School of Engineering

Chemical Engineering: Facilities

Chemical Engineering Facilities

The School of Engineering has a wide range of Chemical Engineering facilities for teaching and research.

Teaching Facilities

Teaching Facilities

  • The Millennium Laboratory– open space laboratory with capacity for 65 students per class. The lab comprises a wide range of facilities and experimental rigs which are used in teaching for stage 1 students and final year research projects. Among others, these include:
    • Wet chemistry experimentation, including kinetic analysis, thermodynamics of chemical reactions and vapor-liquid equilibriums, adsorption, liquid-liquid extraction, ionic studies and analytical chemistry;
    • Foundations of chemical engineering rigs for fluid mechanics, mass and heat transfer;
    • Analytical facilities for: UV-Vis and FT-IT spectroscopies, Gas chromatography, Thermal Gravimetric Analysis and Bomb Calorimetry.
  • Merz Court Pilot Plant Laboratory– this space has capacity for 65 students per class and it is used for teaching in stage 2 and 3 Chemical Engineering Laboratory classes. The pilot plant is equipped with 28 experimental rigs to demonstrate industrial process equipment operation principles. This space is supplemented by the Automated Control Laboratory. Experiments cover multiple areas such as:
    • Thermodynamics;
    • Advanced topics in fluid mechanics, mass and heat transfer, including phase change processes and heat exchangers;
    • Separation Processes;
    • Reaction Engineering;
    • Renewable and Environmental Engineering, including fuel cells, electrochemical sensors and processes and light-driven reactions;
    • Process Intensification.
  • Automated Control Laboratory – this space operated in parallel with the Pilot Plant space and it is used for both teaching and research in multiple UG and PGT courses. The laboratory is equipped with 5 automated control, featuring industrial-level instrumentation, actuators and software. A wide range of processes is covered, including control of heat transfer, mass transfer, blending and mixing, humidification and pH. Students also gain a real experience of a remote control room situation by through operation of steam-water heat exchangers located elsewhere in the building.
  • Computer Clusters and Design Suite:
    • Merz Court Computer Clusters (8.08, 8.10 and 8.10a) with capacity for 187 students in total. The clusters offer access to a wide range of software including the full Aspen Tech Suite for process simulation, Matlab and AutoDesk CAD software.
    • Physical Computing - cluster 8.10 a is equipped with 45 Raspberry Pis for workshops, coding and prototyping activities;
    • ExxonMobil Design Suite - students are able to work on and present their design projects
  • Additional facilities: additional computer cluster space, Library, Careers Service facilities are available centrally through the university.

Research Facilities

Research Facilities

The school has state of the art shared facilities for research, which are available to all research groups, UG/PGT/PGR students during their research projects and to external partners via contracting or consultancy projects. The school shared facilities include:

  • Bioprocessing Laboratory - managed through the Biopharmaceutical Bioprocessing Technology Centre.
  • Merz Court Analytical Suite– A wide range of analytical and materials characterisation techniques are available in this suite, including:
    • Gas Chromatography equipped with a Barrier Ion Discharge (BID) detector, for gas and liquid sample analysis;
    • Raman Microscopy;
    • Inductively Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectroscopy;
    • Dynamic Light Scattering (DLS) particle size analysis;
    • Electrophoretic Light Scattering for zeta potential measurements;
    • Static Light Scattering for molecular weight determinations;
    • Physi- and Chemisorption facilities for surface area (BET), pore size distribution and surface analysis;
    • Differential Scanning Calorimetry (DSC).
    • Stu Brew - Europe's first student-run brewery, operating commercially, affording hands on skills development and research in to sustainable brewing processes;


Advanced Chemical and Materials Analysis

Our analytical services are available to staff and students at Newcastle University, to other academic institutions, and to industry. The ACMA facilities include:

  • Electron microscopy- Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) enables imaging of a surface using an electron beam. Based in the Herschel Building, our microscopy suite provides:
    • Digital imaging;
    • Energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS or EDX);
    • Low vacuum (LV) mode for sensitive samples or those not appropriate for carbon or gold coating;
    • Electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD).
    • X-ray powder diffraction - Our XRPD laboratory is based in the Bedson Building. XRPD is a robust technique used for the characterisation of crystalline materials. Through interpretation of diffraction patterns, XRPD analysis allows:
      • Identification of crystalline phases;
      • Measurement of crystallite/crystal domain size within discrete crystalline phases;
      • Calculation of unit cell dimensions through pattern indexing;
      • Phase quantification using one of several methods
      • Chemical analysis - Our Chemical Analysis laboratory is also housed in the Bedson Building, and provides Raman spectroscopy. Raman spectroscopy is able to observe low-frequency modes. This technique identifies molecules by using a structural fingerprint.

Group Research Facilities

In addition to the school shared facilitates, each research group has a wide range of processes and analytical technologies available for UG/PGT/PGR research use or for external partners via contracting or consultancy projects. These are available through the following research groups: