Lancaster skyline

Rigidity, Flexibility and Applications

LMS Hybrid School on Knowledge Exchange

Lancaster University, 18th-22nd July 2022

Organisers: Dr Bernd Schulze and Professor David Leslie (Lancaster University)

The mathematical theory of rigidity and flexibility has a rich history and dates back at least to Euler’s conjecture on the rigidity of polyhedra in 1766 and Maxwell’s studies of mechanical linkages, trusses, and other engineering structures in the 19th century. Mathematically, the field sits at the nexus of combinatorics, geometry and algebra.

The purpose of this Research School on Knowledge Exchange is to introduce talented young scientists to the increasingly active research area of rigidity and flexibility and to enable them to produce excellent mathematical and inter-disciplinary research in this area.


The Research School will run as a hybrid event and feature the following 4 mini-courses:

  • ‘Geometric rigidity’ taught by Louis Theran (St. Andrews)
  • ‘Statistical mechanics and sphere packings’ taught by Miranda Holmes-Cerfon (NYU)
  • ‘Topology of linkages’ taught by Michael Farber (Queen Mary)
  • ‘Applications of rigidity to soft matter physics’ taught by Silke Henkes (Bristol)

There will be three plenary talks by members of the Statistics Section of Lancaster University. Idris Eckley will explain how to build strategic partnerships to support research programmes; Rebecca Killick will talk about the benefits of collaboration in early career research; and David Leslie will talk about the national KE landscape (based on learnings from the Bond review).

In addition, Andea Liu (Pennsylvania) will speak about the design of functional materials by exploiting the malleability of disorder, and John Owen (SIEMENS UK) will speak about applications of rigidity-based methods to the development of CAD software.

The KE Research School schedule is now available to download.


Registration is now open and you can submit your application by filling in the web-based form you will find when you click on the following link:

Please make sure to print a pdf copy of your completed form before you submit. If you chose to attend in person, then you should send this pdf file to a referee of your choice. To complete your application, the referee will have to fill in the web-based form below:

If you chose to attend online, then you can ignore the referee form. Online participants also don't have to pay any registration fee.

The application deadline for in person participation is April 1, 2022. The application deadline for online participation is July 1, 2022.

Research students, post-docs and those working in industry are invited to apply.

Registration Fees

  • Research students (in person): £150 (no charge for subsistence costs).
  • Early career researchers* (in person): £250 (no charge for subsistence costs).
  • Other in person participants: £250 (plus subsistence costs).
  • Online participants: £0 (no fee).

* defined as within five years of completing their PhD (excluding career breaks).

Fees are not payable until a place at the Research School on Knowledge Exchange is offered but will be due before the Research School on Knowledge Exchange.

Financial Support

Limited need-based financial support is available for participants.

For UK-based mathematicians with caring duties the LMS has a Caring Supplementary Grant scheme which allows participants to apply for help covering caring costs.

Contact and Travel

The University provides information on travelling to Lancaster here.