Robert Szalai has been a Lecturer in engineering mathematics since 2011. He studied for an M.S. degree at Budapest University of Technology, Budapest, Hungary, including time at Bristol as an Erasmus scholar during which time he worked on milling technology from the point of view of nonlinear mechanics. This work led to the identification of catastrophic subcritical instabilities that cause the milling process to suddenly chatter, leading to increased tool failure and damaged work surfaces. He received his Ph.D. degree in mechanical engineering from Budapest University of Technology after spending one year at the MIT as a Fulbright Fellow. There, he developed fundamental numerical and analytical methodology for mechanical systems that feature both time-delay and nonsmooth features, such as in machine-tool vibration problems. In particular, he developed the method of characteristic matrices to reduce the infinite dimensional eigenvalue problem of forced delayed systems to finite dimensions making analysis more feasible. He has implemented these techniques in open source software. From 2006 to 2011, Szalai was a Postdoc at the University of Bristol, where he worked on the analysis of piecewise smooth systems (with application to stick-slip friction among other problems) and the mechanics of the mammalian cochlea. In a recent work he has explained the mechanism of spontaneous sound emissions of the ear by globally arising as subcritical instabilities. He also worked on traffic waves and neurodynamics.
Biography Updated on 31 March 2013