Fluid dynamics of liquid crystalline materials


This SIG will bring together UK researchers, with involvement from international collaborators, to research the present and future challenges in the theory of liquid crystals, with particular focus on the technologies in which fluid dynamic effects are either hindering future advances or are essential for novel liquid crystal devices.

Join SIG Mailing list


L = leader; C = co-leader; * = Other key personnel

[L]  Nigel Mottram ( University of Strathclyde ): nigel.mottram@strath.ac.uk
[C]  Carl Brown ( Nottingham Trent University ): carl.brown@ntu.ac.uk
[C]  Stephen Wilson ( University of Strathclyde ): s.k.wilson@strath.ac.uk
Gareth Alexander ( University of Warwick ):
John Ball ( University of Oxford ):
Michael Cates ( University of Cambridge ):
Buddhapriya Chakrabarti ( University of Sheffield ):
David Chillingworth ( University of Southampton ):
Doug Cleaver ( Sheffield Hallam University ):
Giampaolo D'Alessandro ( University of Southampton ):
Sally Day ( University College London ):
Anibal Fernandez ( University College London ):
Cliff Jones ( University of Leeds ):
Halim Kusumaatmaja ( University of Durham ):
Apala Majumdar ( University of Bath ):
Geoff McKay ( University of Strathclyde ):
Tim Sluckin ( University of Southampton ):
Andre Sonnet ( University of Strathclyde ):
Tim Spencer ( Sheffield Hallam University ):
Iain Stewart ( University of Dundee ):
Rachel Tuffin ( Merck ):
David Wilkes ( Merck ):
Mark Wilson ( University of Durham ):
Tiffany Wood ( University of Edinburgh ):
Julia Yeomans ( University of Oxford ):
Oliver Henrich ( University of Strathclyde ):

Durham-Oxford-Strathclyde (DOS) network meeting on Anisotropic Materials on 13th September 2021

This is a reminder about the forthcoming online Durham-Oxford-Strathclyde network meeting on Anisotropic Materials on 13th September 2021.

The network is funded by the London Mathematical Society.

The network co-ordinators are Apala Majumdar (Strathclyde), Nigel Mottram (Glasgow), Ian Griffiths (Oxford) and Halim Kusumaatmaja (Durham).

This online meeting is being organised by Dr Elsen Tjhung from Durham University, who can provide the Zoom details upon request. There is no fee to attend this meeting.

We look forward to seeing you virtually on the 13th September!

All best wishes

Apala Majumdar


Durham-Oxford-Strathclyde (DOS) Meeting in Anisotropic Materials on 13th September 2021





2.00 pm – 2.30 pm

Liquid crystal lasers:  Low-cost, compact and tuneable light sources.

Philip Hands (Edinburgh)



2.30 pm – 3.00 pm



Active chiral particles driven by electric and magnetic fields



Debasish Das (Strathclyde)

3.00 pm – 3.30 pm


Cooling a spherical nematic shell

Gaetano Napoli (Salento)



4.00 pm – 4.30 pm




4.30 pm – 5.00 pm



5.00 pm – 5.30 pm

-------------------------Break --------------


Microorganisms swimming through structured networks: from the point of view of the microorganism


Non-uniqueness of equilibrium states for a static ridge of nematic liquid crystals


Self-propulsion of a drop of active nematic




Adam Townsend (Durham)




Joseph Cousins (Glasgow and Strathclyde)



Aurore Loisy (Aix-Marseille)

New UKFN/LIFD report on the contribution of Fluid Dynamics to the UK economy

The UK Fluids Network and Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics (LIFD) are hosting a launch event for a new report which for the first time details the current value of fluid dynamics to the UK. Fluid Dynamics is the study of the movement of liquids and gases and has many applications, ranging from the transmission of disease to fuel mixtures in engines, renewable energy and weather systems and climate. The report analysis provides key metrics including revenue associated with fluid dynamics activities, the size and distribution of the workforce providing these essential skills, the gross value added (GVA) to the UK economy and the scale of research investment. The report also demonstrates that fluid dynamics in the UK is significant in addressing its societal challenges, including Net Zero, Levelling Up, Productivity and Resilience and UK Capability and Global Reach.  
The event will include contributions from leading end-users from industry, academia and government and there will be a discussion of the future direction of fluid dynamics, and the support needed to consolidate and build upon the UK’s position as a world-leader in fluid dynamics. There will be the opportunity to feed into a series of discussions intended to shape the next steps in UK fluid dynamics. 

