-wave dynamics in both shallow and deep water.
Leeds Doctoral College Showcase
Leeds Doctoral College Showcase is an annual celebration of postgraduate research. Each Faculty may nominate one candidate for the Postgraduate Researcher of the Year award. Nominees must give a presentation of their work, which is assessed by an independent, representative panel of judges.
Award winners are chosen based on their ability to communicate their research to a lay audience in terms of economic, social or cultural benefit and the significance of the contribution of the research to the academic subject area. The Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2017 award was presented by Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tom Ward.
Image: Floriane Gidel, winner of the Leeds Doctoral College Showcase Postgraduate Researcher of the Year 2017 award, flanked by proud supervisors Onno Bokhove (left) and Mark Kelmanson from the Department of Applied Mathematics.
Image courtesy of Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Tom Ward.