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Prof. De Winter Award presented to Kathrin Smetana

At the University of Twente’s 57th Dies Natalis celebrations, the Professor De Winter Award was presented to Dr Kathrin Smetana, Assistant Professor in the Mathematics of Computational Science group at the Applied Mathematics Department of the EEMCS Faculty.

This publication prize for outstanding female talent is a recognition of excellent academic research and an incentive to continue a successful academic career. This is the twelfth year that the award has been given.

The jury praised Dr Smetana as a recent example of cooperation between the University of Münster and the University of Twente, which dates back to 1979. Her award-winning article appeared in the SIAM Journal on Scientific Computing, a leading publication in the field with an impact factor of 2.96. The article has already been quoted seven times.

Multiscale modelling

Multiscale modelling (or multiscale mathematics) is the field of study that deals with problems that exist on multiple spatial and temporal scales. Multiscale problems occur everywhere in nature, physics and technology. Examples include seismic waves in complex rock structures, turbulent flow and weather forecasting, complex materials reinforced with fibres or other small structures, and quantum chemistry.

Simplified mathematical models

Many of these problems can be accurately described using partial differential equations, but solving them is highly compute-intensive. Dr Smetana’s research focuses on randomized methods for model order reduction: she develops simplified mathematical models with considerably reduced degrees of freedom, resulting in algorithms with a high degree of computational efficiency yet hardly any loss of accuracy.

Innovative

In her article, entitled ‘Randomized local model order reduction’ she presents a totally new, innovative approach to model order reduction. The algorithms she describes result in a near-optimal approach to this issue. Various numerical experiments (four test cases) have confirmed her theoretical findings.

Kathrin Smetana

Kathrin Smetana obtained her PhD in Mathematics from the University of Münster, where she also completed a postdoc after working for a number of years at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She is currently Assistant Professor in the Mathematics of Computational Science Group at the Applied Mathematics Department of the EEMCS Faculty. Dr Smetana’s work is currently attracting a great deal of attention. She is regularly invited to lecture at leading conferences, and her research is applied in all kinds of fields, for example in the modelling of complex container cranes, bridges and seismic waves. Her research in the field of model order reduction is a mainstay of the DeepNL project 'Comprehensive monitoring and prediction of seismicity within the Groningen gas field using large scale field observations’, which recently gained NWO approval.

Dr Smetana is one of the co-applicants. Her involvement in technology transfer dates from her time at MIT.

The Professor De Winter Award

The Professor De Winter Award is named after the professor who passed away in 2005. It is an international publication prize for outstanding female talent. The award is intended as a recognition of excellent academic research and an incentive to continue a successful academic career. It consists of a sum of €2500 and a certificate, and is funded by the Professor De Winterfonds, a named fund under the auspices of the Twente University Fund. The fund was made possible by a donation by the late Mrs De Winter. After her death in 2013, her heirs, UT alumnus Henk Hoving and his partner Thijs van Reijn, decided to continue this annual donation to the Twente University Fund.  

Martine van Hillegersberg
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