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Meet the Committee

Chair's message

Welcome to the SCI Colloid Group web pages. Our committee represents the RSC Colloid & Interface Science Group (CISG) and the SCI Colloid & Surface Chemistry Group (CSCG) and promotes the interests of scientists with interests in Colloids, Interface Science and Nanoparticles.
Colloid and interface science today is a very broad and dynamic subject spanning a wide range of areas from classical dispersions to biological interfaces and covers such diverse areas from novel nanoparticles which are revolutionising the biodelivery of drugs to self-assembling and novel surface structures with innovative functionalities and the Colloid Group aims to act as a focus for these interests for the UK colloid and interface community (and wider). Whether you are a chemist, physicist, engineer, student, formulation scientist, nanotechnologist, pharmacist, biologist, polymer scientist, food scientist or any other related discipline, we welcome anyone interested in colloids to join the Colloid Group and our events.
The UK has a rich heritage in colloid science including the well-known scientists Thomas Graham who is often regarded as the founder of colloid science and Michael Faraday whose gold sols can still be seen in the Royal Institution museum in London.
In 1958 Sir Eric Rideal, a Past President of the SCI, founded the Colloid and Surface Chemistry Group to support the growing importance of colloids and surface chemistry in industry. Subsequently, in 1971 Ron Ottewill, Geoff Parfitt and Dennis Haydon with the support of Sir Eric created the Colloid and Interface Science Group within the Faraday Society, one of the RSC forerunner societies. This was in response to the increasing number of colloid centres being formed in academic institutions.
Since 2002 the two groups have worked jointly forming the "Joint Colloids Group" in order to provide a coherent focus for the UK colloid and interface science community, both in academia and industry. The Colloids Group organises various scientific events ranging from one day meetings to its tri-annual multiday international meeting, (UK Colloids). We also produce a newsletter which you can download from this site (contributions welcome) and support bursaries for attendance at UK and worldwide meetings through the Rideal Trust.
In addition to our events we have three awards, the McBain Medal, the Thomas Graham Lecture and the Rideal Lecture which honour, recognise and encourage researchers at all stages throughout their career. Further details on these and other items can be found within this website. Your support is highly appreciated whether as a speaker, participant or sponsor. We look forward to your participation at our events and welcome any suggestions that you may have. If you are interested in becoming involved, please do contact us.

Prof Peter John Dowding,
Chair- Joint SCI/RSC Colloids Committee

Committee biographies and photographs

Joint SCI/RSC Chair:
Pete Dowding

Prof Peter John Dowding, Infineum UK Ltd

Pete Dowding graduated from the University of East Anglia in 1995 with a BSc and PhD in chemistry. Pete then worked as an Industrial Chemist at Synthomer, developing emulsion polymers before moving to Bristol University in 1995, where he worked as a post-doc for Prof Brian Vincent. He moved to Infineum in 2001, where he works as Principal Scientist in the areas of Surfactants and Colloids. He acts as leader for background and fundamental studies of colloidal additives for future generations of additives used in lubricants. His research interests include: surfactant design and self-assembly, controlled release, use of supercritical fluids in particle production/ purification and modelling structure/ performance relationships for colloidal systems. Pete was awarded the RSC/ SCI McBain Medal for Colloid and Interface Science in 2009. He acts as Group Treasurer for the SCI Colloid Group and was a Council Member and Industrial Affairs Spokesperson for RSC Faraday Division Council (2004-7), Steering Group Committee Member for RSC Additives 2005 and 2007 Conference Committee (subgroup of the RSC Industrial Inorganic Section) and Honorary Group Secretary for the RSC Colloid Group (2002-6).


SCI Vice Chair:
Cecile Dreiss

Dr Cecile Dreiss, King's College, London

After her PhD (Imperial College, Chemical Engineering, 2003) and a post-doctoral position (Bristol, Chemistry, 2003-2005), Cécile Dreiss was appointed as a lecturer at King's College London (Pharmaceutical Science Division). Her research focuses on understanding and exploiting self-assembly in soft matter, spanning colloidal, polymeric and biological systems, by establishing relationships between properties on the macro-scale (bulk behaviour or functionality) and the organisation of the systems on the nanoscale. She uses neutron and X-ray scattering techniques extensively as well as rheology (more details).

RSC Treasurer:
Alex Routh

Dr Alex Routh, Senior Lecturer in Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge

Joint appointment between Department of Chemical Engineering and BP Institute for multiphase flow. Alex graduated in Chemical Engineering from Cambridge University and then did a PhD in Chemical Engineering at Princeton University in America. There he started working in colloids and continued this with a post-doc position in Bristol. After four years as a lecturer in Sheffield he moved back to Cambridge in 2006 where he is a Fellow of Gonville and Caius College.

