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Effective boundary conditions for the transfer of mass and momentum at the fluid-porous interface

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr. Simon Pasche, Linné FLOW Centre
Date: 14 November, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Simon Pasche received his M.Sc. degree and his Ph.D. in Mechanical engineering from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), in 2012 and 2018, respectively. His Ph.D. thesis develops a cutting-edge technique to control hydrodynamic instabilities in hydraulic machines supervised by Prof. F. Gallaire and Prof. F. Avellan. Then, he moved to the Linné FLOW Centre as a Post- Doc researcher funded by the Swiss National Science Foundation, where he works on the turbulent flow over rough surfaces in the Fluids and Surfaces Group of Prof. S. Bagheri.

Superhydrophobic surfaces or streamwise aligned riblets reduce the friction drag. These surfaces show the potential of controlling surface properties to modify the overlaying flow dynamics. Generally, the characteristic length of these surfaces is small compared to the size of the flow vortices and the scale separation assumption applies. Therefore, from a macroscopic point of view of the flow, the roughness can be described as a feedback parameter from the boundary. We derive such a type of boundary condition, which includes the common Navier slip boundary condition and a transpiration condition. Both define relationships between the velocities and the velocity shears that characterize the transfer of mass and momentum of a rough wall. Focusing on turbulent channel flow, Busse & Sandhamn 2012 show the potential of the slip boundary condition to modify friction drag. It turns out that the streamwise slip velocity reduces the friction drag, while the spanwise slip increases the friction drag. However, the Navier slip boundary condition is not enough to predict the drag of turbulent flows. The transpiration velocity plays an important role for rough walls as shown by Orlandi et al. 2003, but it has only been considered recently by Gomez et al. 2018 through a transpiration length. We develop a systematic and general approach to compute slip and transpiration lengths of a textured surface. We investigate the potential of this new boundary conditions to modify the friction drag of wall-bounded flows by replacing the roughness by a smooth wall in a DNS.

Transferring aerospace expertise to the marine environment

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Anna Young, University of Bath
Date: 05 November, 2019
Time: 11:15 - 12:15
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Tidal stream turbines have the potential to produce 10-20% of the UK’s electrical power and can therefore contribute greatly to the Government’s 2050 target for reducing carbon emissions. The most prominent examples so far resemble three-blade, horizontal axis wind turbines. While some full-scale prototypes have been successfully tested, uncertainty over the lifespan of turbines in the harsh marine environment means that components tend to be over-engineered and maintenance schedules over-cautious, and this drives up costs. 

Many of the methods developed over the past 100 years in the aerospace industry are of direct relevance to tidal turbine designers. The talk will describe aerospace-inspired work onmeasuring the tidal channel flow itself, on modelling the effect of unsteadiness on the turbine and on mitigating the response in order to reduce fatigue loads. Finally, work on improved design tools for tidal turbines will be discussed.



Dr Anna Young is a Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath. Her research uses experimental and analytical techniques to give physical understanding and to inform low-order models of unsteady flow. This is of particular importance to engineers designing new technologies where the unsteady component of the flow is substantial, e.g. tidal turbines and urban air taxis. In these cases, resolving the full unsteady flowfield using Computational Fluid Dynamics is prohibitively expensive. Using experiments to inform low-order models, however, enables accurate, low-cost design calculations.

Anna undertook her MEng and PhD degrees at the University of Cambridge. Her PhD focussed on the flow conditions leading up to stall in an aero-engine compressor. The dangers associated with stall necessitate a compromise between efficiency and safety, and this often increases fuel burn. A clearer understanding of the stalling process helps to reduce this efficiency loss. Anna’s work involved taking detailed measurements of the unsteady flowfield in the compressor, and it was through this research that she became interested in the wider understanding of unsteady flow, and in transferring expertise and techniques from aerospace into tidal turbine design.

Bioinspired Engineering in the Soft Systems Group

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Adam A. Stokes, School of Engineering | University of Edinburgh
Date: 01 November, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: James Watt South Building, room 334

Abstract: This talk will focus on the challenges and opportunities in analysing, sensing, and controlling complex systems, and on developing new manufacturing tools and processes for building machines with improved capabilities, dynamics, and efficiency. We, along with a growing international community, are developing a new field of multidisciplinary research—bioinspired soft systems engineering. 

Soft systems combine electronics with robotics; materials-science; and biology. This approach is not predicated on any one discipline but instead combines ideas which are abstracted from nature with experimental science and engineering. In this talk I will highlight the opportunities and challenges for this new class of machines, as well as giving an overview of the broad range of research within the Soft Systems Group.

Bio: Dr Stokes is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) and Deputy Head of the Institute for Integrated Micro and Nano Systems at The University of Edinburgh. He is Director of the Soft Systems Group, an interdisciplinary research laboratory. He is the Programme Director for MSc Electronics in The School of Engineering. He holds degrees in engineering, biomedical science, and chemistry. He is a committee member of the Edinburgh Centre for Robotics and holds positions on the Executive Committee of the UK-Robotics and Autonomous Systems Network, and the Oil and Gas Technology Centre Academic Panel. Dr Stokes is an Associate Editor for IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters. Before joining the faculty at Edinburgh he was a Fellow in the George M. Whitesides group at Harvard University. Currently, he holds a prestigious appointment as a Member of The Royal Society of Edinburgh’s Young Academy of Scotland. Dr Stokes’s research interests centre broadly on bioelectronics, with research topics including: robotics, physical chemistry, electrical engineering, materials science, nanotechnology, optics, proteomics, and cell biology. Currently funded research grants include: “The ORCA Hub (Offshore Robotics for Certification of Assets)”, “Connect-R: Providing Structure in Unstructured Environments”, and “New Engineering Concepts from Phase Transitions: A Leidenfrost Engine”.

