ITT20 with BeZero Carbon and Rolls-Royce
26 June 2024

Partners BeZero Carbon and Rolls-Royce joined us for SAMBa's 20th ITT which took place at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution (BRLSI) from 10-14 June 2024

SAMBa's 20th Integrative Think Tank

SAMBa’s 20th Integrative Think Tank was delivered in partnership with BeZero Carbon, a carbon ratings agency that equips world-leading organisations with the knowledge, tools and confidence to make better climate decisions, and Rolls-Royce whose civil aerospace division is a major manufacturer of aero engines for the large commercial aircraft, regional jet and business aviation markets.

The ITT model brings participants from across SAMBa together with external partners to reformulate large challenges into mathematical questions that will lead to collaborative research projects.

During the first two days, groups considered potential mathematical questions and approaches to a range of challenges presented by the partners. For the remainder of the week, the participants worked in teams, each exploring a particular approach to one of the challenges. The ITT was brought to a close with students presenting the work done by their team during the week and making recommendations for potential future research directions.

Problem formulation

From Tuesday afternoon onwards, small teams of PhD students, staff and partners worked on mathematical approaches to the partner challenges:

BeZero Carbon:

  • Quantifying wildfire risk for carbon projects – modelling wildfire stochastic models (agent-based vs SPDEs, cellular automata), spatial regression for wildfires (GLMM, geo-statistical model)
  • Optimising the location of field measurements to calibrate and validate remotely sense carbon maps – spatial modelling –> spatial sampling (optimal design, spatial regression in INLA)
  • Aligning observations from spaceborne LiDAR and optical data for improved forest monitoring – image registration and optimisation (multi-modality imagine, landmark detection)
  • Estimating the return interval of damaging tropical cyclones – extreme value theory with missing historical storm records


  • Calculating a typical flight route – compositional data analysis and Bayesian inverse problems
  • Reverse calculate atmospheric dust composition from deposits found in engines – continuum (PDE) and discrete models of dust in engines (fluids, granular media, agent-based modelling, thin films, heat)
  • Modelling the detailed nature of molten mineral particle deposition and shedding – clustering curves (coordinate transformation, functional data analysis, generative modelling)

Future research collaborations

Following the ITT, students compose technical reports which describe the potential of the research opportunities. ITT projects can lead to collaborative research for our SAMBa cohort, via PhD topics, or as smaller group projects.

Through working with partners at SAMBa ITTs, we have built deep and long-term relationships

Our next ITT

SAMBa’s 21st Integrative Think Tank will be held from 27-31 January 2025.

News and events

Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics (SAMBa) ignites in style
19 December 2014

On Thursday 11 December 2014, the University of Bath hosted the official launch of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Statistical Applied Mathematics.

SAMBa’s first Integrative Think Tank a great success
09 February 2015

48 PhD students, academics and industrialists gathered at Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution for the first SAMBa Integrative Think Tank.

SAMBa’s second Integrative Think Tank explores energy supply and nuclear reactor core design
19 June 2015

For our second Integrative Think Tank (ITT) at the beginning of June, over 60 academics, students and industrialists came together for a week of collaboration.

Third SAMBa Integrative Think Tank focuses on uncertainty and forecasting
08 February 2016

We hosted our biggest Integrative Think Tank (ITT3) yet in January with almost 90 people taking part.