Skip to main content

Dr Christopher Powles

Senior Lecturer in Mathematics, Course Leader for BSc (Hons) Mathematics and MMath
School of Natural Sciences

Dr Chris Powles has been a lecturer in Mathematics at the University of Central Lancashire since January 2011, and has been course leader for mathematics courses since August 2016. Between 2004-2011 he worked as a Research Fellow at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, University of Southampton, and he has also worked as an Assistant Editor for the Journal of Sound and Vibration; he has general research interests in analytical acoustics.

Since 2011, Dr Powles has been heavily involved in renewing the mathematics programmes at the University of Central Lancashire. He has delivered eleven distinct modules across pure and applied mathematics and statistics, across all years of the degrees. He has contributed to the wider life of the University of Central Lancashire through advising on mathematical issues in other areas of the university (including in aerospace engineering and in nursing). Chris is an applied mathematician, with interests in how mathematics can be applied to solve real-life problems, especially in the area of acoustics. He has published papers in a wide range of academic journals, and his work on “Green’s functions in computational aeroacoustics” was reproduced in the 2015 book “Frontiers in Aeroacoustics.”

Dr Powles graduated with a PhD in Mathematics from the University of Keele in 2004, where his research focussed on the generation of sound by fan blades moving at supersonic speeds. From 2004 until 2011, he held a Research Fellowship at the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research (ISVR), University of Southampton. In this post, he conducted research on the mathematical modelling of sound. The principal application of this work was the study of technologies for designing quieter aircraft engines. This included work on designing devices to absorb sound (spliced liners), designing nozzles to reduce jet noise (mixer-ejectors), modelling the scattering of sound by solid engine parts such as fan blades and centrebodies, and modelling the propagation of sound through turbulent sheared flows (jet blockage and spectral broadening).

In addition, he was involved in a project to monitor Sperm Whale populations using SONAR, did work on loudspeaker design, and undertook educational research into the impact of targeted training for PhD students. While at ISVR, Chris set up a course in Engineering Mathematics for postgraduate students, for which he was awarded the University of Southampton’s Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award. He also taught on summer schools for researchers, and helped to establish a course in the use of mathematical software.

From 2009-2011, Chris was an Assistant Editor at the Journal of Sound and Vibration, one of the top-rated journals for research in acoustics. Since joining the University of Central Lancashire in 2011, Chris’s work has become much more teaching-focussed, but he still publishes research in mathematical acoustics.