Research into the characterisation, modelling, formulation and processing of complex fluids (for example blood, creams, pastes and emulsions)
This area encompasses characterisation, modelling, formulation and processing of complex fluids (for example, blood, creams, pastes and emulsions), including understanding the effects of additives. This includes rheological properties and their measurement. Its key focus is the effect of the process on the resulting performance of the product. An example application is polymer extrusion.
This area does not cover chemical synthesis or soft matter physics of such systems, which other research areas cover.
Recognising that there are multiple stakeholders involved in this area (from healthcare, manufacturing, formulation, and oil and gas) we will continue to encourage applications which bring in longer term disruptive thinking and a coherent approach to the common challenges these sectors face.
Lower technology readiness level fundamental research funded under this area will continue to feed into the National Formulation Centre. This centre will enable UK businesses to collaborate with supply chain partners and academia to develop, prove, prototype and scale up the next generation of formulated products.
To ensure a balanced portfolio, we have considered this strategy alongside the broader chemical engineering portfolio (including the Particle Technology and Process Systems: Components and Integration research areas). We will work with the community to focus on collaboration across the chemistry and chemical engineering interface, identifying opportunities for multidisciplinary research that delivers against the wider EPSRC strategy. Opportunities may exist to link to the Engineering Grand Challenge addressing engineering across length scales, from atoms to applications.
Student training remains highly relevant in this research area and across the wider chemical engineering portfolio due to the growing number of chemical engineering undergraduates, drawn by strong industrial demand. We will work with the chemical engineering community to explore and address any concerns over academic leadership and the balance of support across all career levels.