Personal profile


Postgraduate Opportunities

To date I have supervised 15 PhD student to completion and currently have a group of 1 PDRA, 2 PhD students and I MPhil student currently working with me. Some details of their work is listed under "my research interests".

I welcome enquiries from prospective postgraduate students interested in those research fields, but here are some other topics which I am offering:

  1. The theory of glasses. Mode-coupling is the currently favoured theory fro treating the glass transition and it has made some startlingly impressive predictions. For example it predicted that if one took a glass of hard spheres and then added more and more small particles, the glass would first melt but then would revert to a glass again, but a glass with a different structure. These predictions were later borne out experimentally. All previous work, however, has been done on spheres. This project, however, would be to examine rods, for then one has the interesting coupling between totational and translational motion of the rods and the possibility of nematic crystalline ordering.
  2. Theories of liquid structure. In collaboration with Mike Allen in Warwick, we have just finished a research project on developing theory to predict the properties of liquid crystals using integral equations. The territory is rich, however, and there is much work we did not have time to complete. It would be very nice if we could pursue this research, still in its infancy, and develop and understanding of liquid crystals at a similar level to our understanding of normal liquids.

Further information


  • liquids, liquid crystals, polymers, colloids




Research interests

Special Interest Groups

  • British Liquid Crystal Society
  • Thermodynamics and statistical mechanics

Memberships of committees and professional bodies


  • Chair elect of the British Liquid Crystal Society
  • Treasurer Statistical Mechanics and Thermodynamics Group, Royal Society of Chemistry

My group


I am a professor in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science and a member of the  multi-scale modelling group. I have a PhD and am a fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry. 

My career path has been:

  • 1980, PhD (University of Cambridge)
  • 1980-82, post-doctoral research at Yale University, USA
  • 1982 - 83, post-doctoral research at University of Paris Sud, France
  • 1983-84, senior scientific officer, RSRE, Malvern. 
  • 1984 - 92, lecturer, Victoria University of Manchester
  • 1992 - 2004, senior lecturer, Chemistry, Victoria University of Manchester
  • 2004 - 2009, senior lecturer, Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science.
  • 2009 - present, professor, Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science.

My  administrative duties are:

  • Chair of School Board
  • School academic malpractice officer
  • Senior mentor

Research interests

My general field of interest is the theory and modelling of soft matter - i.e. liquids, liquid crystals, colloidal supension, polymers and gels. The basic idea is to be able to predict the properties of a material from a knowledge of the molecules that make it up - i.e. the field of statistical mechanics.

I work in the multi-scale modelling group in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, University of Manchester. The people currently working with me are:

  • Dr Simon Halstead (PDRA)
  • Mr Thomas Bourne (PhD)
  • Mr Junju Mu (PhD)
  • Ms Iniobong Ekang  (MPhil)

Current projects include:

  1. Simon Halstead is working on an EPSRC-funded project on the extraction of rare-earths from waste using ionic liquids.This is jointly with Dr Maria Gonzalez-Miquel and Dr Megan Jobson of CEAS and Dr Hongyan Chen (PDRA). the aim is to develop a flow-sheet model of this extraction process, feeding in molecular information from molecular dynamics simulation and statistical mechanical theory.
  2. Tom Bourne has just submitted a PhD on the virial series, in particular showing how the virial series may be used to predict fluid structure and on ways of resumming the series to extend its range of applicability.
  3. Junju Mu is doing a PhD looking at the structure of the organic phase in the PUREX process for the extraction of actinides from nuclear waste.
  4. With Michael Seaton (STFC) and Patrick Warren (Unilever Research) we are seeking to develop new dissipative particle dynamics models that include dielectric effects and can model both hydrophilic and hydrophobic interactions with the correct underlying science.

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Digital Futures
  • Christabel Pankhurst Institute
  • Dalton Nuclear Institute


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