Application of innovative microfluidic and paper based Al-air batteries for portable devices

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Prof. Dennis Y.C. Leung, Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Hong Kong
Date: 20 June, 2019
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: James Watt South Building, room 334


Aluminum-air (Al-air) battery has been invented for more than 50 years, which is well-known for its high energy density and excellent power output. Nevertheless, the application of this technology is still restricted to large-systems with high cost due to its complexity, while its application in portable devices is barely reported. This is because of its requirement of high-purity Al anode and complex electrolyte management, which lead to poor market competitiveness and system redundancy. Inspired by the evergrowing research on paper-based power sources, we have developed a novel-type Al-air battery to bring this conventional technology to the enormous miniwatt market potential. By using cellulose paper as electrolyte channel, the whole system is greatly simplified without the need for bulky liquid storage or active electrolyte delivery. Hydrogen generation is also suppressed. More importantly, the restricted electrolyte transport and ion diffusion inside the porous and tortuous paper enables the direct utilization of low-purity Al (<98%) in alkaline electrolyte with a high specific capacity of 1732 mA h g-1.

Furthermore, the intrinsic flexibility and printability of paper have enabled the fabrication of flexible and printable Al-air batteries, which are more lightweight and versatile. This printable battery design directly employs Al ink and Oxidation Reduction Reaction (ORR) ink for anode and cathode fabrication, respectively. This novel design exhibits a great development potential for a much smarter and more economic battery application prospect for the emerging miniwatt market such as wearable electronics, point-of-care diagnostic assays, biosensors, smart packages, etc. In this talk, the above innovative batteries will be introduced and demonstrated.


Prof. Dennis Y.C. Leung received his BEng (1982) and PhD (1988) from the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong. He is currently a full professor and associate head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Hong Kong specializing in environmental pollution control and renewable & clean energy development. He has published more than 430 articles in these two areas including 260+ peer reviewed SCI journal papers. His current h-index is 60 with citations more than 14000. He is one of the top 1% highly cited scientists in the world in energy field since 2010 (Essential Science Indicators) and named as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Analytics in 2017 and 2018. Prof. Leung is a chartered engineer, a fellow of the IMechE and Energy Institute. He is also the Past Chairman of the Institute of Energy (HK Branch), and serves as a specialty chief editor of Frontiers in Environmental Science, associate editor of the Progress in Energy and editorial board member of Applied Energy, Energy Conversion and Management, and Applied Sciences.

Prof. Leung has delivered more than 60 keynote and invited speeches in many conferences as well as public lectures.

sequential operation droplet array (SODA) technique for performing automated picoliter to nanoliter-scale droplet manipulation, analysis and screening.

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Prof Qun Fang, Institute of Microanalytical Systems, Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
Date: 22 May, 2019
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

We developed a sequential operation droplet array (SODA) technique for performing automated picoliter to nanoliter-scale droplet manipulation, analysis and screening. It can achieve multiple liquid handling manipulations including droplet generation, indexing, transferring, splitting and fusion, under control of a computer program. We have applied the SODA systems in multiple areas including enzyme inhibitor screening, cell-based drug combination screening, protein crystallization screening, digital PCR, cell culture and migration testing, single cell microRNA quantification and single cell proteomic analysis. 

Host Thomas Franke

Robotic Haptic Sensing and Interaction in Medicine

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Hongbin Liu, King’s College London
Date: 07 February, 2019
Time: 13:15 - 14:15
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 633


Haptic capability, both sensing and interaction, is essential for a robot working in unstructured environments, yet robotic haptic technology today is still very primitive compared to even the simplest biological creatures. Haptic interaction is a cornerstone of many medical interventions/practices. Our lab designs robots with advanced haptic perception and interaction capabilities to address unmet needs in medicine, enabling safer and more effective diagnosis and treatment. We commit our work to benefit both patients and the medical profession while advancing the frontier of haptic robotics research.
In this talk, I will share some applications of our research include haptic sensing for medical instruments, force sensing and control for robotic endoscopes for medical interventions, as well as robotic ultrasound guidance.

Short Bio:

Hongbin Liu is a Senior Lecturer (Associate Professor) in the Department of Informatics, King’s College London (KCL) where he is directing the Haptic Mechatronics and Medical Robotics (HaMMeR) Laboratory. Dr. Liu obtained his BEng in 2005 from Northwestern Polytechnical University, China, MSc and PhD in 2006 and 2010 respectively, both from the Division of Engineering, KCL. He is a member of the IEEE, and a Technical Committee Member of IEEE EMBS BioRobotics. He has published over 100 peer-reviewed publications at top international robotic journals and conferences and is inventor for 4 patents. His research has been funded by EPSRC, Innovate UK, NHS Trust and EU Commissions. His current research focuses on developing soft robotic systems for assistive medical interventions, with strong collaborations from IBM and Ericsson.

Optimisation, Sensitivity Analysis and Bio-inspired Design to Hack Energy-food-water Nexus in Developing Countries

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr. Ruo-Qian (Roger) Wang, Dundee University
Date: 20 December, 2018
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Abstract: As climate change and urbanisation proceed, energy, water, and food securities are key issues facing every country. The present seminar is aimed at presenting two stories about how we used numerical models to optimise the cleaning cycle of air-cooled power plant in China and solar-driven drip irrigation in India.

There is an increasing trend to use air-cooled condensers (ACC) in power generation to conserve water resources. Almost no study has focused on the optimisation of its cleaning cycles. In the first story, we developed a numerical model to estimate the total cost of energy loss and cleaning service due to dust fouling. An analytical optimisation was performed to find the optimal cleaning period and a global sensitivity analysis was performed to determine the important parameters that impact the optimisation results. To our knowledge, this is the first time to use global sensitivity analysis in the field.

