The European Consortium for Mathematics in Industry (ECMI) is a consortium of academic institutions and industrial companies that acts co-operatively and aims to promote and support the use of mathematical models in activities of social or economic importance and to educate Industrial Mathematicians to meet the growing demand for such experts. Special Interest Groups (SIGs) exist to promote collaborative research on specific topics in Mathematics for Industry within Europe. 

Liquid Crystals, Elastomers and Biological Applications SIG

This SIG comprises multidisciplinary research teams working on the mathematics and applications of liquid crystals with an emphasis on display applications, new materials (e.g. elastomers) and biomathematics (e.g. cellular suspensions).

The aim is to build an interdisciplinary European network on the mathematical theories and modelling of soft matter systems of interest to our members.

Soft matter systems typically exhibit properties intermediate between conventional solid and liquid phases resulting in interesting electromagnetic and optical responses, with a wealth of physical phenomena and new technological applications. Of fundamental theoretical interest is the underlying physics and the self-organizing mechanisms present in such systems and there is typically a common mathematical structure that can be exploited for theoretical advances.
The key scientific aims are:
  1. Advances in basic theory, 
    (i) to address questions in foundational aspects of materials science motivated by practical applications e.g. theory of topological singularities, with a view to describe seemingly different physical systems with the same overarching mathematical principles,
    (ii) to develop multiscale modelling strategies that can bridge the gap between microscopic and macroscopic theories.
  2. Development of simple/minimalistic mathematical models for new biological systems (virsus, colloidal systems) complemented by scientific computation, achieved in active collaborations with researchers across applied mathematics, chemistry and biology.
  3. Fostering active collaborations between academia and industrial research groups across Europe through workshops, shared students and dissemination activities.
Dr Apala Majumdar, University of Bath, UK (a.majumdar@bath.ac.uk)
Prof. Nigel Mottram, University of Strathclyde, UK (nigel.mottram@strath.ac.uk)