On behalf of the UK Fluids Network and LIFD, I would like to invite you to attend this event. 
This virtual event will be held on the 15th September 2021, 16.00-17.30, via Zoom
Outline of programme:

16.00-16:05: Welcome  
16.05-16.10: Introduction to report   
16.10-16.20: The importance of fluid dynamics to UK government strategy 
16.20-16.40: Overview of the report’s main findings (economic and societal benefits in the UK) 
16.40-16.50: UKRI investment and fellowship scheme 
16:50-17.00: BREAK 
17.00-17.30: Discussion panel – Impact of fluid dynamics in business and research in the UK 
Confirmed speakers include representatives from BEIS, Met Office, RAEng, Industry, UKRI and the UK Fluids Network. 
Please book your place on Eventbrite https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/uk-fluid-dynamics-report-launch-tickets-167594384315

Network meeting on Anisotropic Materials

24th September 2019

University of Strathclyde, Livingstone Tower LT908

11.00: Coffee/tea

11.30: Introduction, Nigel Mottram (Strathclyde)

12.00: Apala Majumdar (Bath Maths)

12.50: Josh Walton (Strathclyde M&S)
Pressure-driven states in channel flow of active nematic liquid crystals

1.20: Lunch (in LT912)

2.00: Oliver Whitehead (Oxford Maths) Active and Passive Driving in Liquid Crystal Devices

2.50: Oliver Henrich (Strathclyde Physics)

3.40: Joseph Cousins (Strathclyde M&S) Nematic liquid crystal flow during the manufacture of liquid crystal devices

4.10: Carl Brown (Nottingham Trent) Flow and field reorientation in nematic liquid crystals

5.00: finish

British Liquid Crystal Society Annual Training Workshops

We are pleased to announce that a series of British Liquid Crystal Society (BLCS) Annual Training Workshops will be organised at the University of Birmingham, being funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) of the UK. The workshops are intended to provide education and training for the next generation of researchers in the highly interdisciplinary area of liquid-crystal research, highlighting its recent advances in the wider context of soft and biological matter.

The BLCS Winter Workshop was initiated more than 25 years ago and has been held successfully at the University of Hull since 1994 under the leadership of Dr Mike Hird. This long-running series of workshops is being reinvigorated with the inclusion of a mini-symposium “Liquid-Crystal Research in the 2020s”, which will discuss emerging questions and open problems in liquid-crystals research and at its interfaces.

The next workshop in this series will be held at the University of Birmingham from the 8th to the 10th January, 2020. The three-day event will start at noon on the 8th and finish in the late afternoon of the 10th, and will include lectures, practical training sessions and the mini-symposium. The workshop is intended for early-stage researchers (primarily PhD students, but also post-doctoral research associates and researchers in industry, who are relatively new to the field of liquid-crystal research, irrespective of their academic disciplines) and can offer limited number of places.

Confirmed speakers include:
1. Dr Dwaipayan Chakrabarti
2. Dr Stephen Cowling
3. Prof. Cliff Jones
4. Prof. Apala Majumdar
5. Prof. Georg Mehl
6. Prof. Nigel Mottram
7. Prof. Jon Preece
8. Prof. Mark R. Wilson
9. Prof. Julia Yeomans

Expressions of interest in the prescribed format are currently invited for attending the BLCS Annual Training Workshop to be held in January 2020. Please email your expression of interest to blcs-atw@contacts.bham.ac.uk by November 22, 2019 to meet the extended deadline. Accepted participants will be notified in due course.

There are no registration fees for accepted participants. EPSRC funded researchers will be given priority and those funded by the Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP) and the Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) grants are anticipated to have access to funding to support their attendance at such a workshop. If there is no access to such funding, the expression of interest from a researcher should include a request for funding to support their attendance with an estimate.

The Fluid Dynamics of Liquid Crystalline Materials is helping to support the attendance of Early Career Stage Researchers at this event.


Leeds Lyotropic Liquid Crystals (L3C) Symposium

We are delighted to announce that the British Liquid Crystal Society's 2019 annual conference will include the Leeds Lyotropic Liquid Crystals (L3C) Symposium.

The Symposium will consist of a series of talks given by the leading researchers in the field of lyotropic liquid crystals and provide you with plenty of opportunities for further discussions and networking. Here, you will learn about the theories associated with the fundamentals of self-assembling supramolecular lyotropic structures and their significance in the current research topics across a wide range of disciplines in academia and in industry. Following this, both novel and well-established characterisation techniques aimed at understanding the complex structures of lyotropic liquid crystals will be discussed, as well as the mathematical modelling of lyotropics.

The Symposium will take place on 15th April 2019 at the Maurice Keyworth Lecture Theatre (G.02) in the Business School at The University of Leeds. Please visit www.blcs2019.org/l3c for more details.