In the second story, we invented a patent of bio-inspired drip irrigation valve. One of the most significant barriers to achieving large-scale dissemination of drip irrigation is the cost of the pump and power system. An effective means of reducing power consumption is by reducing pumping pressure. The principal source of pressure drop in a drip system is the high flow resistance of the self-regulating flow resistors installed at the outlets of the pipes, which evenly distribute water over a field. Traditional architectures require a minimum pressure of ~1 bar to maintain a constant flow rate; our aim is to reduce this pressure by 90% and correspondingly lower pumping power to facilitate the creation of low-cost, off-grid drip irrigation systems. This study presents a new Starling resistor architecture that enables the adjustment of flow rate with a fixed minimum pressure demand of ~0.1 bars. Using this device, a series of experiments were conducted with different flexible tube diameters, lengths and wall thickness. We found that the resistance of the needle valve changes flow rate but not the minimum transmural pressure required to collapse the tube. A lumped-parameter model was developed to capture the relationships between valve openings, pressure, and flow rates.

Bio: Dr Roger (Ruo-Qian) Wang is Lecturer of Fluid Mechanics in Civil Engineering at the University of Dundee. He has conducted Postdoctoral research in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, and Mechanical Engineering and Tata Center for Research and Technology at MIT. He has obtained PhD in Environmental Fluid Mechanics at MIT, a Master degree from Singapore-Stanford Partnership (Nanyang Technological University /Stanford University), and a Bachelor degree from Beihang University, China. He has also served as a research engineer in Singapore-MIT Alliance for Research and Technology Center before his PhD. In 2019, he will hold Assistant Professor position at Rutgers University in the US.

Digital Manufacturing of Microfluidic Devices

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Albert Folch, University of Washington
Date: 02 May, 2018
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Location: To Be Confirmed

Digital Manufacturing (DM) - of which 3D-Printing is an example - has been applied with great success to improve design efficiency and part performance in the automobile industry, aeronautics, microelectronics, architecture, sportswear, and biomedical implants, among others. However, by comparison with other manufacturing fields, microfluidics has been slow to adopt DM. Microfluidic chips are still designed largely from scratch, the materials (usually thermoset or thermoplastic polymers) are often manually poured into a mold to form 2D-layer replicas, and the mold replicas are manually aligned and bonded to form the final device. The production of microfluidic devices by micromolding, while being optimized for mass manufacturing, cannot be optimized at the same time for design variety. These limitations are difficult for researchers to assimilate because micromolding has been the prevalent mode of microfluidics manufacturing for over two decades. On the other hand, the economics of DM are well-suited for microfluidics because, as opposed to molding approaches, the cost per device does not scale up with its 3D complexity ("complexity is free") and is insensitive to the size of the production batch, i.e. DM is ideal for project customization ("variety is free"). We are developing microfluidic devices through stereolithography (SL), a form of 3D-Printing, in order to make microfluidic technology readily available via the web to biomedical scientists. We have developed microfluidic devices by SL in PEG-DA-based resins with automation and biocompatibility ratings similar to those made with PDMS

Albert Folch received his BSc in physics from the University of Barcelona (UB), Spain, in 1989. In 1994, he received his PhD in surface science and nanotechnology from the UB's Physics Dept. During his PhD he was a visiting scientist from 1990-91at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab working on AFM under Dr. Miquel Salmeron. From 1994-1996, he was a postdoc at MIT developing MEMS under the advice of Martin Schmidt (EECS) and Mark Wrighton (Chemistry). In 1997, he joined the laboratory of Mehmet Toner as a postdoc at Harvard's Center for Engineering in Medicine to apply soft lithographic methods to tissue engineering. He has been at Seattle's UW BioE since June 2000 where he is now a full Professor, accumulating over 6,700 citations (averaging >82 citations/paper over his whole career). His lab works at the interface between microfluidics, cancer and neurobiology. In 2001 he received a NSF Career Award and in 2014 he was elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows (Class of 2015). He serves on the Advisory Board of Lab on a Chip since 2006. Albert Folch is the author of four books, including "Introduction to BioMEMS", a textbook now adopted by more than 77 departments in 17 countries (including 40 universities in the U.S. alone). Since 2007, the lab runs a celebrated outreach art program called BAIT (Bringing Art Into Technology) which has produced seven exhibits, a popular resource gallery of >2,000 free images related to microfluidics and microfabrication, and a YouTube channel that plays microfluidic videos with music which accumulates ~133,000 visits since 2009.


Host: Professor Huabing Yin


Multi-physics couplings appearing in micro-to-macro porous media encompassing damage, transport and adsorption-induced strain

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: David Grégoire, University Pau and Pays Adour, France
Date: 11 April, 2018
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 816

Starting from failure analysis and crack propagation driven by mechanical or hydraulic loading conditions in quasi-brittle porous media, we will discuss some multi-physics couplings appearing in micro-to-macro porous media encompassing damage, transport and adsorption-induced strain under saturated and unsaturated conditions. Applications range from oil and gas recovery enhancement, CO2 or energy storage and nuclear containment vessel tightness assessment.

