Professor Zhibing Zhang BEng, MSc, PhD, CEng, FIChemE, FREng

Zhibing Zhang

School of Chemical Engineering
Professor of Chemical Engineering
Co-Director of the China Institute, University of Birmingham

Contact details

+44 (0) 121 414 5334
+ 44 (0) 121 414 5324
View my research portal
Chemical Engineering
University of Birmingham
B15 2TT

Professor Zhang has built an international reputation for developing original work on micromanipulation of single micro-/nanoparticles and encapsulation/bioencapsulation with applications in chemical, food, nutraceutical, pharmaceutical, household care and human/oral care industries.

Professor Zhang is a member of the Editorial Boards of Journal of Microencapsulation and Artificial Cells, Blood Substitutes and Biotechnology, Senior Editor of Cogent Engineering (Chemical Engineering), EPSRC Peer Review College and Engineering Panel, an Overseas Assessor of Chinese Academy of Sciences, an Accreditation Assessor and member of Education and Accreditation Forum of IChemE.

He has authored and co-authored 148 journal papers and 284 other publications (refereed conference papers, book chapters, conference presentations, 9 patents, etc).


  • DSc, University of Birmingham, UK, 2. 2016
  • PhD, Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China, 2.1988
  • MSc, Chemical Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, China, 3.1985
  • BEng, Chemical Engineering, 1st Class Equivalent, Hefei University of Technology, Hefei, China, 7.1982


  • Industrial Secondment in Granutec, Germany, 10.2010 & 3.2011
  • Industrial Secondment in Procter & Gamble, 7.2007-11.2007
  • Professor of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 10.2004-
  • Visiting Professor, Ecole des Mines d’Albi-Carmaux, Albi, France, 5.2003-9.2003
  • Reader in Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 10.2001-9.2004
  • Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering 10.1999-9.2001
  • Lecturer, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 8.1995 -9.1999
  • Research Fellow (RF2), School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 10.1994 - 7.1995
  • Research Fellow (RA1A), School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 10.1990 - 9.1994
  • Honorary Research Fellow, School of Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 9.1989 - 9.1990
  • Lecturer, UNILAB Research Centre for Chemical Reaction Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, China, 4.1988 - 9.1989
  • Researcher Fellow, UNILAB Research Centre for Chemical Reaction Engineering, East China University of Science and Technology, China, 2.1988 - 4.1988


Teaching programmes

  • Food Plant and Process/Encapsulation
  • Mathematical Modelling of Time Dependent Processes
  • System Modelling
  • Advanced Reaction Engineering B
  • Measurement Techniques
  • Molecular Delivery/Encapsulation
  • Supervision of MEng and MSc research projects
  • Co-ordinator of 4th year MEng research projects

Postgraduate supervision

Principal supervisor of:

  • Seng Liu
  • Cong Sui
  • Javier Marqués de Marino
  • Bingyu Zhuo
  • Andrew Gray (EngD)
  • Xiaotong Zhang
  • Juliette Delarue
  • Erick Leon Henneberg (EngD)
  • Daniele Baiocco
  • Alex Brown
  • Qun Huang

Co-supervisor of :

  • Toni-Bianca Di Paolo (EngD)
  • Mariana Cardoso
  • Yu Lu
  • Gilmore Wellio

Supervisor of research associates/fellows:

  • Dr Parvez Iqbal
  • Dr Yan Zhang
  • Mr Huafeng Li (Honorary)
  • Dr Iryna Mikheenko (part-time)


Research themes

  • Bioengineering
  • Energy and Chemical industries
  • Food, Health and Nutrition
  • Speciality Products

Research activity

  • Formulation of micro- and nano- particles: microencapsulation, bioencapsulation, stabilisation, controlled release and targeted delivery
  • Mechanical characterisation of micro-/nanoparticles and finite element analysis
  • Manufacture and preservation of probiotics and nutraceuticals
  • Particle adhesion on surfaces
  • Fouling: biofilm growth and detachment, food fouling and control
  • Cell mechanics, cell separation, biomaterials and cell-substrate interactions
  • Development of micromanipulation-based instrument

Other activities

  • Consultancy and technical services to companies
  • Director of Microforce Measurement Ltd, UK