Geometric and Topological Methods in Liquid Crystals

A one-day meeting exploring the interactions between geometry, topology and the physics of liquid crystals and related materials.

Venue: De Morgan House, 57-58 Russell Square, London WC1B 4HS

Date: Tuesday 3rd April 2018

Speakers: Gareth Alexander (U Warwick), Simon Čopar (U Ljubljana), Ray Goldstein (U Cambridge), Gregory Grason (U Mass, Amherst), Randall Kamien (U Penn, Philadelphia), Maurice Kléman (IPGP, Paris), and Ivan Smalyukh (U Colorado, Boulder).

Registration: A registration fee of GBP 20 (waived for speakers) will cover facilities, coffees, teas and buffet lunch. A webpage for registration (which is now open) and further information is now available here.

Posters etc.: There will an opportunity for participants to display a poster and/or gave a 5-minute presentation.

Accommodation: A range of convenient hotels is situated in or near Russell Square and close to De Morgan House: see www.imperialhotels.co.uk.

Location: De Morgan House is the HQ of the London Mathematical Society, although this meeting is not an LMS event. For information about De Morgan House, its location and transport links see www.demorganhouse.org.uk.

Support: The meeting is a Special Interest Group event supported by the EPSRC-funded UK Fluids Network https://fluids.ac.uk/sig/LiquidCrystals.

Looking forward to seeing you at DMH!

Scientific Committee: Gareth Alexander, Randy Kamien, Nigel Mottram

Organiser: David Chillingworth

Enquiries: drjc@soton.ac.uk

UK Fluids Network - ECMI Workshop : Nematics at the Meeting Point of Solid Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics: New Perspectives and Challenges

Venue: University of Bath, United Kingdom

Dates: 28th and 29th June 2018

Organizer: Dr Apala Majumdar (University of Bath)

We are pleased to announce a forthcoming research workshop on "Nematics at the Meeting Point of Solid Mechanics and Fluid Dynamics: New Perspectives and Challenges" at the University of Bath on the 28th and 29th June 2018. This meetings is funded by the EPSRC UK Fluids Network and is being organized under the auspices of the UK Fluids Special Interest Group on "Fluid dynamics of liquid crystalline materials" (https://fluids.ac.uk/sig/LiquidCrystals). The meeting brings together researchers working in nematic liquid crystals, their static and dynamic theories, optical modelling, numerical simulations and analogies between nematic theories and solid mechanics. This meeting will serve as a common platform to discuss recent exciting developments in nematic solitons, nematic microfluidics, the rich applications of nematics in confinement and nematics under flow along with powerful new computational techniques to explore the solution landscapes.

The seven confirmed speakers and their titles are given below.

[1] Halim Kusumaatmaja (Durham, UK)

Tentative title: Applications of energy landscape methods to problems in elasticity and liquid crystals.

[2] Noel Smyth (Edinburgh, UK)

Title: The nonlinear optics of nematic liquid crystals:  solitary waves and undular bores

[3] Oliver Henrich (Strathclyde, UK)

Title: Mesoscopic Simulation of Flowing Topological Composite Materials

[4] Duvan Henao (PUC, Chile)

Title: Meeting points of cavitation and nematics

[5] Nigel Mottram (Strathclyde, UK)

Title: Trapped! - anisotropic fluids in confined geometries

[6] Ian Griffiths (University of Oxford, UK)

Title:  Mathematical modelling for liquid crystal microfluidics

[7] Lei Zhang (Peking University, China)

Title: Numerical Methods of Finding Transition States and its Applications in Materials

This meeting is also partly supported by a Royal Society Newton Advanced Fellowship awarded to Apala Majumdar (University of Bath) and Lei Zhang (Peking University). The meeting is open to everybody and please send an expression of interest to Dr Apala Majumdar (a.majumdar@bath.ac.uk) if you are interested in attending. There is no registration fees and lunch and refreshments will be provided to all participants on both days. We look forward to welcoming you at Bath!

First Announcement of SIG Meetings Scheduled for 2018

Following a successful launch meeting at the University of Strathclyde on 12th June 2017, we have three meetings scheduled for 2018 as follows:

Title: Geometric and Topological Methods in Liquid Crystals
Date: 3rd April 2018
Venue: De Morgan House, London

Title: Nematics at the Meeting Point of Solid Mechanics and Hydrodynamics - New Perspectives and Challenges
Dates: 29th and 30th June 2018
Venue: Oxford

Title: 50 Years of the Ericksen-Leslie Equations
Dates: 6th and 7th September 2018
Venue: Glasgow

Put these dates in your diary now and look out for further announcements in due course.

Tweets @LiqCrystFlowSIG