Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Academic)

Professor Neville J Ford 

MA(Oxon) MSc(Manchester)  PhD(Liverpool)   FIMA FHEA     

He leads an International Research Network on stochastic delay differential equations and collaborates with Mathematics groups in Lisbon, Porto and Braunschweig.

Neville Ford was appointed as Dean of Research in September 2008. He was previously Director of Research and Knowledge Transfer at the University of Chester and, for many years led the University's Applied Mathematics Research Group becoming Professor of Computational Applied Mathematics in 2000. Neville was initially appointed to Chester in January 1986 as a Lecturer in Mathematics and Computer Science.  He was elected to an invited Fellowship of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications in 2007 for his personal contribution to the advancement of Mathematics.

A former member of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council peer review College, an Expert Advisor to the European Commission on the Framework 7 Programme and currently holding two Leverhulme Trust grants, Neville Ford continues to be an active researcher in Mathematics. He leads an International Research Network on stochastic delay differential equations and collaborates with Mathematics groups in Lisbon, Porto and Braunschweig. 

He is currently guest editor of a special issue of the Journal of Computational and Applied Mathematics and recently was the international expert on examination panels considering applications for Higher Doctorates in Germany and Portugal.  Closer to home, he is the co-ordinator of the North West HE Knowledge Transfer Network which promotes the development of further links between HEIs and business and the public and voluntary sectors.

Neville's academic interests include, in his own words: "Modelling and simulation of real-life problems are important to scientists and engineers for a wide variety of reasons: experimentation may be too costly, too dangerous or simply take too long and so the alternative of having some form of computer model to predict the outcome of experiments is very attractive. However the model is only useful if its results correctly mimic those of the real world problem that it attempts to simulate and therefore the quality assurance of computational models is a key area of research.

In the work of our research group, we investigate the reliability of computer simulations of problems in engineering, the biosciences and the environmental sciences which are characterised by the presence of a time-lag, a memory or a delay. For example, in materials science, the way in which a material behaves depends on the historical stresses and strains it has experienced- it has a memory!  Similarly, as the body builds a resistance to drug therapy, again we recognise a memory effect. Delays are present in many controls, for example in the knob that controls the temperature of a shower, or in the time it takes for medical staff to recognise a change in condition and intervene with a new treatment.
We aim to develop simulations that are reliable (they reflect accurately the underlying world that they simulate), efficient (they require the minimum resource to run, and produce an answer in reasonable time) and stable (so they are not much affected by poor quality data."