Phd/doctoral Canterbury, United Kingdom Apply
University of Kent
School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science
Sibson Building
Parkwood Road
CT2 7FS Canterbury
United Kingdom

A PhD position is available within the Mathematics Group in the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Actuarial Science (SMSAS), University of Kent, UK. The project is entitled "Mathematical models and numerical methods for PDE-constrained optimization problems arising from scientific processes", and will be supervised by Dr John Pearson. The studentship is associated with the EPSRC Fellowship EP/M018857/1, "Fast solvers for real-world PDE-constrained optimization problems", held by the project supervisor. Further details about this project and associated entry requirements are available at​


A vast number of important and challenging applications in mathematics and engineering are governed by optimization problems. One crucial class of these problems, which has a significant role in real-world processes, including those of fluid flow, chemical and biological mechanisms, medical imaging, and others, is that of PDE-constrained optimization. The goal of the project is to investigate numerical solvers for such applications, by devising new preconditioners and storage strategies for the discretizations of the optimization problems. Additionally, the successful candidate will explore a recently developed methodology for solving such formulations with additional bound constraints, using the well-established class of interior point methods. For each problem, a priority will be to devise methods that have the potential to be applied in parallel over many computational units. A key component of the project is also to produce high quality software which can be made publicly available, and therefore be readily used by experts from academia and industry.


The successful candidate will be funded by a prestigious University of Kent Vice-Chancellor's PhD Studentship; a total of five such awards have been made to researchers across the Faculty of Sciences in the academic year 2016/17.


This award includes payment of PhD fees, as well as a scholarship of £14,553 per year (2017/18 rate) for 3 years, starting in September 2017. This studentship is available for all UK and EU students. More details are available at

Application Instructions

Candidates are asked to submit their applications at The closing date for this vacancy is 17 April 2017. Interviews are provisionally scheduled for 24 April 2017.

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Contact Person
Dr. John Pearson