Biomaterial physical properties in tissue regeneration

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Amaia Cipitria, Max Planck Institute of Colloids and Interfaces, Department of Biomaterials, Potsdam, Germany
Date: 11 April, 2018
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Cells respond not only to biochemical but also to physical cues, such as stiffness, geometry and matrix degradability. In-vitro studies showed that hydrogel elasticity or degradation properties alone can direct cell differentiation, while scaffold geometry can control tissue growth rate. However, little is known about how these findings translate to an in-vivo scenario. Bone defect healing experiments were used to investigate how the architecture of a semi-rigid scaffold may pattern the organization of collagen fibers and subsequent mineralization in-vivo, using a 30 mm critical-sized defect in sheep tibia as a model system. The hierarchical material structure and properties of regenerated tissue were investigated using a multi-scale and multi-modal approach. Next, alginate hydrogels with varying stiffness were used for in-vivo host cell recruitment and osteogenic differentiation in a rat femoral 5 mm critical-sized defect. Current activities focus on tailoring the spatio-temporal degradation properties of novel click-crosslinked alginate hydrogels to direct cell migration and proliferation, guide spatial distribution and directionality of extracellular matrix deposition, and pattern in-vivo tissue formation. 

DESTRESS Geothermal conference, 5 April 2018

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Various
Date: 05 April, 2018
Time: 09:00 - 19:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 375

Summary programme


09:00-09:30         Welcome and opening remarks

09:30-09:45         Dr Hannes Hofmann (Helmholtz Institut, Potsdam)                           The DESTRESS soft stimulation approach

09:45-10:00         Dr Albert Genter (Électricité de Strasbourg Géothermie)                 Soft stimulation at Rittershoffen, France

10:00-10:15         Dr Nicolas Cuénot (Électricité de Strasbourg Géothermie)              Soft stimulation at Soultz, France

10:15-10:30         Dr Maren Brehme (Helmholtz Institut, Potsdam)                                 Fluid injection issues at the geothermal installation at Klaipeda, Lithuania

10:30-11:30         Discussion and coffee break

11:30-11:45         Professor Ki-Bok Min (Seoul National University, Korea)                 Hydraulic stimulation at Pohang, Korea

11:45-12:00         Mr Marton Farkas (Helmholtz Institut, Potsdam)                                Application of the cyclic soft-stimulation concept at Pohang, Korea

12:00-12:30         Discussion and lunch break

14:00-14:15         Dr Régis Hehn (Électricité de Strasbourg Géothermie)                     Risk assessment and workflow for chemical stimulations

14:15-14:30         Dr Sören Reith (Energie Baden-Württemberg, Karlsruhe)                Technical-economic risk assessment for soft stimulation measures

14:30-14:45         Discussion

14:45-15:15         Dr Philippe Chavot (Université de Strasbourg)                                     Cultural and political acceptance of geothermal projects  

15:15-16:00         Discussion and tea break

16:00-16:20         Peter Fokker (TNO, Utrecht)                                                                       Harmonic pulse testing as a monitoring tool during hydraulic stimulation

16:20-16:40         Dr Frédéric Guinot (Geo-Energie Suisse AG, Zürich)                           Zonal isolation techniques for multi-stage stimulation

16:40-17:00         Ms Ma Jin (ETH, Zürich)                                                                                 Chemical laboratory experiments to inform geothermal modelling

17:00-17:20         Dr Kwang Yeom Kim (Korea Institute of Civil Engineering, Seoul) Mechanical laboratory experiments to inform geothermal modelling

17:20-17:50         Dr Massimiliano Pittore (Helmholtz Institut, Potsdam)                     Modelling of vulnerability of geothermal projects

17:50-19:00        Reception in the James Watt South foyer


The DESTRESS project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No. 691728




From Superhydrophobic to Super-Slippery Surfaces

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Professor Glen McHale, Northumbria University
Date: 09 March, 2018
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 514

On a wet day we need coats to keep dry, windscreen wipers to see and reservoirs to collect water and keep us alive. Our cars need oil to lubricate their engines, our ships need hulls that reduce drag and our planes need wings that limit ice formation. Nature has learnt to control water in a myriad of ways. The Lotus leaf cleanses itself of dust when it rains, a beetle in the desert collects drinking water from an early morning fog and some spiders walk on water. In all of these effects the unifying scientific principle is the control of the wettability of materials, often through the use of micro- and nano-scale topography to enhance the effect of surface chemistry. In this seminar I will outline recent examples of our research on smart surface-fluid interactions, including drag reduction and flow due to surface texture,1-4 interface localized liquid dielectrophoresis to create superspreading and dewetting,5-7 lubricant infused surfaces to remove pinning,8-10 and the Leidenfrost effect using turbine-like surfaces to create new types of heat engines and microfluidics.11-12


1.    Busse, A. et al. Change in drag, apparent slip and optimum air layer thickness for laminar flow over an idealised superhydrophobic surface. J. Fluid Mech. 727, 488–508 (2013).

2.    Brennan, J. C. et al. Flexible conformable hydrophobized surfaces for turbulent flow drag reduction. Sci. Reports 5, 10267 (2015).

3.    McHale, G. in Non-wettable Surfaces Theory, Prep. Appl. (Ras, R. & Marmur, A.) (RSC, 2016).

4.    Li, J. et al., Topological liquid diode. Science Advances 3, eaao3530 (2017).

5.    Brown, C.V. et al. Voltage-programmable liquid optical interface. Nat. Photonics 3, 403–405 (2009).

6.    McHale, G. et al. Voltage-induced spreading and superspreading of liquids. Nat. Commun. 4, 1605 (2013).

7.    Edwards, A.M.J. et al. Not spreading in reverse: The dewetting of a liquid film into a single droplet. Sci. Adv. 2, e1600183 (2016).

8.    Ruiz-Gutiérrez, É. et al., Energy invariance in capillary systems. Phys. Rev. Lett. 118, art. 218003 (2017).

9.    Guan, J.H. et al., Drop transport and positioning on lubricant-impregnated surfaces. Soft Matter 12, 3404-3410 (2017).

10. Luo, J.T. et al., Slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces and droplet transportation by surface acoustic waves. Phys. Rev. Appl. 7, 014017 (2017).

