SECRET Competition Results


The results are now in; please access re link on right.

Conference on the 23rd October at the University of Glasgow

At the conference, we invite each of the top-ranked participants to give a presentation to describe their method. We will then present our assessment criteria, followed by an award ceremony.

We will finish the conference day with an open discussion about the assessment criteria and lessons learnt from the competition, both in terms of model development and running future competitions.

The day will finish with a conference dinner

Our provisional programme for Monday 23rd October is as follows:

- Welcome and overview of the workshop

- Overview of the two biophysical models used for the competition    

- Method presentations by each of the three top-ranked participants    

- Presentation of our assessment criteria

- Award ceremony

- Lunch and poster session   

- Open discussion about lessons learned from the competition, covering the computational inference methodology, assessment criteria, and organisation of future workshops.

- Discussion of a draft manuscript on the competition for potential publication, on which each of the top-ranked candidates will be included as a co-author.

- Workshop dinner

PhD/ECR Researcher Training Day 

The day after the conference we will hold a Training Day; registration is via the same link as the Conference Day and you can attend one or both days. 

Ideas for Training day/Provisional Programme Tuesday 24th October

1.    Academia versus industry - an open discussion

2.    What is takes to excel in industry


       What it takes to be a successful academic

3.    How to write a successful early career grant application

4.    Tools and tricks for distributed numerical computing and inference (TensorFlow & JAX)


     Computing platforms for solving partial differential equations (Fenics versus Abaqus)

5.    3-minute research presentation competition


  Academic speed dating to identify common research interests.

6. Team work and competition: participants get together as a team, using preferences based on the preceding speed dating. The goal is to write a short collaborative project proposal and collaboration plan. There will be a prize for the winning team.                                 

Background on the Competition 

Statistical Emulation for Computational Reverse Engineering and Translation

SECRET international competition in cardiac modelling

This competition aimed to assess computational tools for accurate, robust and computationally efficient inference of unknown parameters in complex cardiovascular biophysical models from physiological data.  Two state-of-the-art computational fluid dynamics (CFD) models of the pulmonary and systemic circulation were provided. The models served as a benchmark to assess competitors' methods for fast model parameter inference and uncertainty quantification (UQ). In order to evaluate the performance of a competitior's method synthetic data was provided simulated from the aforementioned CFD models with pre-set parameter values, subject to additive observational noise. The true parameter values were revealed after all participants have submitted their answers.

Competitors were asked to submit
(i) estimates of the biophysical parameters,
(ii) the corresponding “best” data prediction for the vessels of interest (for which data have been provided),
(iii) a measure of estimation uncertainty: ideally the full posterior distribution of (a) the biophysical parameters and (b) of two points in function space (the minimum and maximum of the time-series signal) for every vessel of interest .
Note: for UQ, if standard deviation only is provided, the organisers will use a Gaussian approximation to draw samples.

The assessment of their method was based on accuracy and UQ in parameter and function space.  

The competition consisted of two stages.

Stage one: Familiarisation with the model and construction of  a statistical emulator for the quantity of interest well in advance of the data being released.

Stage two: After the data was released, a limited time interval was given (one week) to conduct the parameter estimation and UQ analysis and to submit  predictions. This limitation is with clinical translation in mind, to mimic clinical practice and decision support.

The participants with the best three entries for each model have been invited to disseminate their work in a one-day conference hosted at the University of Glasgow. The best three entries for each model will also receive a certificate and a financial award, details of which will be announced later. The final goal of the competition is a research publication in a high-impact journal with the first three ranked submissions, which will provide a platform to disseminate the statistical methods and results obtained. 


16th January – Competition announcement call out

20th March – Release of the models and the challenge description

1st September – Release of the data

8th September – Deadline for participants to submit their predictions

18th September – Organisers make the correct answers available and release the best three entries for each model

23rd October – Conference day

23rd October onwards – Work towards a joint publication

IMPORTANT: To attend the conference and or training day register by Oct 10th

This competition is organised as part of the SofTMech Statistical Emulation and Translation Hub:

  • Event Organiser: Mihaela Paun from the University of Glasgow
  • Co-organisers: Dirk Husmeier, University of Glasgow, Mitchel Coleback, University of California,Mette Olufsen and Alyssa LaPole, North Carolina State University









