Research into Multi-scale Examination of MultiPHase physIcs in flowS (MEMPHIS)

Mark’s research work involves flow visualisation, mathematical modelling and CFD. He uses optical imaging techniques including Particle Image Velocimetry (PIV) and Planar Laser Induced Fluorescence (PLIF) and has developed novel methods for imaging of multiphase flows, focussing on the complexity of interfacial motion during the rupture of liquid threads to form drops, and the impact of a dispersed phase upon continuous phase turbulence.  Mark is Deputy Director of the EPSRC Programme Grant ‘MEMPHIS’: Multiscale Examination of Multiphase Physics in Flows which presents a new paradigm in unravelling the complexity of these class of flows.

Mark has published over 65 research papers in scientific journals and over 60 conference papers as well as reviews and book chapters in the fields of single and multiphase flow and reaction engineering of multiphase systems including biofilm reactors. He receives funding from the BBSRC and EPSRC in these fields as well as from major industrial companies including Johnson Matthey, Unilever and Procter and Gamble. He has received over £2.5M in funding over the last 10 years.

In addition, Mark has expertise in visualising flows in opaque systems using Positron Imaging Particle Tracking (PEPT) in collaboration with the School of Physics and Astronomy Prof David Parker). He has established research collaborations at the Chemistry-Chemical Engineering interface with the School of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews on the use of novel engineered biofilms to perform biotransformations.

Research Profile


EPSRC – Multiscale Examination of Multiphase Physics in Flows (MEMPHIS) Programme Grant EP/K003976/1, £4,9M.  Led by Prof Omar Matar (PI).

EPSRC – Catalytic Advances for Sustainable Techologies (CASTECH) EP/G011133/1 (Co-Investigator) Part of a £5M collaborative project with Queens University Belfast and Cambridge University.

BBSRC – Engineered Biofilm Catalysts: a scalable and sustainable process route for biocatalysis BB/I006834/1 (Principle Investigator). Part of £1M joint project with University of St Andrews.

Industry – Over £300k of current industry support for PhD and EngD projects.

Current Projects

Multiphase Flow and Fluid Mechanics

  • MEMPHIS Programme Grant – rupture and coalescence of fluid filaments and drops
  • In-vivo fluid mechanical models of drug delivery to the colon and in-vitro testing methods (with Dr Dave Smith, School of Mathematics, Dr Hannah Batchelor, School of Pharmacy, UoB)
  • Break-up of fluid jets to form droplets and particles (with Dr Jamal Uddin, School of Mathematics, UoB)

Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

  • The use of novel non-petroleum based feedstocks to make useful organic intermediates is being investigated in collaboration with Queens University Belfast and the University of Cambridge (with Prof A Pacek, supported by EPSRC and Johnson Matthey)
  • Novel biofilm biocatalysts and reactors are being developed in collaboration with the University of St Andrews  to perform biotransformations (with Dr Tim Overton, supported by BBSRC)

Chemical Engineering and Industry

Through the EngD in Formulation Engineering (sponsored by the EPSRC), research is being carried out at the academic-industry interface in the general areas of multiphase flow and reaction engineering.

  • Development of CFD models for single and multiphase processes used to create microstructured products (Unilever)
  • Use of advanced flow diagnostics and other instrumentation to interrogate complex multiphase mixing and reaction processes (Johnson Matthey, Procter & Gamble))
  • Development of general design rules for modelling of transients in catalyst behaviour during start-up (Johnson Matthey)
  • Scale-up of production of complex microstructured catalysts (Johnson Matthey)
  • Use of alternative energy-saving process technologies (Rolls-Royce)
  • CFD modelling of polymer film production (Dupont Teijin Films)

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