11. Wells, G. G. et al., A sublimation heat engine. Nat. Commun. 6, 6390 (2015).

12. Dodd, L.E. et al., Low friction droplet transportation on a substrate with a selective Leidenfrost effect. ACS Appl. Mater. Interf. 8 22658–22663 (2016).

Acknowledgements The financial support of the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and Reece Innovation ltd is gratefully acknowledged. Many collaborators at Durham, Edinburgh, Nottingham Trent and Northumbria Universities were instrumental in the work described.


Biography. Glen McHale is a theoretical and experimental applied and materials physicist. At Northumbria University, he combines leading the Smart Materials & Surfaces laboratory with his role as Pro Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Engineering & Environment. His research considers the interaction of liquids with surfaces and has a particular focus on the use of surface texture/structure via microfabrication and materials methods, and the use of electric fields to control the wetting properties of surfaces. His work includes novel superhydrophobic surfaces, surfaces with drag reducing and slippery properties, and electrowetting/dielectrophoresis to control the wetting of surfaces. Glen has written invited “News and Views”, highlight, emerging area and review articles for a wide range of journals covering superhydrophobicity, dynamic wetting, liquid marbles and drag reduction. He has published over 170 refereed journal papers. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Physics, a Fellow of the RSA, a Senior Member of the IEEE, a member of the UK Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Peer Review College, and he was a panel member for the "Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials" unit of the last UK-wide national assessment of research (REF2014). Along with colleagues at Northumbria, Nottingham Trent and Oxford Universities, he has developed a public understanding of science exhibition, "Natures Raincoats" (

Ultrasonic phased arrays

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Theodosia Stratoudaki, University of Strathclyde
Date: 29 January, 2018
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Ultrasonic phased arrays have changed the way ultrasonic imaging is perceived and are responsible for increased imaging quality, in real time. Since the '60s, they have had a profound impact in science, medicine and society, being the technology at the heart of all medical ultrasonic imaging and sonars. During the last two decades, they have seen a dramatic increase in their use for NDT, which is the focus of the presentation.

Conventional piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers are still used for the vast majority of phased array ultrasonic measurements. However, this type of transducers have certain drawbacks and limitations: a) it is a contact technique, b) the transducers require couplant, an immersion tank may be needed, c) they have a considerable size, weight and footprint which may be prohibitive when applied in places with restrictive access and  e) their delicate electrical connections and packaging may not withstand extreme environments. The question is: How could phased array technology be a part of a fast, non contact technique which would offer the same advantages in imaging quality remotely?

In this case, the new technology could address extreme environments, such as radioactive environments or extreme heat during manufacturing. It could also address places with restricted access, for example the inside of an aeroengine or the human body. Laser ultrasonics can address these issues: it is a remote, non-destructive technique that uses the light of lasers to generate and detect ultrasound. The presentation will show the challenges and future of using laser ultrasonics in order to synthesise Laser Induced Phased Arrays (LIPAs), as well as ultrasonic images of materials, using all-optical based data, for the purpose of NDT.

Imaging the sound of light: Laser Induced Phased Arrays

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Theodosia Stratoudaki, University of Stathclyde
Date: 29 January, 2018
Time: 11:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

Ultrasonic phased arrays have changed the way ultrasonic imaging is perceived and are responsible for increased imaging quality, in real time. Since the '60s, they have had a profound impact in science, medicine and society, being the technology at the heart of all medical ultrasonic imaging and sonars. During the last two decades, they have seen a dramatic increase in their use for NDT, which is the focus of the presentation. Conventional piezoelectric ultrasonic transducers are still used for the vast majority of phased array ultrasonic measurements. However, this type of transducers have certain drawbacks and limitations: a) it is a contact technique, b) the transducers require couplant, an immersion tank may be needed, c) they have a considerable size, weight and footprint which may be prohibitive when applied in places with restrictive access and  e) their delicate electrical connections and packaging may not withstand extreme environments. The question is: How could phased array technology be a part of a fast, non contact technique which would offer the same advantages in imaging quality remotely?

In this case, the new technology could address extreme environments, such as radioactive environments or extreme heat during manufacturing. It could also address places with restricted access, for example the inside of an aeroengine or the human body. Laser ultrasonics can address these issues: it is a remote, non-destructive technique that uses the light of lasers to generate and detect ultrasound. The presentation will show the challenges and future of using laser ultrasonics in order to synthesise Laser Induced Phased Arrays (LIPAs), as well as ultrasonic images of materials, using all-optical based data, for the purpose of NDT.

Trajectory optimisation of non-Keplerian, displaced Geostationary Orbits with loose position constraints

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Yuan Liu, Harbin Engineering University/University of Glasgow
Date: 08 December, 2017
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 530

The geostationary orbit (GEO) is a circular, equatorial orbit whose period equals the Earth’s rotational period. It allows a satellite to be stationary above a certain point on the Earth’s equator. With the advantage of being stationary, GEO satellites are largely used for telecommunications and Earth observation. The GEO is a unique and currently very congested orbit, especially at longitudes above densely populated areas. In this presentation I will introduce some works about trajectory optimisation for the displaced GEO with loose position constraints. The works mainly focus on the hybrid-sail propellant system for both single spacecraft and multi-spacecraft formation cases.

Surface Enhanced Raman Scattering (SERS) sensors for the detection of pollutant in water

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Nathalie Lidgi-Guigui, CNRS
Date: 28 November, 2017
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 514

Abstract: The Raman scattering is a well known analytical chemistry technique where the light is scattered by the vibrating bounds of a molecule. As so it gives a molecular fingerprint of a specific compound. However, Raman scattering is not a very sensitive technique. To circumvent this drawback, it is possible to take advantage of the optical properties of metallic nanoparticles (NP). When exposed to light, coherent oscillations of the free electron gas are taking place on the NP. These so called Localized Surface Plasmon (LSP) create an electromagnetic field which is the basis of the near field enhancement of Raman scattering. This electromagnetic effect is responsible for an enhancement factor that can be as high as 10^8. Another effect, the chemical effect, has a weaker contribution to the Raman scattering enhancement. Its origin is discussed among the community but is probably based on the shifting of the molecules energy levels when it is bound to the NP surface.

