Chemical and Energy Engineering

Engineers are firmly focused on meeting the challenges of tomorrow

Chemical Engineers drive scientific and technological developments. They turn opportunities into real world solutions. A Chemical Engineer can design, construct and operate processes creating products that transform our lives and tackle some of the biggest global challenges we face. During 2020 and 2021 LSBU Chemical Engineering graduates have developed processes to produce covid19 vaccine, invented new ways to produce essential materials to improve battery performance and sought creative ways to reduce global CO2 emissions.

Chemical engineering is creatively developing new processes that take raw materials and make them into everyday products. Our food and drink, medicines and energy are all made safe and improved by the knowledge and ingenuity of chemical engineers. Chemical Engineering graduates supervise the safe manufacture of products we all use while ensuring that these processes are future proofed and protect the future of Earth. We aim to make positive change and enhance the quality of people’s lives.

A Chemical Engineer graduates with an enviable set of skills ~ numerical literacy, problem solving across a range of challenges, practical that is developed in the laboratory and via computer-based platforms and inter-personal that come from team-work and an immersive environment. This skill set leads to an engineer who is highly sought after by employers. That added value explains why Chemical Engineers are often at the top of scale in the world of the Engineer.

Our undergraduate and postgraduate courses draw on our passion for teaching based on our research expertise and industry links to produce graduates for the future. The desire of staff to support our students is demonstrated by the 94% overall satisfaction in NSS 2020 and 6th in the Guardian League table (2021) for Chemical Engineering.

We have carefully developed our courses to equip our graduates with the tools needed in the areas of chemical and energy engineering. These tools include using industry standard software and over £300,000 investment in research laboratories and laboratory equipment in the past 2 years. The curiosity and creativity of the staff in their research feeds into the taught materials producing cutting edge learning activities in dynamic and essential engineering disciplines.

The IChemE accredited undergraduate courses will provide you with specialist knowledge and skills which will attract employers. You'll develop your problem-solving, practical and technical abilities so you are ready for a long and successful career. We provide both 3 year BEng and 4 year MEng options. You will have the option for a year out in industry in either stream with the MEng providing the opportunity for enhanced project work and a clear route to becoming a Chartered Engineer (CEng).

From September 2021, Process Safety has been added to our MSc courses. This builds on the wealth of experience staff in Chemical and Energy engineering have gained from commercial experience and consultancy. Our MSc Advanced Chemical Engineering course uses a combination of taught courses and a 10 month research project to enable you to get emersed in topics ranging from carbon capture and storage, main stream chemical engineering topics such as process design and modelling, new energy storage materials and renewable energy. Sharing many of the same taught modules, the MSc Chemical and Energy Engineering course has a focus on engineering the sub-surface with topics like geothermal and above ground energy, delivering a new understanding of the challenges and opportunities of solar and wind generation. These are the energy sources of the future as we seek to decarbonise our economies and focus on a sustainable future.

There is a focus on teaching that is informed by our research or previous industrial experiences. This focus on teaching has given us an enviable reputation for producing highly skilled and talented graduates who make a contribution to industry in whichever professional path they follow. Chemical and Energy Engineering at LSBU has a strong reputation through industry and professional links. This ensures our courses are current with a real impact on future employability.

Research

We have a vibrant research activity that covers many facets of chemical and energy engineering. The clear focus of the staff is to develop novel approaches to a sustainable or future proofed environment. We are doing this through the development of new processes to produce fuels from waste, investigating means of storing or reusing CO­2, developing batteries and energy storage, investigating subsurface environments and reservoirs as future sources of energy or as a means to sequestrate CO2 and using computational approaches to understand the impact to quality of life in urban and non-urban environments. Our reach and research impact extends far beyond London South Bank University across the world with our collaborations and research networks.

Spotlight paper

Efficient Continuous Hydrothermal Flow Synthesis of Carbon Quantum Dots from a Targeted Biomass Precursor for On–Off Metal Ions Nanosensing

For more CEE publications, please visit our Open Research page.

