Mobile menu icon
Skip to navigation | Skip to main content | Skip to footer
Mobile menu icon Search iconSearch
Search type

Department of Chemical Engineering

Outside view of the James Chadwick Building


Our Department is home to world-class research facilities, benefiting our researchers, students and collaborators.

Industrial Hub for Sustainable Engineering

Discover our new Hub, which brings cutting-edge innovations in sustainable processes to commercial application by the industry, and aims to train the next generation of chemical engineers with the knowledge and business skills to bring about a low-carbon, sustainable future.

>> Read about the Hub

We boast an impressive range of laboratory space, dedicated computer suites and a pilot scale area containing a range of large-scale industrial processing equipment, all housed in our £12 million James Chadwick Building.

This development is one of the largest and best equipped of any European university, and our pilot plant, laboratory and workshop facilities are available to industrial collaborators, along with the services of an excellent team of academic and support staff.

We are working hard to ensure we are able to provide safe access to these facilities in line with the latest government advice. The safety and wellbeing of our staff and students is our highest priority and we will be providing health and safety briefings as part of your induction.

Our equipment

We host a full suite of leading analytical equipment and computing facilities, some of which is listed below. This is not an extensive list, but a general overview and there are many more specialist and bespoke pieces of characterisation tools in individual academic groups.

Experimental equipment

Close up of hands in safety gloves putting a tube into a chemical solution


  • Fourier transform infra-red hyperspectral imaging microscopy
  • Fourier transform infra-red Attenuated Total Reflectance (FTIR-ATR)
  • Raman spectroscopy
  • Raman optical tweezers
  • Gas and high performance liquid chromatography and mass spectroscopy
  • Inductively coupled plasma energy dispersed x-ray spectrometry
  • UV-spectrophotometers
  • X-ray tomography
  • X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy


  • Small and wide angle light scattering


  • Optical microscopy
  • Fluorescence microscopy
  • Confocal microscopy
  • Infra-res microscopy
  • Environmental scanning electron microscopy

Thermal characterisation

  • Thermal gravimetric analysis
  • Differential scanning calorimetry (standard and micro)


  • Micro-fluidic chip production facilities
  • Chemical sensors, including micro-milling and injection moulding, electron-beam coating, sensors for chemical and physical measurements.
  • High content high throughput multiwall assay robot - momentum
  • Automated cell culture - sonata
  • Total carbon/nitrogen units
  • Solvent characterisation equipment (ie. densitometer, viscometer, Karl-Fisher titrator) as well as a wide array of extraction facilities (Soxhlet, shaking incubators, microwave, solid phase extraction etc.)
  • Temperature controlled orbital shakers
  • Atmospheric glove box
  • High current potentiostat
  • Higher temperature furnaces
  • Maximum bubble pressure tensiometer
  • Force tensiometer
  • Mastersizer
  • Zetasizer
  • Thermal imaging
  • 3D printing facilities
  • Inductively Coupled Plasma analysis (ICP)
  • Particle size analysis
  • Drop levitation
  • Crystallisation equipment (including Crystal16, several batch and continuous crystallisers)
  • Oscillatory rheometry
  • Interfacial rheometry
  • Langmuir trough
  • Peptide synthesiser
  • Range of bioreactors form the laboratory to the pilot scale
  • Nitrogen adsorption BET
  • Helium pycnometry
  • Mercury porosimetry

Computational equipment

Close up of electronic equipment with yellow wires emerging
  • Crystal structure prediction
  • Ab initio modelling
  • X-ray spectroscopy calculations
  • Molecular dynamics
  • Monte Carlo simulations

Unit operations

Female researcher in white coat and safety glasses using equipment
  • Industrial mixing, 50 – 3000 litre
  • Instrumented batch reactions
  • High shear in-line mixing
  • In-line high-pressure homogenizing emulsification
  • Structured processing
  • Pneumatic conveying
  • Crystallisation Sedimentation
  • Flocculation
  • Continuous processing absorption
  • Distillation (continuous and batch)
  • Cleaning-in-place
Gas sparging

  • Froth floatation
  • Reaction engineering
  • Bio-processing

This list is not exhaustive, and facilities can be adapted to accommodate new operations as required.

Process analytical technology

Close up of hands in safety gloves taking a reading from an LCD display

A range of sensors and analysers is available for in situ, on-line and at-line measurements. These include but are not limited to:

  • In situ process near-infrared, mid- infrared and Raman spectroscopy
  • Process tomography
  • Process NMR
  • Particle image velocimetry
  • On-line particle sizing and viscosity
  • Sensors for monitoring process variables such as conductivity and turbidity
  • Proprietary sensors and analysers, developed in-house for specialised applications
  • Data analysis and modelling

Data analysis techniques already well-used within SCEAS include data integration, multivariate analysis and chemometrics. Multiscale modelling is also widely used, such as computational fluid dynamics and molecular dynamics.

Other facilities

The Department enjoys the use of an extensive range of other important facilities and maintains a strong presence in a number of research centres and institutes.