In this talk we will focus on the use of SERS substrate for the detection of pollutant in water. We will present results concerning hydrophobic and hydrophilic compounds. The first are organic molecules, consisting of two or more fused aromatic rings known as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). This group of compounds have received considerable attention due their toxicity and carcinogenicity. The hydrophilic compound that we have worked on is paracetamol. This is the most used drug around the world and as so it is highly found in waste water. However, in order to study its impact on the marine environment it is first needed to be able to quantify its presence.

Obviously, these two class of pollutants do not present the same issues in terms of sensing. In the first case it is important to reach a very low limit of detection when the quantification and the specificity are the key for the hydrophilic pollutants. We will present the strategy of surface functionalization we have adopted in both case that include the use of Molecular Imprinted Polymers (MIP) for the detection of paracetamol and the exploitation of pi-pi stacking for the detection of naphthalene, fluoranthene and benzo[A]pyrene.

In the last part of the talk, I will show how the nanostructured surface can play an active role in the functionalization. We have recently demonstrated that the LSP can support chemical reactions such as the well known click chemistry thiol-ene reaction. It is even possible to go further and to performed a different functionalization on different direction of a nanostructure by taking advantage of the light polarization.

Biography: After completing my undergraduate studies in material sciences at the University Pierre and Marie Curie in Paris, I followed my interest in nanotechnologies by enrolling in a doctoral program at the Unité Mixte de Physique CNRS Thales where I developed my field of expertise the nanoparticles growth and their electronic properties. After obtaining my Ph.D. in 2005, I joined the team of Prof. R. E. Palmer at the University of Birmingham where I studied the growth and deposition of size selected clusters and their interactions with proteins. The skills I developed in liquid phase AFM were valued through my second post-doc at the University of Evry. Since 2010 I am a reader at the University Paris 13. My main research interests focus on the development of highly sensitive sensors for biomolecules and pollutants. In my group, we use and develop original lithography techniques to fabricate large assembly of organized nanostructures for SERS (Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy). Through the years we have developed several functionalization paths that have enable us to pre-concentrate analytes, to detect their presence in low concentration and to follow their structural evolution. Recent results are focusing on the possibility of making these sensors active by exploiting the tremendous ideas of plasmon based chemistry.

From iCub to R1 - Building your personal humanoid

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Prof Giorgio Metta, Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT)
Date: 13 November, 2017
Time: 10:15 - 11:30
Location: Main Building, Senate Room

Abstract: The iCub is a humanoid robot designed to support research in embodied AI. At 104 cm tall, the iCub has the size of a five-year-old child. It can crawl on all fours, walk and sit up to manipulate objects. Its hands have been designed to support sophisticate manipulation skills. The iCub is distributed as Open Source following the GPL licenses and can now count on a worldwide community of enthusiastic developers. The entire design is available for download from the project’s repositories ( More than 30 robots have been built so far which are available in laboratories across Europe, US, Korea, Singapore, and Japan. It is one of the few platforms in the world with a sensitive full-body skin to deal with the physical interaction with the environment including possibly people. I will present the iCub project in its entirety showing how it is evolving towards fulfilling the dream of a personal humanoid in every home.

Short bio: Giorgio Metta is Vice Scientific Director at the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and Director of the iCub Project at the same institute where he coordinates the development of the iCub robotic platform. He holds a MSc cum laude (1994) and PhD (2000) in electronic engineering both from the University of Genoa. From 2001 to 2002 he was postdoctoral associate at the MIT AI-Lab. He was previously with the University of Genoa and since 2012 Professor of Cognitive Robotics at the University of Plymouth (UK). He is member of the board of directors of euRobotics aisbl, the European reference organization for robotics research. Giorgio Metta research activities are in the fields of biologically motivated and humanoid robotics and, in particular, in developing humanoid robots that can adapt and learn from experience. Giorgio Metta is author of more than 250 scientific publications. He has been working as principal investigator and research scientist in about a dozen international as well as national funded projects.

Talk by Professor Martin Schwartz

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Professor Martin Schwartz, Yale University
Date: 08 November, 2017
Time: 10:00 - 11:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

My lab studies fundamental mechanisms of mechanotransduction in the cardiovascular system and their roles in both normal physiology and disease. Our recent work has revealed novel biophysical aspects by which cells sense matrix stiffness, applied strains and fluid shear stress. We also have new results on how these mechanosensing pathways participate in vascular remodelling, atherosclerosis and cardiac fibrosis. I will present our new data that integrates molecular, cellular and animal studies.

