Dr. Erin Kiley

Assistant Professor, Mathematics


About Me

In 2016, I joined the Department of Mathematics at MCLA as an Assistant Professor. My research interests include mathematical modelling, computational science, multiphysics simulation, and numerical methods for electrically large systems. I am a member of the Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Physics Society (APS), and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM).

I have published in the Journal of Microwave Power and Electrical Engineering, IEEE Transactions on Electronic Devices, and IEEE Microwave Magazine, and have contributed to the book Microwave and RF Power Applications (2011, Cépaduès Editions). I am co-author on a U.S. patent for an electron beam device.

I received the Fulbright Graduate Student Fellowship (2008), the ThinkSwiss Research Fellowship (2009), the National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship (2011), the Arvid and Marietta Anderson Fellowship (2014), and the Chateaubriand STEM Fellowship (2015).

Research Interests

Sintering is a phenomenon used in the manufacturing of materials from particulate substances, and is characterized by particle growth, movement, and densification driven by excess surface energy. The amount of free surface energy of particles is typically increased via pressurization, heating, and exposure to changing electric fields, and sintering conducted in microwave ovens shows great promise as a green manufacturing technology that may, in well-designed systems, be more efficient and expedient than sintering in conventional ovens.

My research focusses on mathematical and computer modelling of microwave sintering, which I find interesting for several reasons:

  • Sintering is a multiscale phenomenon in two different ways, occurring on different spatial scales and at different time scales.
  • Sintering is a multiphysics phenomenon, involving three different physical processes (to wit: electromagnetic, thermal, and mechanical).
  • Each of the three physical processes involved is strongly coupled--that is, coupled in both directions--with each of the other two.

My previous studies of sintering are summarized in my Ph.D. dissertation. Current and future directions for this area of research include expansion to a three-dimensional computer model, and incorporating shape optimization for designing microwave cavities for specific sintering applications.

Creative Interests

Together with John Bandler, I co-chaired the inaugural Three Minute Thesis® competition at the 2017 International Microwave Symposium, where Student and Young Professional finalists explained their research to a general audience in under three minutes. We will continue chairing the 3MT® competition at the 2018 International Microwave Symposium in Philadelphia.

I am the coordinator of the Quantitative Understanding Across the Curriculum (QUAC) group at the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, which focusses on promotion of quantitative sciences, methods, and matters to the general public.

More Information

For more information, please see my personal web site.

Contact Information

Office: Bowman 105D

+1 (413) 662-5144

Office Hours (Summer 2017)

By appointment only


Ph.D., Mathematical Sciences, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA, USA), 2016

M.Sc., Applied Mathematics, Worcester Polytechnic Institute (Worcester, MA, USA), 2012

B.Sc., Mathematics and Statistics, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH, USA), 2008

B.A., Russian, University of New Hampshire (Durham, NH, USA), 2008


Courses Taught (Fall 2017)

MATH-232-02 Introduction to Statistics

MATH-232-03 Introduction to Statistics

MATH-330-01 Calculus III

MATH-380-01 Differential Equations

MATH-440-01 Operations Research