The MPhil and PhD programmes in Chemical Engineering attract students from diverse disciplinary backgrounds such as statistics, maths, electrical engineering, chemistry and physics. You may work on multidisciplinary research projects in collaboration with colleagues across the University or from external organisations.
Research in the School of Chemical Engineering and Advanced Materials is cross-disciplinary and our strategy is to ensure that our research groups grow and provide a balanced portfolio of activities for the future. This is achieved in part through MPhil and PhD supervision.
Every article, instrument, machine or device we use depends for its success upon materials, design and effective production. We work on a wide range of materials topics including: -New material development -Optimising of materials processing -Testing and evaluation at component scale and at high spatial resolution -Modelling -Failure analysis
Much of our work relates to materials and processes for renewable energy generation, energy efficiency, carbon capture and storage. We also use biological and bio-inspired processes to develop new functional materials.
The Group Head is Professor Steve Bull, Cookson Group Chair of Materials Engineering – high spatial resolution mechanics. His research focuses on development and testing of compliant and porous materials, and the use of sustainable materials. Professor Bull is the 2013 recipient of the Tribology Silver Medal presented by the Tribology Trust, the top national award in this area.
Electrochemical engineering science
Electrochemical Engineering Science (EES) arose out of the pioneering fuel cell research at Newcastle in the 1960s. We are continuing this research on new catalyst and membrane materials, optimising electrode structures and developing meaningful fuel cell test procedures.
We are investigating electrochemical methods for surface structuring, probing and testing at the micron and nanoscale. More recently, we have been using electrochemical analysis to understand cellular and microbial catalysis and processes.
Applications of our research are in: -Energy production and storage -Micro and nanoscale device fabrication -Medical and health care applications -Corrosion protection
The Group Head is Professor Sudipta Roy. Professor Roy's research focuses on materials processing, micro/nano structuring and corrosion.
Process intensification is the philosophy that processes can often be made smaller, more efficient and safer using new process technologies and techniques, resulting in order of magnitude reductions in the size of process equipment. This leads to substantial capital cost savings and often a reduction in running costs.
The Group Head is Professor Adam Harvey. Professor Harvey's research focuses on Oscillatory Baffled Reactors (OBRs), biofuel processing and heterogeneous catalysis.
Process modelling and optimisation
Our goal is to attain better insight into process behaviour to achieve improved process and product design and operational performance. The complexity of the challenge arises from the presence of physiochemical interactions, multiple unit operations and multi-scale effects.
Underpinning our activity is the need for improved process and product characterisation through the development and application of process analytical techniques, hybrid statistical and empirical modeling and high throughput technologies for chemical synthesis.
The Group Head is Professor Elaine Martin. Professor Martin's research focuses on Process Analytical Technologies, Statistical and Empirical Process Data Modelling, and Process Performance Monitoring.