Matt is a PhD student at the University of Bath, supervised by Tristan Pryer and Luca Zanett, Matt’s PhD project ‘Finite element methods for the Boltzmann neutron transport equation on polygonal and polyhedral meshes’ is being carried out in collaboration with the CEA, the French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission.

The design and safety studies of nuclear reactors requires the solution of many multi-physics problems. This approximation is often prohibitively expensive as it requires the coupling of complex neutronics and thermal-hydraulic dynamics. New techniques, that are both efficient and accurate need to be developed to meet the challenge. The goal of this PhD work is to conceive and develop numerical schemes to solve the Boltzmann equation for neutron transport on polygonal and polyhedral meshes within the context of finite element methods for the spatial discretisation and other related techniques for the other variables. The research will also encompass research on graph algorithms for partitioning a set of ordered mesh cells.

Matt graduated from the University of Bath in 2022 with a BSc in Mathematics. He decided that employment wasn’t for him yet, especially with a growing interest in numerics and data science. He continued at Bath with an MSc in mathematics and Data Science. Throughout his Masters, he focussed on machine learning and numerical analysis and ended the year with a project with the Met Office, applying machine learning techniques to space weather forecasting.

Throughout his university life, Matt has worked as a data scientist in Formula Ford, where he focussed on building predictive tools to provide optimal strategies and performance optimisation. This further developed his interests in modelling and numerical methods leading to his choice to undertake a PhD in finite element methods with industrial applications. Outside of mathematics, he is a keen climber, often travelling up to the lakes and peaks. He also enjoys music, cooking and attempting to play badminton.

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