Yale University

Additive Manufacturing of Metals for the Internet of Things (IoTs)

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Prof Robert C. Roberts, University of Hong Kong
Date: 02 November, 2017
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

The Internet of Things (IoT) is projected to create an unprecedented number of smart and connected systems, yielding a pervasive sensor and actuator network, able to interact with the real world. The diversity and complexity of these applications requires engineers to rethink their manufacturing strategies to enable rapid prototyping, lower cost, and allow customization of low-volume components that cannot be achieved using conventional mass manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing (AM), aka 3D printing, has the potential to meet this increasing demand for flexible personalized engineering, by enabling the direct manufacturing of complex components, directly from a digital design. In particular, the additive manufacturing of metals has great potential for IoT applications by enabling the fabrication of components with both useful electrical and mechanical properties. This talk highlights some developments in metal additive manufacturing technology using both inkjet-based deposition and selective laser sintering (SLS).  Inkjet additive manufacturing offers promise of low-cost microfabricated electronics, sensors and actuators on unconventional substrates by making use of organo-metallic nanoparticle based “inks” and thus requires a fundamentally different approach when compared to conventional microfabrication techniques. The process dependence on the electrical and mechanical characteristics of the resulting metal structures is explored for both Gold and Silver.  These insights are then applied to numerous applications including multilayer RF structures, microfluidic sensors, printed batteries, and strain gauges.  In contrast, Select Laser Sintering uses a laser to thermally fuse dry metal powder into solid structures. These metal structures then offer great potential not only as mechanical components, but also as sensors and actuators. Again, process parameter variation is shown to enable the modification of the electro-mechanical properties of the materials and is explored for 316L and 17-4PH Stainless Steel. SLS is then demonstrated for multiple applications including microwave horn antennas, and high-density 3D microelectrode arrays to highlight the exciting future of additive manufacturing for the Internet of Things. 

Integrated circuit and system design for next-generation multi-metabolite sensing devices

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Dr Sara Ghoreishi-zadeh, Imperial College London
Date: 02 November, 2017
Time: 14:00 - 15:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 514

Abstract: Next-generation implantable and wearable medical devices are emerging to address specific unmet healthcare needs, particularly those in medical monitoring and diagnostics. Monitoring of metabolites (e.g., glucose, lactate) in human body is of significant importance in health-care and personalised therapy. In this talk, I will present our sub-mW CMOS IC that enables the fabrication of miniaturised, inductively powered, and implantable devices for multi-metabolite detection. Next, I will illustrate a novel differential sensing technique to enhance the electrochemical sensing performance. I will also present promising results from our sensors that are developed, for the first time, by growing Pt nano-structures on CMOS IC. 

Despite remarkable advances in electrochemical sensor design, the constant need of the sensors for calibration remains a barrier to their diagnostic potential. I will briefly discuss our latest results showing how electrochemical impedance spectroscopy (EIS) may be used to auto-calibrate the sensors. In the second part of the talk, I will present our on-chip interface for recovering power and providing full-duplex communication over an AC-coupled 4-wire lead between active implantable devices. 

Biography: Dr. Sara Ghoreishi-zadeh received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees (both with distinction) in Electrical engineering from Sharif University of Technology, Iran, and the PhD degree from Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland, in 2015. She then joined the Centre for Bio-inspired Technology, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Imperial College London, UK.  where she is currently a Junior Research Fellow. Her current research focus is integrated circuit and system design for implantable and wearable medical devices. She has been a Review Committee Member and track chair for IEEE conferences including ICECS 2016 and BioCAS 2017. She is an editor of the Journal of Microelectronics and a member of IET and the IEEE CAS, EMB and SSC societies.

Implantable and Wearable Wireless Medical Sensors

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Prof JC Chiao, University of Texas - Arlington
Date: 02 November, 2017
Time: 13:00 - 14:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 514

Abstract: Recent advances in micro- and nano-technologies provide unique interfacing functionalities to human tissues, with features of miniaturization and low power consumption. Interfaces between biological objects and electronics allow quantitative measurement and documentation of physiological and biochemical parameters, and even behaviors. The interfaces also provide direct modification of cells, tissues, or organs by electrical stimulation making it possible to manage chronic diseases with a closed loop between body and portable computer. Wireless communication and power transfer in the implantable systems enable in-situ sensing for freely-behaving animals or patients without constrains. Wireless networking also allows ubiquitous access to physiological information for treating complex problems in body. 

This lecture focuses on our research progress in wireless micro sensors for clinical and neurobiological applications. The systems are based on integrated platforms such as wireless energy transfer for batteryless implants, miniature and flexible electrochemical sensors, nanoparticle modified surfaces, MEMS devices, and wireless communication. Several implantable, wireless diagnosis and therapeutic systems targeting management of pain and gastric disorders will be discussed with emphases on the sensor technologies. These technologies empower new personalized medicines to improve human welfare and assist better living. Sensor device designs, fabrication, characterization, system integration and clinical experiments will be presented.

Biography: J.-C. Chiao is Greene professor and Garrett professor of Electrical Engineering at University of Texas - Arlington. He received his PhD at Caltech and was with Bellcore, University of Hawaii-Manoa and Chorum Technologies before he joined UT-Arlington in 2002.  

Dr. Chiao has published more than 260 peer-reviewed papers and received 12 patents. He received the 2011 O'Donnell Award in Engineering presented by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas. He received the Tech Titan Technology Innovator Award; Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Excellence in Engineering Teaching Award; Research in Medicine milestone award by Heroes of Healthcare; IEEE MTT Distinguished Microwave Lecturer; IEEE Region 5 Outstanding Engineering Educator; and IEEE Region 5 Individual Achievement awards. His works have been covered by National Geographic magazine, Henry Ford Innovation Nation, National Public Radio and many media.  

Currently, he is an IEEE Sensors Council Distinguished Lecturer and serving as the Editor-in-Chief for Journal of Electromagnetics, RF and Microwaves in Medicine and Biology.

