Applied mathematician

    Dr Luke Bennetts

    When it comes to explaining to people what he does for work, Dr Luke Bennetts is good at breaking the ice.

    A senior lecturer in applied mathematics at the University of Adelaide, Luke co-authored a 2018 study about the impact of huge ocean swells on ice shelves around Antarctica.

    The research perfectly married his passions for mathematics and the environment. “I became drawn to environmental problems, more specifically Antarctic science, because the problems are challenging, and the outcomes important,” he says.

    An applied mathematician uses their expertise to provide a new understanding of – and solutions to – real-world problems. This sees Luke solving equations on a daily basis to understand how and why things (such as floating ice) move around.

    Luke says mathematics is fundamental to all facets of science and engineering, particularly environmental research. “You won’t get anywhere without it,” he says.

    While helping solve big problems such as climate change might seem like a popular career choice, there aren’t enough environmental research mathematicians in Australia. Meaning, loads of opportunities to make your own waves in the field.

    Luke advises budding mathematicians to search the Net. “Start with researcher websites – most of us have one designed for the public, and we’re happy for you to contact us directly.”

    – Jake Dean

    To get there: bit.ly/UniAdelaideMaths

     

    Dr Luke Bennetts’ pathway to becoming an applied mathematician

    > > BSc (Hons) + Master of Science, Mathematics/Applied Mathematics, University of Reading

    > > PhD, Applied Mathematics, University of Reading

    > > Postdoctoral researcher, University of Otago

    > > Senior Lecturer Applied Mathematics, University of Adelaide


    This profile is brought to you in partnership with the University of Adelaide.

    “I became drawn to environmental problems, more specifically Antarctic science, because the problems are challenging, and the outcomes important.”

    Jake Dean

    Author: Jake Dean

    Jake Dean is a South Australian writer and surfer with a passion for science, the environment and conservation.

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