Employability skills

Employers want to hire industry-ready graduates. They need individuals who can fit seamlessly into organisations, and who bring a desirable mix of technical know-how combined with a good work ethic. Students must be technically competent in chemical and energy engineering operations and possess adequate team-building, communication and managerial skills.

Throughout your studies, you will develop problem-solving, practical and software competencies. These will build your technical proficiency in chemical and energy engineering. At the same time, we will also provide you with the training to build your team-working, communication, report-writing and presentation abilities.

We will also help you to understand the importance of professional practice given that chemical and energy engineers must exhibit professional conduct towards safeguarding the public, their clients, their employers and fellow employees.

We promote lifelong learning, placing emphasis on the importance of continuing to develop personal and professional skills after graduation.

Career opportunities

Chemical engineering graduates are employed in a wide array of traditional industries, including process, pharmaceutical, agri-chemical, sustainable energy, future energy and energy storage. Our graduates are employed in the high growth sectors such as healthcare, water and waste management, pharmaceutical and food industries and sustainable energy facilities.

As our degrees develop skill sets that are valued by both engineering and non-engineering disciplines, some of our graduates may also find themselves employed in associated fields such as materials engineering, quality assurance, information technology and asset management.

University support

LSBU's Employability Service offers advice on how to shape your career. This complete service provides free professional information, advice and guidance while you study at LSBU and for up to two years after you graduate.

Summary:

Are you looking for a fascinating career that uses creative processes to make the world around us a better, safer place? Chemical Engineering focuses on developing ways to take raw materials and turn them into everyday products. Food and drink, medicines and energy are all made safe and improved by the ingenuity of chemical engineers, making it a role that is extremely satisfactory and highly sought after.

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Summary:

This course takes a forward-thinking approach to the traditional energy (oil and gas) supplies and delivers concepts that fit with the future of decreased reliance on fossil fuels. We have used the subsurface and energy expertise developed at LSBU to produce a new type of energy undergraduate programme.

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Summary:

Gain a forward thinking approach to the energy balance of the future by learning how traditional concepts of energy generation can be applied to sustainable processes such as geothermal, tide, wind and solar. The course brings together the essentials of chemical engineering with an added flavour of geoscience, exploration and processing to highlight and develop a deep understanding of the energy mix.

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Summary:

With demand for graduates across industrial sectors from energy to food and drink, pharmaceuticals and the financial and environmental sectors, chemical engineering is a great choice. This course will prepare you for a career in which you'll research and test new products - be they petrol, plastics, medicines, food or drink - and make them commercially viable.

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Summary:

Are you looking for a fascinating career that uses creative processes to make the world around us a better, safer place? Chemical Engineering focuses on developing ways to take raw materials and turn them into everyday products. Food and drink, medicines, and energy are all made safe and improved by the ingenuity of chemical engineers, making it a role that is extremely satisfactory and highly sought after.

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Summary:

Accredited by the Institution of Chemical Engineers, this Higher National Diploma (HND) covers the fundamentals of chemical engineering. Offered full-time, it can be a stepping stone to completing a Bachelors degree qualification.

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Summary:

This course takes a forward-thinking approach to the traditional energy (oil and gas) supplies and delivers concepts that fit with the future of decreased reliance on fossil fuels. We have used the subsurface and energy expertise developed at LSBU to produce a new type of energy undergraduate programme.

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Summary:

This course will prepare you for a career in which you'll research and test new products - be they petrol, plastics, medicines, food or drink - and make them commercially viable.

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Summary:

This course aims to produce graduates trained in the core discipline of chemical engineering including energy, materials and reaction engineering, and project management.

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Summary:

MSc Future Energy Engineering covers both the theoretical knowledge and advanced technical skills in demand from the evolving process and energy engineering sectors.

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Summary:

MSc Process Safety explores topics which cover a wide range of disciplines in relation to process safety.

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Summary:

A member of staff, expert in the chosen field, is directly responsible for guiding and supporting your research programme. Offered full-time and part-time.