SCI Treasurer:
Claire Pizzey

Dr Claire Pizzey, Diamond

Claire Pizzey is an Industrial Liaison Scientist specialising in X-ray scattering and related techniques at the Diamond Light Source, the UK’s national synchrotron facility. Her role focuses on enabling industrial access to Diamond across a wide range of industry sectors. She is particularly interested in structure, self-assembly and ordering in soft matter and complex materials including colloids, liquid crystals, surfactants, proteins and biomaterials. Following a PhD in Colloid Science from the University of Bristol, Claire held a post-doctoral research position (Chemical Engineering) at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA. She joined Diamond as a member of the scientific team supporting Diamond’s Non Crystalline Diffraction beamline in 2008 and moved to the Industrial Liaison Office in 2010. more information

RSC Secretary:
Nguyen Thanh

Dr Nguyen TK Thanh, Royal Society University Research Fellow, UCL-RI Reader / Associate Professor in Nanotechnology, The Davy-Faraday Research Laboratory, The Royal Institution of Great Britain, UK and Department of Physics UCL, Honorary Reader, Department of Chemistry, University of Liverpool In 1994.

Dr Nguyen TK Thanh was selected for an EU-funded PhD position in Biochemistry. In 1999, she undertook postdoctoral work in medicinal chemistry at Aston University. In 2001, she moved to the United States to take advantage of pioneering work in nanotechnology, an emerging and rapidly growing field of science. In 2003, she joined the Liverpool Centre for Nanoscale Science. In 2005, she was awarded a prestigious Royal Society University Research Fellowship and University of Liverpool lectureship. She was based at the Department of Chemistry (ranked seventh in the UK in 2008 RAE) and the School of Biological Sciences. In January 2009, she was appointed a UCL-RI Readership in Nanotechnology and based at The Davy Faraday Research Laboratory, The Royal Institution of Great Britain, London, UK. She leads a dynamic research team focused on the design, synthesis and study of the physical properties of nanomaterials as well as their applications in biomolecular and biomedical research.

SCI Secretary:
Nicholas Darton

Dr Nicholas Darton, Dr Darton gained his B.Sc. in Biochemistry at Leeds University in 1998 where he developed a new method for synthesizing amyloid in vitro. He took his Ph.D. in Biochemistry at Cambridge University in 2003 working on improving a phage-display based HIV vaccine by protein engineering. After working in industry for Healthcare Market Research Worldwide and Abcam he began his first postdoctoral research associate position in 2006 building up the Biomagnetics research group in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, University of Cambridge. Following establishment of this group he began a second BBSRC-industry sponsored post doctorate in 2009 developing a novel chromatographic substrate in collaboration with Medimmune, Lonza and Recipharm Cobra. He is currently Technical Lead-Formulation at Arecor Ltd., responsible for estabilishing and leading internal and external collaborative biopharmaceutical formulation development programs.

SCI Ordinary Members:
Olivier Cayre

Dr Oliver Cayre, University of Leeds

Olivier obtained his PhD from the colloid and surfactant group at the University of Hull and after two research positions at North Carolina State University and the University of Leeds, he was appointed a lecturer in Leeds in 2012 in the School of Process, Environmental and Materials Engineering. His research focuses on the design of functional/complex particulate systems and the study of interfacial adsorption phenomena of colloidal and polymer systems. He works regularly with Industrial partners in this area to solve formulation challenges for particulate products, including electrophoretic displays, drilling fluids, cosmetics and personal and home care products.
Jeroen van Duijneveldt

Dr Jeroen van Duijneveldt, University of Bristol

Jeroen was appointed to a lectureship in physical chemistry at the University of Bristol in 1997 and currently is reader in physical chemistry. He obtained his PhD in 1994 at the Van't Hoff Laboratory in Utrecht under supervision of Professor Henk Lekkerkerker and Dr Jan Dhont. Subsequently, he joined the group of Professor Mike Allen at the Physics Department at the University of Bristol. He has over 50 peer-reviewed publications. He is a member of the Royal Dutch Chemical Society, the RSC (CChem MRSC), SCI and the Institute of Physics (CPhys MInstP). He is Treasurer of the RSC Colloid and Interface Science Group and past member and chairman of the RSC's Bristol and District Section Committee. His research focusses on soft condensed matter - for instance colloidal suspensions, emulsions, liquid crystals, and polymers. This includes many systems of practical or biological importance, such as inks, paints, shampoos, foodstuffs, milk and blood. Real systems tend to be complex, consisting of many components that are often difficult to characterise in detail. Well-defined model systems are therefore studied instead. A central theme is the use of polymers to control particle interactions, structure and phase behaviour in colloidal suspensions.


Richard Greenwood, University of Bristol

Richard is currently the Deputy Director of Engineering Doctorate in Formulation Engineering at the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham. As of 1 st July 2015 he will be seconded to the Centre for Process Innovation to help establish the National Formulation Centre. He graduated from Bristol University in 1991 with a BSc in Chemistry and obtained a PhD from Chemical Engineering Department at Imperial College in 1995. He has previously chaired the IChemE Particle Technology Special Interest Group and sat on the RSC Formulation Science and Technology Subject Group, where he organised numerous national and international conferences.

