A programme of continuing investment in research equipment within the School has provided research laboratories that complement the state of the art facilities that support our four research themes, postgraduate and undergraduate programmes - all have access to research equipment that is at the forefront of technology.
In the process development area, a ChemSpeed SLT 106 Synthesiser platform integrated with LC, GCMS and an HEL Simular Reaction Calorimeter underpin research programmes and also support industrial users. The Materials Research Group were the first in the UK to be able to carry out nanocharacterisation with a state-of-the-art Hysitron (nano-indentation) Triboindenter.
Multidisciplinary collaborations result in School research being undertaken across the University including the disciplines of Medicine, Biology and Agriculture. The importance of the 3-dimensional cell culture studies have been established through the use of nano-structured macro-porous cell-support materials applied to bone and cartilage tissue engineering, showing that the behaviour of cells is dependent on the size and functionality of their confinement environment.
Research is underway with the Centre for Life on tissue engineering for embryonic heart development and with the Medical School on how cells bond with nanotopographical surfaces. Discoveries in tissue engineering led to Bio-Process Intensification using Bio-microreactors which used in the intensification of antibiotics, enzymes and bioremediation.
More recently, the significance of Agro-process intensification in biomass and crop yield has been demonstrated. Facilities are now available for plant growth under controlled conditions, combining the discoveries in Bioprocess intensification with plant biology.
A state of the art Bioprocessing laboratory has recently opened in the School. The lab was jointly funded by Newcastle University and One NorthEast and is managed through the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre (BBTC).
We have a state of the art lab for investigating surface reactions and diffusion relating to membrane and chemical looping processes. Facilities include a range of rigs for making flux measurements and investigating novel membrane-based processes. We also have a Hiden Catlab for the evaluation of powders as potential membrane and chemical looping materials. Pulsed isotopic exchange of oxygen can be used to gain more information about surface redox processes. A range of gas phase analytical instruments are available including gas chromatographs, mass spectrometers, hygrometers, NOx analyser and online NDIR. BET is available. A medium pressure Rubotherm TGA is currently being ordered to complement these facilities.
To supplement University based laboratories, close links with the Centre for Process Innovation at Wilton allow translational research to be undertaken at a scale usually not feasible in the University environment.
Intensified Biomass Gasification system developed in Newcastle University has now been commercialized by the spin out company ITI-Energy. Biomass pilot plant gasification, syngas cleanup, syngas-to-electricity conversion (via internal combustion engine), syngas composition and emissions characterization facilities are now available.
Take a virtual tour of the School and our facilities, including some of our research laboratories.