Ultrasound in Medicine and Biology

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Chris Yang, Cardiff University
Date: 28 October, 2017
Time: 11:00 - 12:00
Location: Rankine Building, Room 816

Abstract: Medical ultrasounds are sound waves with frequencies above audible range. Clinically, 2- to 20-MHz ultrasounds are applied in imaging anatomical structure of the human body and measuring the blood velocities in arteries and veins by using the Doppler effect. By reconstructing the Doppler signal superimposing on the brightness-mode ultrasound imagine (B-mode), the venous and arterial angiography and neovascularisation can be imaged without the use of ionising radiation. The wall shear stress of the blood vessel derived from the velocity profile can be easily measured by using clinical ultrasound scanner. On the similar frequency range, surface acoustic waves are also introduced in actuating cellular particles within whole blood sample for separating target cells, such as circulating tumour cells (CTCs), which is the surrogate of cancer progression and the factor of cancer metastasis. The integration of the acoustic and microfluidic technique has shown the feasibility of manipulating CTCs for downstream characterisation by using microwave resonators.
Biography: Xin Yang is lecturer of Medical Engineering and director of Medical Ultrasound and Sensors Laboratory (MUSL) at the school of Engineering, Cardiff University, and adjunct professor at Lanzhou Jiaotong University, China. He studies Biomedical Engineering at Beijing Jiaotong University from 2001 – 2005. He was awarded the MSc in Medical Electronics & Physics in Queen Mary, University of London in 2006. He worked as the CEO and CTO for two years in Beijing BJ Device Ltd. He was awarded PhD in 2011 for work in Doppler ultrasound in quantifying neovascularisation. He was the British Heart Foundation (BHF) research fellow working at Doppler ultrasound phantoms and wall shear stress measurement at the Queen's Medical Research Institute, The University of Edinburgh. He started his current position in Cardiff University since 2013 and was awarded his EPSRC First Grant in 2016. He has published refereed journal papers on Doppler ultrasound and is principal author of 8 books in the subject of electronics and microcontrollers.

RF & Microwave Fundamentals Seminar

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Keysight Technologies, Keysight Technologies
Date: 28 September, 2017
Time: 09:30 - 16:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

From the company that has been a leading innovator in Spectrum and Network measurements for 70 years, please join us for a FREE RF & Microwave Fundamentals Seminar to help improve your understanding of basic Network Analysis and Spectrum Analysis measurements, including real applications, thus improving your efficiency and effectiveness whether you are in R&D or design & test.

A vector network analyzer (VNA) is a precision measuring tool that tests the electrical performance of high frequency components, in the radio frequency (RF), microwave, and millimeter-wave frequency bands (we will use the generic term RF to apply to all of these frequencies). A VNA is a stimulus-response test system, composed of an RF source and multiple measurement receivers. It is specifically designed to measure the forward and reverse reflection and transmission responses, or S-parameters of RF components. S-parameters have both a magnitude and a phase component, and they characterize the linear performance of the DUT. While VNAs can also be used for characterizing some non-linear behaviour like amplifier gain compression or intermodulation distortion, S-parameters are the primary measurement. The network analyzer hardware is optimized for speed, yielding swept measurements that are faster than those obtained from the use of an individual source and an individual receiver like a spectrum analyzer. Through calibration, VNAs provide the highest level of accuracy for measuring RF components.

You can see our latest solutions, and expand on the practical knowledge you need to have to perform your day-to-day-measurements. Application and product experts from Keysight will be on-hand to give demonstrations and technical presentations around the latest innovations, features and capabilities that enhance the fundamental measurements.

This seminar will run through 4 main sessions:


Session 1: Network Analysis Fundamentals and Calibration
1st Section: 9:30am - 10:30 am
Coffee Break 10:30am – 10:45am
2nd Section: 10:45am - 12pm
Lunch 12pm – 1pm

Session 2: 900Hz - 120GHz Broadband Frequency System Presentation, PNA-B models capabilities and application areas + demo
1 - 2pm
Coffee Break 2pm – 2:15pm

Session 3: Cable & Connector care
2:15pm - 3pm
Networking Break 3pm – 3:15pm

Session 4: Spectrum Analyzers Basics
3:15pm - 4pm

Discrete Element Method (DEM) Open Forum & ESyS-Particle Workshop

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Various
Date: 30 August, 2017
Time: 08:30 - 17:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 526

You are cordially invited to attend a casual gathering of Discrete Element Method (DEM) enthusiasts to discuss current and future trends in particle-based numerical modelling. This $free Open Forum welcomes anyone who currently undertakes scientific or engineering research using DEM software; either Open Source or proprietary. The purpose is to stimulate discussion about DEM software, techniques and methods in a relaxed and collegial manner. Generous breaks and discussion periods will facilitate collaboration and comradery. The forum will also serve to launch ESyS-Particle v3.0; including the recent additions of Darcy flow and self-gravity.

UK-China Emerging Technologies (UCET) workshop

Group: School of Engineering
Speaker: Various, University of Glasgow, UESTC, Peking University & Chinese Academy of Sciences
Date: 07 August, 2017
Time: 09:00 - 14:00
Location: James Watt South Building, Room 375

The UK-China Emerging Technologies (UCET) workshop will provide ample opportunity for knowledge exchange and the exploration of joint collaborations between various participants from British and Chinese universities through lectures and field visits covering various areas in the supply chain of emerging technologies and integrated systems. This includes multidisciplinary discussions in electronic systems design, communication, and photonics incorporating:

  • Analog/Digital/Mixed/RF IC Design
  • Beyond CMOS: Nanoelectronics and Hybrid Systems Integration
  • Biomedical Circuits and Systems
  • Computer Aided Design
  • Energy Harvesting
  • 5G and Beyond Cellular Systems
  • Flexible Electronics and Wearable Technologies
  • Integrated Power ICs
  • Internet of Things
  • Micro/Nanoelectronics
  • Neural Networks and Neuromorphic Engineering
  • Photonics and Optoelectronics
  • RF, Microwave and mm-wave Circuits
  • Radar Systems and Remote Sensing
  • Sensors, Circuits, Systems, Imaging and MEMS
  • Signal Processing
  • VLSI and SoC Applications
  • Wireless Communication Systems

Lectures will also include future directions and will be delivered by leading experts from various fields.

Register to attend by contacting

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