Dr Alison Paul

Dr Alison Paul, Cardiff University

Alison was appointed as a lecturer in 2006, and jointly runs the Soft Matter Research Group within the School of Chemistry at Cardiff University. Her research interests focus mainly on colloidal systems relating to drug delivery. Her group utilises a combination of synthetic chemistry, physicochemical characterisation techniques (including neutron scattering and NMR) and formulation expertise to understand structure-performance relationships. In collaboration with pharmacists, biologists and medics, this knowledge is used for the informed design and development of new drug delivery systems. more information)


Dr Seung Yeon Lee, University of Cambridge

Seung is a research associate of Jesus College, University of Cambridge. She studied Chemistry (Msci) with industrial experience (one year placement in ICI) at Bristol, and then a PhD in colloid and surface chemistry at Cambridge. Seung has research interests in solid/liquid interfaces where a wide range of molecules; in particular organic molecules and inorganic ions, can play important roles. She travels to international facilities to conduct experiments including lab-based experiments and theoretical approaches (more information). Special interests: Colloidal dispersions in both aqueous and non-aqueous systems, Characterisation techniques, in particular neutron scattering and reflectivity, Adsorption of surfactants and polymers on solids (clay minerals and metals) from both aqueous and non-aqueous systems, Ion speciation in aqueous systems


RSC Ordinary Members


Prof Richard Buscall, MSACT Consulting

Graduate of the Royal Institute of Chemistry then post-graduate work, MSc and PhD, at the University of Bristol. Experience: 40 years in colloid and interface science and 35 in rheology. He worked in corporate research at ICI Plc for many years, latterly in the position of ICI Fellow. Now: consulting and training via MSACT Research & Consulting (MSACT = Mud, Sludge & Custard Tamed), plus, pro bono research in collaboration with others, plus, various non-exec. and advisory appointments. He is an hon. Professorial Fellow at the Dept. of Chemical & Biomolecular Eng. in the University of Melbourne and an Associate Member of the University of Wales Institute of Non-Newtonian Fluid Mechanics (Diolch yn fawr). He was formerly Hon. Sec. and Chairman of RSC CISG and a President of the BSR, also a member of the board of directors and technical committee of IFPRI (International Fine Particle Research Institute) for many years.


Dr Christian Lorenz, King's College London

Chris Lorenz graduated with his PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan in 2001. Then he moved to Sandia National Laboratories to do a postdoc where he worked with Gary Grest, Mark Stevens and Mike Chandross carrying out molecular dynamics simulation studies of the fracture of polymeric networks and the tribological properties of self-assembled monolayers. In 2005, Chris moved to Iowa State University to work as a postdoc with Prof. Alex Travesset and worked on coarse-grain simulations of self-assembly of block copolymers and nanofluidics. Then in 2007, Chris joined King's College London and is currently a Senior Lecturer in the Theory and Simulation of Condensed Matter Group within the Department of Physics, and an Associate Director of the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Cross-disciplinary Approaches to Non-Equilibrium Systems (CANES), which is based at King's. His group is interested generally in using atomistic and coarse-grain classical molecular dynamics simulations to understand how the molecular interactions govern the interfacial properties of various colloidal, polymeric, and biological systems.


Dr Chris Blanford, University of Manchester

Dr Blanford studies and engineers the interface between conductors and biomacromolecules. He received a bachelor of science in chemical engineering from the University of Notre Dame in 1995. Five years later he was awarded a Ph.D. in inorganic chemistry from the University of Minnesota–Twin Cities under the joint supervision of Profs Andreas Stein and C. Barry Carter. His thesis work in the synthesis and electron microscopy of ordered porous materials led him to post-doctoral appointments at the University of Oxford’s Department of Chemistry. He researched the formation of three-dimensional photonic crystals by laser holography under the supervision of Prof. R.G. Denning, then protein electrochemistry with Prof. F.A. Armstrong. In 2008, he was awarded a Career Acceleration Fellowship from the UK’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to develop enzyme-based fuel cell cathodes. He joined the University of Manchester’s School of Materials in 2011. Since 2009, he has served as an editor of the Journal of Materials Science. He is also on the editorial board of the Journal of the Royal Society Interface.


Wim Thielemans

Prof Wim Thielmans, University of Nottingham

Wim obtained his Masters in Chemical Engineering degree (Magna Cum Laude) from the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (Leuven, Belgium) in 1999. He worked for a couple of months as a plant engineer in Bayer's glass fibre production facility in Antwerp, Belgium, before starting his PhD at the University of Delaware (Newark, DE, USA) under the supervision of Professor Richard P Wool. He obtained his PhD in Chemical Engineering in 2004, working on the development of polymers and composites from renewable materials such as cellulose, lignin and plant oil triglycerides. He then moved to the Ecole Française de Papeterie et des Industries Graphiques at the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble (Grenoble, France) for postdoctoral research on the surface modification of cellulose and starch nanoparticles. Wim obtained a Marie Curie Intra-European Research Fellowship in 2005 to continue his postdoctoral research. He ended this position early to take up his current Lecturer in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering postion at the University of Nottingham.

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