Colin Thomas is Professor of Biochemical Engineering in the School of Chemical Engineering. He has published over 100 research papers in scientific journals as well as reviews and books chapters in the fields of fermentation, shear on biological materials and biomechanics. He has received major grants from SERC, BBSRC, EPSRC and industry.
Colin teaches modelling concepts and tools to first year Engineers.
Professor Colin Thomas moved to the University of Birmingham from University College London in 1989. Previously, he had worked in the chemical industry for six years.
He was the Head of Chemical Engineering at Birmingham in 2001 – 2002, Deputy Dean of Physical Sciences and Engineering from 2002 – 2005, and Director of Teaching in Engineering from 2005 to 2008. He is currently Director of Quality Assurance and Enhancement in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences.
In 2005 Colin was awarded the Donald Medal of the Institution of Chemical Engineers for services to biochemical engineering.
Colin developed two new analytical techniques that have underpinned most of his research. The first was the application of image analysis to studies of the morphology of filamentous fungi growing in submerged cultures. The second (with Professor Zhibing Zhang) was a micromanipulation technique with associated mathematical modelling for measuring the mechanical properties of biological cells.
Thomas, C.R. and Geer, D. (2011), Effects of shear on proteins in solution, Biotechnol. Lett. 33:443-456
Nguyen, B.V., Wang, Q.G., Kuiper, N.J., El Haj, A.J., Thomas, C.R. and Zhang, Z.B. (2010), Biomechanical properties of single chondrocytes and chondrons determined by micromanipulation and finite-element modelling, J. R. Soc. Interface 7: 1723-1733
Wang, Q.G., Nguyen, B., Thomas, C.R., Zhang, Z.B., El Haj, A.J. and Kuiper, N.J. (2010), Molecular profiling of single cells in response to mechanical force: comparison of chondrocytes, chondrons and encapsulated chondrocytes, Biomaterials 31: 1619-1625.
Stenson, J.D., Thomas, C.R. and Hartley, P. (2009), Modelling the mechanical properties of yeast cells, Chem. Eng. Sci. 64:1892- 1903
Wang, C., Wang, L., McQueen-Mason, S.J., J Pritchard, J. and Thomas, C.R. (2008), pH and expansin action on single suspension-cultured tomato ( Lycopersicon esculentum ) cells, J. Plant Res. 121: 527-534.
Zhang, Z., Stenson, J.D. and Thomas, C.R. (2009), “Micromanipulation in mechanical characterisation of single particles”. In Li, J. (ed.) Characterization of flow, particles and interfaces. Advances in Chemical Engineering 37, pp 29-85.