School of Chemical Engineering welcome new inspiring and innovative academics

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The School of Chemical Engineering is globally recognised for leading innovative teaching and research. Our academic staff inspire and encourage bold and independent thinking and create ground-breaking and enduring solutions to some of the world’s biggest issues.

We have an ambitious vision for transformative research and education in energy, formulation engineering and healthcare technologies. The School is rapidly expanding and we are delighted to welcome six new academics as we undertake this exciting journey.

Formulation Engineering 

Professor Bettina Wolf is Professor of Microstructure Engineering and has over 12 years’ experience in food sciences. Professor Wolf has published over 50 research papers in scientific journals and book chapters in the fields of emulsion science and processing, highly filled suspension systems, rheology and oral processing. Her research is often interdisciplinary and has been funded by industry and the research councils. In addition to food systems, her expertise includes personal care products. Professor Wolf joined the Centre for Formulation Engineering in October 2018 to further strengthen activities in the food and formulation area – applying a more engineering based focus to her research streams.

Professor Eddie Pelan is Professor of Chemical Engineering and has an industrial research background, after having worked for over 30 years for a large multinational FMCG Company, Unilever Research, engaged in basic research for product and process innovation. Professor Pelan joined the Centre for Formulation Engineering earlier this year, bringing his expertise in food (edible soft matter) physics. He has also worked in the areas of home and personal care, looking, together with external collaborators, at the mechanisms of cleaning stains on different substrates using different surfactants.

Healthcare Technologies

Professor Tony Metcalfe is Professor of Wound Healing and has 25 years’ experience in academic, not-for-profit, and small to medium biotechnology sectors in a range of cross-disciplinary therapeutic areas, biological pathways, molecular targets and target organs. He has interdisciplinary experience in innovative discovery, translational medicine and commercialisation expertise with a patient focussed outlook. Professor Metcalfe joined the Healthcare Technologies Institute earlier this year, bringing his expertise in the biotech sector and pioneering research into tissue repair, regenerative medicine and scar free healing.  

Professor Alicia El Haj is an Interdisciplinary Chair in Cell Engineering for the School of Chemical Engineering within the Healthcare Technologies Institute. She is a leading figure in Bioengineering and Regenerative Medicine and has been involved in bringing together interdisciplinary groups within engineering, maths, physical sciences and medicine aiming to move innovative new cell based therapies to the clinic. She has published over a 200 publications with funding from EPSRC, MRC, BBSRC, ARUK and EU Framework. Before joining Birmingham, she has been a co-Director of an EPSRC DTC in Regenerative Medicine and the EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing Centre in Regenerative Medicine. Currently she is Deputy Director of the MRC UK Regenerative Medicine Platform which she will be carrying on within the HTI. She was awarded with a Royal Society Merit Award in 2014 and was awarded an ERC Advanced Fellowship in 2018. In March 2015, she was awarded the MRC Suffrage Award for her role in leading women in STEM.

Energy and Sustainability

Dr Grant Wilson is a lecturer with a breadth of knowledge in the multi-vector multi-scale energy analysis. He has published 14 research papers in scientific journals, alongside articles in The Conversation. He worked on the European Smart CO2 Transformation project team, and most recently was a Co-Investigator on UKERC’s FlexiNET project, which aims to deliver new understanding and insight on the levels of seasonal and diurnal flexibility that low carbon heating might need in Great Britain. Dr Wilson joined the School of Chemical Engineering in August 2018, bringing his expertise in the interactions between differing energy networks, demand management, and active network management over different timescales. He is also interested in innovations in teaching and learning, passionate about the benefits of using empirical energy data in teaching and wider outreach on the challenges of the energy transition, and is PI on a UKERC funded project to develop an energy teaching network.

Professor Gary Leeke is Professor of Chemical Engineering and will be re-joining the School to head up the growth in activities on the sustainable recycling of materials focussing initially on the Recycling and Reuse (ReLiB) project between the School of Chemical Engineering, School of Metallurgy and Materials and School of Chemistry.

Find out more about our ground-breaking research within the School of Chemical Engineering.