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Our mix of multi-purpose and specialist laboratories provide ample space and facilities for carrying out a wide range of chemical tests. These practical facilities allow our students to mimic the processes undertaken by engineers in industry: researching and testing new products through to considering
how to make them commercially viable, how they could be implemented on an industrial scale and modified and improved once they are in operation.

The main teaching laboratory is where undergraduates carry out a range of experiments. Teaching equipment is purpose built to demonstrate the operation of industrial processes including heat exchange, mass transfer, chemical reactions and separation.

Software specifications

HYSYS

This software is produced by Aspen Technologies and models fluid flow and separation and is used in refinery operations or pipelines. It is a standard package for chemical and process engineers working in industry.

PETREL

This industry-standard software is produced by Schlumberger and uses oil exploration data to work out the volume of a sub-surface oil or gas accumulation that is in the reservoir.

Eclipse

This software is produced by Schlumberger and models the movement of fluids in the oil or gas reservoir and works out what percentage of the hydrocarbons could economically be produced.

Prosper

This software is produced by Energy Experts and looks at the design of a well to model various options available to the engineer to maximise well productivity. Options could include: putting a pump at the base of the well or a technique called gas lift (where gas is injected to help lift the liquid hydrocarbons).

GAP – produced by Energy Experts

This industry-standard software is used to describe the optimum method of joining wells together at surface level via pipelines to optimise the fluid flow pathways to the production station.

Virtual tour

Take a virtual tour of the Chemical and Energy Lab.


Industry-sponsored facilities

Accessing our facilities

Our extensive facilities and talented students and staff are regularly involved in knowledge transfer and consultation activities with industry. Follow these links to find out more about how we work with businesses at LSBU and about facilities and venue hire at LSBU.

Dr Elsa Aristodemou

Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7126

Elsa is course director of the Integrated Sciences for Sustainability programme and teaches on modules at all levels in the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering area.


Dr Anna-Karin Axelsson

Job title: Senior Lecturer, Chemical Engineering
Telephone: 020 7815 7913

Anna-Karin has over twenty years of expertise in the field of functional materials and engineering.


Dr Paul Battersby

Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7906

Paul's research is in Explosion and Fires and his current research interests include hydrogen safety and reaction calorimetry.


Dr Maria Astrid Centeno

Job title: Petroleum Engineering Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7948

Mrs Maria Astrid Centeno is the course director of the MSc Petroleum Engineering course, as well as the integrity coordinator of the division of Chemical and Energy Engineering


Cathal Clancy

Job title: Student Administrator
Telephone: 020 7815 7102


Dr Achilleas Constantinou

Job title: Visiting Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7185

Dr Constantinou specialises in Chemical and Catalytic Reaction Engineering, and in particular in the design of multiphase reactors, in order to intensify and improve their performances.


Dr Pedro Diaz

Job title: Associate Professor
Telephone: 020 7815 7953

Dr Diaz specialises in reservoir engineering, specifically in the areas of fluid–fluid and fluid–rock interactions, formation damage, and oil recovery methods. In academia he has researched in the areas of nano-materials, and enhanced oil recovery methods.


Prof. Steve Dunn

Job title: Head of Chemical and Energy Engineering.
Telephone: 020 7815 7183

Professor Steve Dunn has a research background in the processing of functional ceramics and hybrid systems and is now Head of Chemical and Energy Engineering.


Dr Abdelhamid Fenghour

Job title: Senior Lecturer in Chemical and Energy Engineering
Telephone: 020 7815 7127

Dr Fenghour lectures on process control, process safety and process design.


Andrew Fergusson-Rees

Job title: Senior Lecturer; Course Director, MEng/BEng Petroleum Engineering
Telephone: 020 7815 7972

Andrew's research interests are in multi-phase fluid flow associated with well performance and also heterogeneous catalysis and reaction engineering.


Dr Chiara Gattinoni

Job title: Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Dr Gattinoni is a computational scientist with a background in Physics, Materials Science, and Engineering.


Dr Paul Holborn

Job title: Senior Research Fellow
Telephone: 020 7815 7980

Paul's research interests are in modelling of fire and explosions, hydrogen gas safety, sprinkler/mist suppression systems and the statistical analysis of fire data.


