Academic secures coveted Fellowship at the University of Cambridge

Tuesday, 9 January 2018


A leading mathematician from the University of Newcastle, Dr Mike Meylan, will undertake a prestigious Clare Hall Visiting Fellowship at the University of Cambridge this year to further his research into the vibration of ice shelves.

Dr Mike Meylan at the University of Cambridge

Extended only to a select group of outstanding academics from around the world each year, the Fellowships bring together some of the brightest scholars across a variety of disciplines.

As an expert in hydrodynamics, Dr Meylan will spend the next six months in the United Kingdom developing specialised mathematics and novel methods that can be used to estimate when an ice shelf is likely to breakup.

Forming in the Arctic and Antarctic, ice shelves play a critical role in stabilising the rate of ice flow (such as glaciers) off the major ice sheets they are attached to.

“Recently, the sudden break-up and collapse of some ice shelves has been observed and there is recognition that we need to understand their stability in the context of a warming environment.

“We are trying to understand how the coupling of ocean waves and the vibration of ice shelves plays a role in their collapse, but it requires different methods from those which are normally used to model vibrations,” Dr Meylan explained.

Dr Meylan will work closely with Director of the Isaac Newton Institute for Mathematical Sciences at Cambridge, Professor David Abrahams, a renowned applied mathematician who is highly regarded for his modelling wave processes.

“Professor Abrahams is recognised as one of the world’s leading applied mathematicians, so the opportunity to learn from him is fantastic and inspiring.

“There is no substitute for talking face to face with fellow experts about the problem you are trying to solve. I feel incredibly lucky to have the opportunity to work with people who are world leaders in their field,” Dr Meylan said.

Dr Meylan will join an esteemed network of other Fellows as a life member of Clare Hall, which is a graduate college for advanced studies at the University of Cambridge.