Degree Programme Director for MEng Industry
MEng (1st Class Hons)(University of Newcastle)
PhD (University of Newcastle)
ExxonMobil Engineering Teaching Fellowship (2004-2007)
Award of ExxonMobil Higher Education Support Scheme (EHESS)(2004)
SAgE Faculty Certificate of Appreciation for Best Lecturer (2004)
ORS Award (1995-1999)
English and French (Fluent)
Stage 2: Separation Processes 1
Stage 3: Process Economics
Stage 3: Plant Design Project
Stage 4: Enhanced Design Project
Stage 4: Extended Design Project
Stage 4: Process Intensification
MSc Sustainable Engineering: Process Intensification
MSc Clean Technology: Clean Technology Applications
Guest Lecturer on MSc programme in Green Chemistry and Sustainable Industrial Technology at University of York (2007-Present)
My research activities in the area of Process Intensification have focused over the last 10 years on the development of the spinning disc reactor (SDR) and its application to polymerisation reactions including free-radical styrene polymerisation, photopolymerisation of styrene and n-butyl acrylate as well as co-monomers, cationic polymerisation of styrene using immobilised Lewis acid catalysts and surfactant-free emulsion polymerisation. More recently, a number of fundamental studies on residence time distribution, micromixing and hydrodynamics of thin film flow have been undertaken in order to better understand the characteristics of thin film flow in the SDR and how to optimise these in better designing such systems for applications to a range of processes.
Recently, I have also been investigating the application of intensified reactor technologies to bioprocesses such as fermentation reactions. In particular, I have worked on the intensification of the fermentation of P. Putida using rotating mesh agitators in order to increase cell growth rate and PHA yield.
I also have a keen interest in intensification applications involving green chemistry and engineering such as ionic liquid processing and renewable resources such as the use of biomass for biofuels and biopolymers.
*****PhD studentships offered by the School are available for UK and EU students, starting in September/October 2014. I currently have a number of projects on offer in the area of Process Intensification. If you are interested in pursuing a PhD project in this area, satisfy the UK/EU eligibility requirement and also expect to achieve at least a 2.1 degree, please come and speak to me about putting an application forward to the School (updated April 2014)*****
Short-term e.g summer projects as well as longer term PhD projects are available in the following areas:
(1) Crystallisation in the spinning disc reactor invoving experimental and modelling work
(2) Control of spinning disc reactor
(3) Micromixing studies in the SDR- Experimental and modelling
(4) Energy efficiency characterisation of SDRs
(5) Spinning disc reactor applications to polymerisation, dehydration processes etc.
(6) Intensification of fermentation processes
Final Year MEng projects
1. Yohann Comont (2013) "Adipic acid crystallisation" (Exchange student from ENSIACET-INP, Toulouse, France)
2. Wong Qui Rong (2004) "Intensification of oxygen transfer in aerobic fermentations" (Exchange student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore)
3. Aman Kaur (2002) "Spinning Disc Reactor (SDR) for Cationic Polymerization of Styrene" (Exchange student from Ngee Ann Polytechnic, Singapore)
Summer Research projects
• Winner of an ExxonMobil Engineering Teaching Fellowship (2004-2007)
• Invited to serve as panel member for EPSRC Engineering Systems programme (2008-Present)
• Invited keynote lecture on Process Intensification (6th Green Chemistry and the Consumer Symposium) (2009); invited talks by industry (PIN-NL Network (2010)) and various UK universities (2006-Present)
• Invited by Working Party on Process Intensification of the European Federation of Chemical Engineering to contribute as a leading expert in Spinning Disc Reactor Technology to the European Roadmap of Process Intensification (2007)
• Invited to deliver a 5-day training course on Process Intensification Technologies organised by Libyan Petroleum Institute for petrochemical industry participants (2007)
• Reviewer for leading journals in chemical engineering and polymer science (Chemical Engineering Science, Chemical Engineering Journal, Chemical Engineering & Processing: Process Intensification, Journal of Applied Polymer Science (2005-Present))
• Reviewer of EPSRC grant applications (2004-Present) and International reviewer for Dutch Technology Foundation STW (2005-Present)
• Internal and External examiner for MPhils and PhDs (2004-Present)
Economic Development Board (Singapore) and GSK (Singapore): "Evaluation of Process Intensification on Early Development or Retrofitting Existing Processes for Green & Sustainability Benefits", Project value: SGD 884,000 (SGD 235,000 to Newcastle University), 09/2013-09/2016 (Principal Investigator at Newcastle)
Industrial funding from various global petrochemicals and chemical companies, Total value of projects: over £100k, 2008-2012 (Principal Investigator)
EU funded project: "Sustainable Microbial and Biocatalytic Production of Advanced Functional Materials (BIOPRODUCTION)", Project value €9,000,000 (£240,000 to Newcastle), 09/2006 - 08/2010 (Co-Investigator)
Process intensification: Evaluation of intensified technologies for specific applications.
Polymerisation processes and characterisation of polymers (mainly molecular weights and viscosity).
Distillation column: evaluation of existing columns for proposed separation duties
Bohlin Cone and Plate viscometer.
Gel Permeation Chromatography for analysis of molecular weight and molecular weight distributions (Polymer Labs).
Mettler-Toledo ReactIR system for online and offline analysis.