Dr Jim Ingram

Job title: Senior Research Fellow
Telephone: 020 7815 7980

Dr. Jim Ingram graduated with a degree in Applied Chemistry from Brunel University in 1989. He then Joined the Explosion and Fire Research Group at London South Bank University and was awarded a PhD in the development of instrumentation for and investigation of residual fuel oil flammability hazards in ships bunker tanks in 1995. Subsequently he took a post as a Post Doctoral Research Fellow within the EFRG and has been involved in a number of projects both conducting research and producing safety guidance on behalf of a number of organisations.


Dr Fatemeh Jahanzad

Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7624

Dr Jahanzad is the head of teaching and learning in Chemical and Energy Engineering (CEE) Division. She is responsible for smooth running of teaching and learning activities in CEE and works closely with the head of division to meet all quality assurance requirements for CEE courses.

She specialises in emulsions and polymer reaction engineering, with interests in emulsifications techniques and microfluidics.


Dr Suela Kellici

Job title: Associate Professor / Postgraduate Research Coordinator
Telephone: 020 7815 7983

Suela's background is in Chemistry and Materials Science, in particular Nanotechnology.


Prof. Basu Saha

Job title: Visiting Professor of Chemical and Process Engineering
Telephone: 020 7815 7190

Basu's research interests are in Greener and Sustainable Chemical Technology, Continuous Flow Reactions, Conversion of carbon-dioxide to Values Added Chemicals and Fuels.


Dr Helen Turnell

Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7122

A geophysicist by background, Helen is focussed on applying technical skills required to study the Earth to a range of decarbonisation disciplines.


Dr Donglin Zhao

Job title: Senior Lecturer
Telephone: 020 7815 7917

Dr Zhao has wide interests in fundamental research on mass and heat transfer in multiphase systems. Oxyfuel combustion, H2 production and flow assurance in pipeline are his current research areas.


We work across the following themes:

Energy Engineering

The research activities are focused towards energy storage (capacitors and batteries), solar cell, renewable fuel production with examples including harnessing low grade ambient heat to produce hydrogen from water and production of bio-oil from biomass related sources. We are members of London Centre for Energy Engineering.

Find out more about our research in some of the highlighted publications:

  1. Pyro-electrolytic water splitting for hydrogen generation, Nano Energy (2019), 58, pp.183-191.
  2. Bi2Fe4O9 thin films as novel visible-light-active photoanodes for solar water splitting J. Mater. A (2019), 7(16), pp.9537–9541.
  3. Biomass‐Derived Carbon Quantum Dot Sensitizers for Solid‐State Nanostructured Solar Cells, Angew. Chem. Int. Ed.(2015) 54 (15), pp. 4463-4468.
  4. Computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and reaction modelling study of bio-oil catalytic hydrodeoxygenation in microreactors, React. Chem. & Eng.  (2020), 5(6), pp.1083-1092.
  5. Thermal energy harvesting using pyroelectric-electrochemical coupling in ferroelectric materials. Joule, (2020), 4(2), 301-309.
  6. Continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis of S-functionalised carbon quantum dots for enhanced oil recovery, Chem. Eng. J. (2021), 405, 126631.

Reaction Engineering

We offer expertise in the design of multiphase reactors, including experimental and theoretical studies. Our goal is to contribute to sustainable processes by delivering optimised performances in a variety of advanced separation technologies which are of industrial global importance including CO2 capture, catalytic oxidations, ozonolysis reactions and emulsions and polymer reaction engineering.

  1. Flexible microfluidic fabrication of oil-encapsulated alginate microfibers, Chem. Eng. J, (2017) 308, pp.1090-1097.
  2. “On-the-Fly” fabrication of highly-ordered interconnected cylindrical and spherical porous microparticles via dual polymerization zone microfluidics, Langmuir (2019), 35, 39, 12731–12743
  3. Development of a flat membrane microchannel packed-bed reactor for scalable aerobic oxidation of benzyl alcohol in flow, Chem. Eng. J. (2019), 377, 120086.
  4. Membrane reactors for renewable fuel production and their environmental benefits (2020), Membranes for Environmental Applications, pp. 383-411, Springer.
  5. Comprehensive adsorption and irradiation modelling of LED driven photoreactor for H2 production, Chem. Eng. J.(2020), 406, 126860.

