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Public Lecture: Mathematics in Industry

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Newcastle City Hall - Hunter Room

290 King Street

Newcastle, NSW 2300

Australia

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Public Lecture on Mathematics in Industry: Optimisation in Action - Unlocking Value in the Mining, Energy, and Agriculture Industries

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The University of Newcastle will host the 2020 Mathematics in Industry Study Group (MISG) Workshop on 28 January - 1 February 2020 to bring together leading applied mathematicians, statisticians, physical scientists and engineers from universities, the public and the private sector from across Australia, New Zealand and around the world to tackle complex technical problems facing Australian businesses and industry.The MISG Workshop will run daily from 9 am from Tuesday 28 January to Saturday 1 February 2020 at NeW Space, Cnr Hunter Street & Auckland Street, Newcastle. The workshop is FREE to attend. Register at https://mathsinindustry.com/.

As part of the workshop, a public lecture presented by Professor Ryan Loxton from Curtin University of Technology will take place from 5pm on Friday 31 January 2020 at the University House, University of Newcastle’s City Campus.

This public lecture is supported by the Royal Society of New South Wales, University of Newcastle, Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) and New South Wales Chief Scientist & Engineer Conference Sponsorship Program.

Abstract: Optimisation is a branch of applied mathematics that focuses on using mathematical techniques to optimise complex systems. Real-world optimisation problems are typically enormous in scale, with hundreds of thousands of inter-related variables and constraints, multiple conflicting objectives, and numerous candidate solutions that can easily exceed the total number of atoms in the solar system, overwhelming even the fastest supercomputers. Mathematical optimisation has numerous applications in business and industry, but there is a big mismatch between the optimisation problems studied in academia (which tend to be highly structured problems) and those encountered in practice (which are non-standard, highly unstructured problems). This lecture gives a non-technical overview of the presenter’s recent experiences in building optimisation models and practical algorithms in the oil and gas, mining, and agriculture sectors. Some of this practical work has led to academic journal articles, showing that the gap between industry and academia can be overcome.

Speaker: Professor Ryan Loxton

Affiliation: School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences, Curtin University

Webpage: https://staffportal.curtin.edu.au/staff/profile/view/R.Loxton/

Biography: Ryan Loxton is a professor and the discipline leader for mathematics and statistics in the School of Electrical Engineering, Computing, and Mathematical Sciences at Curtin University. Ryan's research interests lie in the areas of optimisation, optimal control, and data science. His work has been funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC), the Department of Industry, Innovation, and Science, and various industry partners, from small start-ups to large corporates. In particular, Ryan's ARC grants include two prestigious, highly competitive fellowships—an Australian Postdoctoral Fellowship during 2011–2014 and a current ARC Future Fellowship that runs until the end of 2021. His work focuses on using advanced mathematics to optimise complex processes in a wide range of applications such as mining, oil and gas, agriculture, and industrial process control. Ryan’s algorithms underpin the Quantum software platform developed by Aurora Global for tracking, executing, and optimising shutdown maintenance operations at mine sites. Ryan is a passionate advocate for industry engagement and has worked extensively with industry where he has led demand-driven research projects with many companies, both big and small, including Woodside Energy, Vekta Automation, Fleetcare, and Global Grain Handling Solutions. Ryan was the recipient of the 2018 JH Michell Medal from the Australian and New Zealand Industrial and Applied Mathematics (ANZIAM) as the outstanding researcher of the year, and the 2014 West Australian Young Scientist of the year. Ryan currently leads the optimisation theme in the new Australian Research Council’s Industrial Training Centre on Transforming Maintenance through Data Science, which is funded by a $3.9 million grant from the Australian Research Council plus matched funding from industry partners Alcoa, BHP Billiton, and Roy Hill.

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Newcastle City Hall - Hunter Room

290 King Street

Newcastle, NSW 2300

Australia

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