Dialogue with Industry and Healthcare Technologies

Dialogue with Industry & Healthcare Technologies: 2nd May 2023

SofTMech is a large and established Centre of Mathematics for Healthcare, with primary support from the EPSRC since 2016. Our Centre consists of multiple academic, clinical and industrial partners and combines extensive expertise in mathematical, statistical and computational modelling of cardiac and cancer physiology and disease. We have developed a range of novel mulltiscale mathematical models and statistical inference techniques applicable to heart conditions, diseases, cancer and beyond, including patient-specific medical device optimisation and modelling diseases in the human retina. Details of our grants, funding opportunities and partners SofTMech is entering its eighth year and has had many successful outcomes to date. Partnerships with Industry and Clinicians are essential in realising the full impact of this research, and greatly support and accelerate the translation of fundamental research to address critical clinical problems within crucial areas such as cancer and cardiology. For this Dialogue event, experts from Healthcare, and relevant industries such as Medical Technologies are invited to join this knowledge sharing opportunity. The aim and motive behind the event is a refreshed insight into the clinical needs and challenges faced, and to facilitate collaborative opportunities.

Registration together with Tea and coffee will be available from 9.30am with the first talk beginning at 10am

Draft Agenda

1. Registration: Tea and Coffee 09.30-10.00

2. Welcome:10.00-10.10

Objectives of the Dialogue

3. Overview of current SofTMech Grants: 10.10 - 10.30

4. Poster delegates' short presentations 10.30-10.50

5. Tea/Coffee + Poster session 10.50-11.30 - Opportunity for attendees to learn more about the research and to ask specific questions on challenges faced.

6. ESPRC/Invited Speaker 11.30-11.45

7. SofTMech Partner or Industry Speaker TBC 11.45-12.00

8. Industry/clinical short presentations 12.00-12:40

9. Lunch + Networking 12.40-14:00

10. Break out discussions 14:00-15:00 - Open discussion on areas of interest, key challenges to address, translational work etc

11. Summary: Round up of questions and follow up actions 15:00-15:30



What happened at the PhD Poster Competition on the 31st May

Tuesday 31st May 2022 saw the third event in the SofTMech Training Programme, held in conjunction with the Centre for Mathematics Applied to Life Sciences (CMALS).

The event was an in-person Poster competition open to PhD students from SofTMech and CMALS.  28 people registered for the event; 17 presented posters. 

After two years of the pandemic this event gave a valuable opportunity to at last ask questions in person, for discussion and perhaps just as importantly to meet some colleagues for the first time. Students participated in the event from the University of Glasgow Schools of Mathematics and Statistics, Biomedical Engineering, Ultrasonic Engineering and Computational Mechanics. Students came from the University of Strathclyde departments of Mathematics & Statistics and Biomedical Engineering.

Prior to the event the students arrived early to set up their posters.  The event was opened by Dr Sean McGinty, Director of CMALS.  A series of 1 min flash presentations, where each student had to give an overview of their poster by displaying a maximum of 2 PowerPoint slides, set the scene for the poster viewing. One of the students even gave directions to where his poster was; it worked as he finished 2nd !

The posters were judged by a combination of a panel of members of staff and also by the students themselves, who were each allowed one vote for their favourite poster.  The standard of posters was high across the board. Certificates and vouchers were awarded to the best three posters.

Prize Winners

1st Prize: Tahani Al Sariri

Hyperthermic temperature and interval induced by magnetic nanoparticles transport in vascularised tumours

2nd Prize: Yuzhang Ge

Gaussian Process for Predicting Left Ventricular Displacements in Diastole

3rd Prize: Alistair McQueen

Computational modelling reveals an intricate interplay between drug release rate and dose on restenosis

Thanks go to the panel of academics for judging the posters, the library for turning around the printing of the posters, catering for the excellent scones, and all the attendees.  

We hope the experience of this event will help all the students as they progress in their careers.
The Event in pictures can be viewed on the A-Z link on the right
Event Details
Participants should prepare a portrait A1 poster about their research, to be presented alongside a 1 minute flash presentation formed from no more than 2 slides.
Training videos: In preparation for this event please view the two short online videos on preparing a poster; links on right 

Calendar of Events

  • Next Research Meeting (Hybrid) Wednesday 14th December 311B  


The Schools of Mathematics & Statistics at the University of Glasgow is organizing the 

International Workshop: "A symposium on Continuum Questions"

The workshop is aimed at providing a two-day symposium where the state of the art and future perspectives concerning continuum mechanics and its applications will be discussed.

 See link on right for full details and how to register

Attending an academic conference and networking

Attending an academic conference and networking: 24.03.22

Our first informal training event discussed academic conferences, covering:

  • what actually happens at an academic conference?
  • what can I hope to get out it?
  • how do I network effectively?

The event also included a practical exercise on preparing an elevator pitch for networking with senior academics.

A recording of the event can be accessed from the link on the right hand side of the screen.