Solar Wave Theory Group (SWAT)

About SWAT

Leadership and collaboration at national and international level

We have built up extensive national collaboration in recent years (Aberysthwyth, Armagh, Cambridge, BiSON, Imperial, MSSL, Manchester, St. Andews, Warwick, etc.). We played a leading role in establishing the series of Joint UKSP-MIST meetings (2002 in Sheffield, 2004 in Edinburgh, 2006 Aberystwyth) and bringing UKSP into the RAS (joint NAM-UKSP meetings at Dublin 2003, Birmingham 2005, Preston 2007, QUB 2008). We continued to drive the Annual UK Solar Physics meetings (RvFS, Chairman of UKSP untill 2007) and RAS Discussion Meetings (RvFS now representing UKSP on the Scientific Group Panel of the RAS). These meetings are vital research fora for our PhD students and PDRAs, and are also excellent opportunities to build up collaborations for active senior members in the UK solar and solar-terrestrial community. We also regularly organise STFC Summer Schools (Introductory in 2003, 2008; Advanced Solar 2006; International Undergraduate Summer School [IUSS] 2006, 2007, 2009) and members of SWAT have regularly been invited to give review lectures in recent and future Schools (e.g. Birmingham in 2009).

We have received a number of Royal Society collaboration awards (e.g. Russia, Hungary and France), British Council support (Belgium), ESA SP award, IAU and IUPAP awards to organise a major IAU Symposium (in 2007), ISSI award (Co-I RvFS). SWAT is involved (RvFS 3x Co-I) in successful NASA SR&T proposals in collaboration with LMSAL, Lockheed. Within the framework of the Worldwide University Network (WUN) we run a solar physics network SOPHYN to foster research collaboration in terms of short visits (e.g. to Oslo, Belgium, Nanjing); are developing a proposal to set up a European postgraduate course in space engineering and space environment; and are working to have a grid-enabled seminar series. We were successful (RvFS as Co-I), together with colleagues from QUB, with telescope application times: 3xSST at EU/OPTICON and 3xDST/NSO. SWAT also uses these excellent observing opportunities for training purposes. Through the EPSRC-funded MAGIC initiative (17 UK HEIs are involved) we (RvFS) run a 20-hr postgraduate course on MHD waves. Dr Ballai was awarded Nuffield Foundation New Lecturer Award.

SWAT produces a high number of refereed and invited papers: refereed journal papers for the five-year period from 1 January 2004 are summarised on the publications page. Members of SWAT gave numerous partially/fully funded invited or contributed talks, chaired sessions and Scientific Organising Committees at major international science conferences (e.g. we organised SOHO 13, 18 and play a key role in 19; IAUS247; ST4 of EGU 2007, ST07 of AOGS 2009; Mallorca Workshop 2006; Royal Society DM 2005, RAS DM 2005, 2010) and workshops (British Council INYS 2004, 2005 and 2007). The past few years have been highly successful for the Group with SRIF bids as well. As a member of the White Rose Consortium, RvFS participated in two successful Sheffield-led bids to SRIF and JREI: (i) for the establishment of the White Rose Grid; (ii) for the establishment of a High Throughput Computing Grid System. Also, in association with the UKMHD Consortium, through JREI and SRIF3 funding, the upgrading of a UKMHD Computing Grid System (2005; 2006 and a 2008-awarded bid with funding level not yet known) was/is successful.

Visitor programme

We have a vibrant visitor programme to support our Visiting Scientists whose scientific interests complement the activities of SWAT, who will have a major impact on and important independent quality control of the work of SWAT, who will enhance the international reputation and visibility of SWAT, and who will undoubtedly promote and help dissemination of the results of SWAT. A number of internationally renowned scientists who wish to visit Sheffield under the programme have been identified. Others may be invited following developments in the research being carried out during the grant period.

It should be borne in mind, however, that SWAT is a real corporate entity and this is a corporate application with complementary and interlinked elements for support for wave research to be carried out by the Group; decisions on where to place the resources available are made collectively. Professor von Fáy-Siebenbürgen, as Head of SWAT, ultimately has responsibility for allocating resources, reporting through regular management meetings to the group. The resources are used in the most effective way to maximize SWAT's activities and to have the greatest impact, bearing in mind the needs of the individual themes of research and their work packages. The names attached to each WP are the staff investigators with responsibility for that area of research. Staff investigators are strongly encouraged to be involved with more than one Theme that emphasizes naturally the coherent nature of SWAT. Scientific ideas, plans and results are shared within SWAT and SP²RC. We hold regular weekly lunchtime meetings, administered by IB, to present papers and to exchange ideas in the form of discussions. The School of Mathematics and Statistics also runs a weekly seminar programme (administered by MSR) which features many speakers from areas directly or closely related to the areas covered by SWAT/SP²RC.

Summary of Current STFC Grants

  1. ST/F002327/1 Standard Grant Support (PI RvFS, PDRAs: VF & SS), £611,716.03, 01/07/08-30/06/11.
  2. ST/G002207/1 Standard Grant Support (PI MSR, PDRA: Un-named), £330,293.36.
  3. Parallel Computing Resources for the UK’s MHD Community, £1,799,605, award not yet announced.
  4. PP/D00229X/1 3D MHD simulations on a parallel Beowulf cluster, £200k, 01/04/06-31/03/09.
  5. PP/E001165/1 UKMHD Consortium Support, £59,144, 01/06/07-31/05/09.