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Wednesday 6th September 2017 to Friday 8th September 2017

Centre for Mathematical Sciences

United Kingdom


Following a successful inaugural event in September 2016, and with the support of Unilever, the Edwards Symposia Series will run annually for the next five years.

This series marks a fitting tribute to the life and work of Professor Sir Sam Edwards FRS, one of the great scientific minds of the 20th Century. Sir Sam played a pivotal role in bringing advances in the physical sciences to bear on major industrial problems. His fundamental contributions to soft matter theory ranged from polymer melts, through gels, colloids, granular materials and glasses through to optimisation problems.

Soft matter systems are ubiquitous in industry and also arise in many biological contexts. Many share common mathematical structures that are exploited by theorists, who continue to build on Sir Sam’s realisation that broad classes of soft material are governed by unifying physical principles, such as those stemming from the geometry and topology of their microscopic components, independent of their precise molecular or chemical character.


Aims and Objectives

The Edwards Symposia Series will highlight the latest developments in soft matter science with a particular (but not exclusive) emphasis on theoretical and mathematical models, and on how these models can inform industrial processes, materials, and design. Each event will include opportunities for industrial participants to identify challenging questions that can stimulate future academic work and collaboration. Leading academic speakers will convey their latest scientific work, in a forum intended to foster collaborative and interdisciplinary discussions across the industry/academia boundary.


The Edwards Symposia will be organised by the Turing Gateway to Mathematics, Durham Centre for Soft Matter and the Edwards Centre for Soft Matter. The latter is a newly-founded virtual laboratory, encompassing staff from six Cambridge University Departments, whose role is to promote academic collaborations in Soft Matter Science across the University. The Durham Centre for Soft Matter is closely associated with the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Soft Matter and Functional Interfaces (SOFI) at the Universities of Durham, Edinburgh and Leeds. The CDT is coordinated by Durham.

Supporting the Edwards Symposia Series

Unilever have agreed to contribute at a level that secures continuation of the Series for five years. This generous support will cover a major part of the organisational and academic speaker costs.

We hope those who knew Sir Sam may wish to contribute to a separate fund whose aims are (a) to award bursaries to allow the participation of early-stage researchers during this five-year period, and (b) to prolong the Series thereafter. Our hope is that Edwards Symposia will become a permanent part of the international scientific landscape.

Donations can be made via this Link.



We welcome you to exhibit a poster during the workshop, there will be a dedicated exhibition at the end of day 1, followed by the opportunity for Elevator pitches at the end of day 2. If you would like to exhibit a poster, please detail this on your registration form.


Bursary Assistance for Early Stage Researchers

Early stage researchers can apply for a bursary to cover the registration fee and 2 night accommodation costs. This can be offered to a limited number of individuals. 
If you wish to be considered for this, please indicate this on the registration form.  We will advise you whether your application has been successful, as soon as we can. 

Registration and Venue

The second Edwards Symposium will take place at the Centre for Mathematical Sciences, Cambridge on 6th-8th September 2017. A Provisional Programme is now available.

There will be a nominal registration fee of £75.00 for all attendees.

A college dinner has been organised at Gonville and Caius College on Thursday 7th September at 7pm. The cost to attend the dinner is £45 including three courses and wine.

En-suite accommodation will be available locally at Murray Edwards College at a rate of £73.50 + VAT per room per night on a bed and breakfast basis.