We look for a motivated student to join Professor Ni’s group ( at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh. Our work focuses on multiphase mixing, reactions and crystallisation in continuous reactors and crystallisers, with the aim of industrializing our research outcomes

Prof Ni’s lab hosts a number of analytic tools, including Melvern Mastersizer, FTIR, FBRM, UV-Vis spectrophotometer, DSC, HPLC, GC, Polarimeter, PVM, DPIV, LIF; numerical tools such as ANSYS CFD package and Smoothed-Particle Hydrodynamics Solver. In addition, we have a range of batch and continuous reactors and crystallisers of different sizes.

This is a 4 year BBSRC studentship joint with Oxford Biotrans ( The pioneering project will investigate the possibility of producing a high value chemical using proprietary enzymes in a continuous plug flow reactor. The scientific objectives are to investigate the effects of operational parameters on the kinetics and conversion of the biotransformation, while the technological goal is to be able to produce this high valued chemical continuously in a reliable, robust, control and predictable manner, whatever coming out of this project would be setting up the industrial standard for manufacturing this and similar types of bioproducts, hence it is a highly relevant chemical engineering project, in which one can see it from the start to the finish. The student will be based at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, but will be spending his/her last three months at Oxford Biotrans in Oxford. 

PhD candidate specification:

We are looking for creative and motivated applicants with, or expected to obtain soon, a 1st Class Honours degree in a relevant discipline, such as Chemical Engineering, Biochemical Engineering or Material Science.

If you are interested in the position, please contact Professor Ni as soon as possible (Tel: 0131 451 3781, Email:

See the full advert and apply.