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Professor William Phillips

Professor of Applied Mathematics
PhD, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom


Professor Phillips joined the Department of Mathematics at Swinburne in April 2007 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he spent much of his career in the (then) Department of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics. Prior to that he held appointments at Cornell, Clarkson and the National University of Singapore. His main interests are nonlinear differential (and integro-differential) equations as they arise in geophysical fluid dynamical situations, most specifically through surface-wave mean-flow instabilities. He is best known for his generalised theory for the aetiology of stadium sized rolls known as Langmuir circulation which form in and help to mix the upper 100 meters of the ocean. He holds degrees from McGill University in Canada and the University of Cambridge in England

PhD candidate and honours supervision

Higher degrees by research

Accredited to supervise Masters & Doctoral students as Principal Supervisor.

PhD topics and outlines

Langmuir Circulation Beneath Breaking Waves: The aim of this project is to study the role of mixing generated by breaking waves on the formation of wind aligned stadium sized rolls in the upper ocean.   The study will employ instability theory, dynamical systems theory and numerical computation.

Fields of Research

  • Applied Mathematics Not Elsewhere Classified - 010299
  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics - 040403


Also published as: Phillips, William; Phillips, W.; Phillips, W. R. C.; Phillips, W.R.C.; Phillips, William R. C.
This publication listing is provided by Swinburne Research Bank. If you are the owner of this profile, contact us to update.

Recent research grants awarded

  • 2014: Victorian Government International Research Scholarship Grant 2014 - 2017 (Mr Lidong Cui) *; Dept State Development Business & Innovation Post Grad Scholarship
  • 2011: Experimental facility for extreme air/sea interaction studies *; ARC Linkage Infrastructure and Equipment Scheme

* Chief Investigator

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