Facilities

The Chemical Engineering Department forms part of Thornton Science Park, a centre for research and innovation at the heart of the North West chemical industries.  Along with other science and engineering departments within the university, we share the site with over twenty embedded engineering companies, ranging from start-ups in our incubators to industrial-scale research laboratories.  Students, academic staff and industrial researchers benefit from, and co-create, a dynamic and supportive community of engineers and scientists.

Teaching and research in our department is supported by outstanding facilities across both experiment and theory.  We have highlighted some of the resources available below, and always welcome equiries from students and researchers interested in using these resources in their work.

Modelling work is a key aspect of research in our department and is more and more important industrially.  Areas of interest to our staff include bioenergy process simulation, computational fluid dynamics, quantum mechanics of materials, optimisation and systems biology.  Students develop skills in these areas in the Engineering Software Laboratories, where industry-leading software such as the full ANSYS suite for fluids and materials modelling is available.

The Materials Characterisation and Micro-Analysis Laboratory is very well equipped and includes facilities for high resolution surface profilometry, crystalline phase investigation by X-ray diffraction (XRD), scanning electron microscopy for high-resolution imaging with micro-area elemental analysis (SEM-EDX), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS) for surface and thin-film chemical analysis. The laboratory also houses high quality optical microscopes configured for bright and dark field imaging, polarisation, phase and interference contrast. The facilities are completed by atomic force and scanning tunnelling microscopy (AFM/STM).

A number of Chemical Engineering Laboratories, formerly used by Shell researchers, are available for teaching and research.  These are well equipped and supported by specialist laboratory staff.  Several industrial partners also use these spaces.