The following academic unit formed the submission to UoA 10:
- School of Mathematics and Statistics
- Following a reorganisation in 2017, the School became the School of Mathematics, Statistics and Physics
There are three research groups for Mathematics and Statistics:
There has been a significant strengthening in mathematics and statistics over the assessment period, with highlights including:
Keeping track of nuclear fuel in reprocessingKeeping track of nuclear fuel in reprocessing
The Thermal Oxide Reprocessing Plant (THORP) at Sellafield in Cumbria has 20% of the world’s current annual nuclear reprocessing capacity. The amount of nuclear material transferred into THORP is determined through a volumetric system that was developed in Newcastle during commissioning of THORP in 1993/94, was revalidated in 2009/10 and continues in use today.
Newcastle’s volumetric system is the sole means of determining transfers of nuclear materials into and out of THORP. Regarding a serious leak, the UK Health & Safety Executive stated “nuclear materials accountancy ... led to the detailed investigations ... and subsequently to the discovery of the leak.” Material accountancy based on vessel calibrations performed in Newcastle gives confidence in the safety and security of reprocessing at THORP.
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Faster fault tracking for national grid gasFaster fault tracking for national grid gas
Statistical research advances made by Newcastle University have directly impacted National Grid’s data analysis and monitoring strategies resulting in improved accounting and faster anomaly detection. Previously there was little detailed analysis of patterns in energy balance data, but since 2008, as direct result of our research National Grid have implemented data mining methods to prioritise investigations; based on this they have issued statistical analysis guidelines and begun training staff to analyse daily gas flow data.
As one example, our data mining procedures identified an issue resulting in £14m of returned charges in 2010. Our reports provide confidence and aid decisions made by regulators and provide data-based evidence to support negotiations with stakeholders.
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Preventing blood clots in children undergoing kidney dialysisPreventing blood clots in children undergoing kidney dialysis
Substantial distress and delay to therapy can be caused to children undergoing haemodialysis when the central venous lines (CVLs), by which their treatment is delivered, are blocked by blood clots. Our research has shown that a new form of anti-coagulant, alteplase, is much more successful than the traditional agent, heparin, in preventing blockages. At the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle upon Tyne the annual probability of CVL replacement due to thrombosis was 0.7 prior to our work.
Since alteplase has been used (2005-2012), no lines have had to be replaced because of thrombosis. This represents a remarkable reduction in the levels of distress to children and, by eliminating the delays associated with line replacement, effects financial savings for the NHS. As a result of our research alteplase is now used in 12 of the 14 paediatric kidney units in the UK and Ireland. The clinical trial which established the superiority of alteplase, required a novel form of optimal crossover design.
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Find out about all our REF 2014 results.