Recent publications

  • He, Y., Bowen, J., Andrews, J. W., Liu, M., Smets, J. and Zhang, Z. (2014) Adhesion of perfume-filled microcapsules to model fabric surfaces. J Microencapsulation  31: 430-439.
  • Yong, P., Liu, W., Zhang, Z., Beauregard, D., Johns, M. and Macaskie, L. (2015) One step bioconversion of waste precious metals into Serratia biofilm-immobilized catalyst for Cr(VI) reduction. Biotechnology Letters 37:2181-91.
  • Long, Y., Song, K., York, D., Zhang, Z. and Preece, J. A. (2016) Composite microcapsules with enhanced mechanical stability and reduced leakage. Particuology 26: 40–46.
  • Gray, A., Egan, S., Bakalis., S. and Zhang, Z. (2016) Determination of microcapsule physicochemical, structural, and mechanical properties. Particuology 24: 32-43 (invited review)
  • Wan Dagang, W. R. Z., Bowen, J., O’Keeffe, J., Robbins, P. T. and Zhang, Z. (2016) Adhesive force of glass, stainless steel and cellulose to Pseudomonas fluorescens biofilms measured using atomic force microscopy. Biotechnol. Letts 38: 787-792.
  • Zhang, Y., Adams, M. J., Zhang,Z., Vidoni, O., Leuenberger, B. H. and Achkar, J. (2016) Plasticisation of carnauba wax with generally recognised as safe (GRAS) additives. Polymer 86: 208–219.
  • Li, Z., Zhang, Z. and Thomas, C. R. (2016) Viscoelastic-plastic behavior of single tomato mesocarp cells in high speed compression-holding tests. Innovative Food Science and Emerging Technologies 34: 44–50.
  • Yang, R., Tan, L., Cen, L. and Zhang, Z. (2016) An injectable scaffold based on crosslinked hyaluronic acid gel for tissue regeneration. RSC Adv6: 16838-16850.
  • Zimbitas, G., Fryer, P. J., Zhang, Z. and Bakalis S. (2017) Free-standing polymer thin film interaction with small particles. Innovative Food Science and Emerging  Technologies 40: 18-26.
  • Tolve, R., Galgano, F., Caruso, M. C., Tchuenbou-Magaia, F., Condelli, N., Favati, F. and Zhang, Z. (2016) Microencapsulation of health-promoting ingredients in foodstuffs: limits and applications. International Journal of Food Sciences and Nutrition 67(8):888-918.
  • Sui, C., Preece, J. A. and Zhang, Z. (2017) Novel polystyrene sulfonate-silica microspheres as a carrier of a water soluble inorganic salt (KCl) for its sustained release, via a dual-release mechanism, RSc Adv. 7: 478-481.
  • Du, M. M., Kalia, N., Frumento, G., Chen, F. and Zhang, Z. (2017) Biomechanical properties of human T cells in the process of activation based on diametric compression by micromanipulation. Medical Engineering and Physics 40:20-27.
  • Dzidek, B., Johnson, S. and Zhang, Z., Adams, M. J. (2017) Contact mechanics of the human finger pad under compressive loads. J Royal Soc Interface doi: 10.1098/rsif.2016.0935.
  • Dai, Y., Sun, T., Zhang, Z.,  Zhang, Z. J. and Li, J-R. (2017) Effect of zinc oxide film morphologies on the formation of Shewanella putrefaciens biofilm. Biointerphases 12, 011002; doi: 10.1116/1.4976003
  • Xing, L. Zhuo, B., Bakalis, S., Castro, J. and Zhang, Z. (2017) Coating of sodium percarbonate particles using water soluble materials in a fluidised bed to achieve delayed release in aqueous environment. Cogent Engineering 4(1) Article: 1372730.
  • Yu, Q., Li, Y. L., Al-Duri, B., Zhang, Z. and Ding, Y. (2017) Thermo-mechanical analysis of microcapsules containing phase change materials for cold storage. Applied Energy 211: 1190-1202
  • Cao, H., Karampalis, D., Caragay, J., Alexiadis, A., Zhang, Z., Ding, Y., Fryer, P. and Bakalis (2018) Abrupt disintegration of highly porous particles in early stage dissolution, Powder Technology 333: 394-403.
  • Sui, C., Preece, J. A., Yu, S.-H. and Zhang, Z. (2018) Novel encapsulation of water soluble inorganic or organic ingredients in melamine formaldehyde microcapsules to achieve their sustained release in aqueous environment. RSC Adv.  8: 29495–29498.
  • Wang, H. D., Zhang, X. T., Zhu, W., Jiang, Y. B. and Zhang, Z. (2018) Facile fabrication of biodegradable Zein-based microcarrier system for colon-targeted oral drug delivery, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research  57: 12689−12699.
  • Zhang, Y., Zhang, Z., Ding, Y., Li, Y.-L. (2018) Fabrication of microcapsules with polysaccharide emulsifiers via one-step in situ polymerization with a fluorescent encapsulation screening indicator. Chemical Engineering Journal (in press)
  • Zhang, Y., Jiang, Z., Zhang, Z., Ding, Y., Qinghua Yu, Q. and Li, Y.-L. (2019) Polysaccharide assisted microencapsulation for volatile phase change materials with a fluorescent retention indicator. Chemical Engineering Journal 359:1234-1243.
  • Zhang, Y., Zhang, Z., Ding, Y., Pikramenou, Z. and Li, Y.L. (2019) Converting capsules to sensors for nondestructive analysis: from cargo-responsive self-sensing to functional characterization. ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces 11(9):8693–8698.
  • Iqbal, P., Zhang, Z. and Li, Y.-L. (2018) Preparation of Multilayer Microcapsules Encapsulating Aqueous Lithium Bromide and Their Mechanical Stability. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research  58: 6364-6374
  • Du, M. M., Kavanagh, D., Kalia, N. and Zhang, Z. (2018) Characterising the mechanical properties of haematopoietic and mesenchymal stem cells using micromanipulation and atomic force microscopy. Medical Engineering and Physics (in press)
  • Du, M.M., Kavanagh, D, Zhang, Z. and Kalia, N. (2019) Designing microfluidic devices to sort haematopoietic stem cells based on their mechanical properties. Stem Cells International 8):1-13.
  • Ding, P., Bakalis, S. and Zhang, Z. (2019) Foamability of air in highly viscous non-Newtonian surfactant –polymer aqueous two phase systems. Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects (in press)
  • Zhang, Y., Baiocco, D., Mustapha A., Zhang, X. T., Yu, Q., Wellio, G., Zhang, Z., Ding, Y. L. and Li, Y. L. (2019) Hydrocolloids: nova materials assisting encapsulation of volatile phase change materials for cryogenic energy transport and storage. Chemical Engineering Journal (in press)

View all publications in research portal