Materials Engineering

Employing a target-orientated approach, we rationally design and manufacture materials aiming to deliver world class materials engineering. We have established expertise in a variety of materials synthesis techniques from optimised conventional routes to green continuous synthetic processes, e.g., continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis, processes that enable a step change in cost, materials performance and durability.

Our materials portfolio includes an array of functional metal oxides (homo/hetero), metals, quantum dots (e.g. graphene, biomass derived carbon quantum dots) and 2D (e.g. graphene, MXene) hybrid structures. The materials are employed across a range of applications in energy storage, environmental, and bio-related.

  1. Electrocaloric effect in lead-free Aurivillius relaxor ferroelectric ceramics. Acta Mater. (2017), 124, pp.120-126.
  2. Anisotropy of the electrocaloric effect in lead‐free relaxor ferroelectrics. Adv. Energy Mater. 2014, 4(9), 1301688.
  3. Domain wall free polar structure enhanced photodegradation activity in nanoscale ferroelectric BaxSr1‐xTiO3Adv. Energy Mater. (2020), 10 (38), 2001802.
  4. Continuous hydrothermal flow synthesis of blue-luminescent, excitation-independent nitrogen-doped carbon quantum dots as nanosensors, J. Mater. Chem. A, (2020), 8(6), pp. 3270-3279.
  5. Selective Calixarene‐Directed Synthesis of MXene Plates, Crumpled Sheets, Spheres, and Scrolls, Chem. Eur. J.(2017), 23(34), 8128-8133.

Air Pollution

The research in this area is focused on improving the quality of life of the urban population through predicting air quality using state of the art computational fluid dynamics. This supports our work towards sustainable cities.

  1. How tall buildings affect turbulent air flows and dispersion of pollution within a neighbourhood, Environ. Pollut. (2018), 233, pp.782-796.
  2. Enhancing CFD-LES air pollution prediction accuracy using data assimilation, Build. Environ. (2019) 165, 106383.

CO2 Utilisation and Sequestration

The work in this area has been addressed by engineering highly efficient catalysts utilised in approaches such as the conversation of carbon dioxide into value added chemicals as well as carbon capture in an attempt to contribute and provide solution to a global challenge in reducing the atmospheric levels of CO2.

  1. Next frontiers in cleaner synthesis: 3D printed graphene-supported CeZrLa mixed-oxide nanocatalyst for CO2utilisation and direct propylene carbonate production, J. Cleaner Product. (2019) 214, pp. 606-614.
  2. CO2 capture using membrane contactors: a systematic literature review." Front. Chem. Sci. Eng. (2020), pg.1-35.

Fire and Explosion

The work in this area is focused in modelling and analysis of fire and explosions, and hydrogen gas safety with examples including green hydrogen propulsion systems for civil aviation and green fire suppression’s system.

  1. Potential hazard consequences to personnel exposed to the ignition of small volumes of weakly confined stoichiometric hydrogen/air mixture, Int. J. Hydrog. Energy (2018), 43(50), pp. 22733-22745.
  2. Benson, C. M., et al. "An analysis of civil aviation industry safety needs for the introduction of liquid hydrogen propulsion technology." Turbo Expo: Power for Land, Sea, and Air. Vol. 58608. American Society of Mechanical Engineers, 2019.
  3. Energy losses during drop weight mechanical impacts with special reference to ignition of flammable atmospheres in nuclear decommissioning: theory and determination of experimental coefficients for impact analysis and prediction. Int. J. Impact Eng. (2017) 109, pp. 92-103.

We are always interested in new collaborations and opportunities and welcome informal discussions. Get in Contact with us (Email: dunns4@lsbu.ac.uk, Head of CEE Division, Prof. Steve Dunn) to find out more.