Professor Ian Turner

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Professor, School of Mathematical Sciences

PhD (University of Queensland), MAppSc (Queensland Inst. of Technology), BAppSc (Queensland Inst. of Technology)

Professional and academic background

Professor Turner received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Queensland in 1991. In 2010 he was awarded the degree of Doctor of Science from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT). He currently has a full-time research and teaching position at QUT, where his employment first commenced as a lecturer in 1991. Ian’s more recent roles at QUT include:

  • 2016-present Professor; Academic Program Director for Dean’s Scholars
  • 2012-2015 Head of School of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2009-2011 Head of Discipline of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2009-2009 Acting Head of School of Mathematical Sciences
  • 2007-2009 School Director of Research, Mathematical Sciences.

Research

Professor Turner’s multidisciplinary research highlights the applicability of computational and applied mathematics to important environmental problems such as drying, saltwater intrusion in coastal aquifers, and the prediction of gas composition in a coal seam gas field. Ian’s research demonstrates a strong interaction with industry, having worked with drying engineers at the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries (DAF), and hydrologists and computational modellers at the Department of Natural Resources and Mines. This work is ongoing, and these research initiatives are being developed further through collaboration and jointly supervised PhD projects. He has also collaborated widely with various local industries and government organisations (for example CSIRO, DNRM and DAF) through commercial research opportunities and ARC Linkage grants.

Recognition

Ian has received international recognition for his research in the form of awards for best research papers in:

  • international journals
  • certificates of merit for his extensive contributions in modeling the drying process
  • invitations as keynote speaker at national and international conferences/workshops
  • invited professor/researcher positions at universities in Europe
  • invitations to co-edit a book dedicated to numerical methods for the drying process and to contribute chapters to other books.

Chairs

2012. Chair of the 2012 Computational Techniques and Applications Conference (CTAC), QUT.

2004-2008. Chair of the national executive of the Computational Mathematics Group, which oversees the enhancement of computational mathematics within Australia. Ian has organised and chaired national postgraduate student forums on advanced computation for the Australian Partnership for Advanced Computing, for example the successful Summer Workshop in Computational Science held at QUT in 2006, which saw around 50 postgraduate students from around Australia attend.

Funding

Since 2000, Professor Turner has received funding accolades for his research, including:

  • first named chief investigator (CI) on three Australian Research Council (ARC) Discovery grants ($185K, $360K and $347)
  • named CI of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Mathematical and Statistical Frontiers of Big Data, Big Models, New Insights CE14
  • CI on LE13 (LIEF) FlashLite: A High Performance Machine for Data Intensive Science
  • received an ARC LIEF grant ($1.1 million)
  • ARC Linkage grant ($440K)
  • second named CI on two ARC Large/Discovery grants (totaling over $300K)
  • fourth named CI on an ARC Linkage grant
  • CI on five ARC SPIRT/Linkage grants (totaling over $1 million)
  • CI on three grants from the Queensland Cyber Infrastructure Foundation ($130K).

Citations

According to the Essential Science Indicators, Professor Turner has 8 papers in the QUT list of 77 top papers. In terms of the total number of citations, he is ranked as number 447 in mathematics in the world, with 436 citations and average citations per paper of 20.76.

According to Scopus, 202 of his publications have been cited since 1986, leading to a total of 4,352 citations and an h–index of 33 with a total of 125 co-authors.

According to Google Scholar he has 7,408 citations with an h-index of 44 and an i10-index of 145.

Leadership in learning and teaching

  • 2016: Vice Chancellors Award for Excellence in the Senior Staff Category for his exemplary and sustained leadership
  • 2014: Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award in recognition of a significant and superior contribution to the work of the university
  • 2006: QUT award for excellent teaching by an academic in 2006
  • 2004: Dean’s Science Faculty Award for Outstanding Academic Leadership

Additional information

Professor Turner’s main research interests are in the fields of computational mathematics and numerical analysis, where he has over thirty years of experience in the solution of systems of coupled, nonlinear partial differential equations that govern flow in heterogeneous porous media.

Together with his colleague Professor Patrick Perré from the University of Paris-Saclay, he has made significant contributions to modelling the drying of wood. As a result of this collaboration, drying practitioners in France and Australia have used the TRANSPORE model to design optimal drying schedules for softwood.

Recently, Professor Turner has developed an international reputation in the numerical solution of fractional partial differential equations, having published along with his coworkers, more than 60 papers in international journals over the last ten years in this field.

He is an expert in finite-volume methods and also has an excellent knowledge of numerical linear algebra and its applicability and importance to solving problems in applied mathematics.