• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

20022020
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Personal profile

Academic / Professional qualifications

Member of the Institute of Physics

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy

Personal Statement

My research focuses on (but is not limited to) soft-hard matter interfaces, including polymer composites and heterogeneous nucleation. I use multiscale simulations to provide insight into material properties and I enjoy collaborating closely with experimentalists. I am driven by curiosity and I am interested in a variety of systems, such as phase behaviour of soy milk coffee mixtures. For more information please visit my personal webpage:

http://personal.strath.ac.uk/karen.johnston/

Teaching Interests

My teaching philosophy is to provide the best learning environment by challenging students through providing questions related to everyday exampes, that develop student's understanding and problem solving skills.

I am the course organiser and lecturer for CP102 Introduction to Chemical Engineering: Fundamentals, Techniques and Tools, and I supervise CP407 design projects, 18350 MEng projects, and Distance Learning MSc projects.

 

Research Interests

Polymer composites are widely used in industry due to their strength, flexibility and light weight. Although generic properties of polymers at surfaces are well understood the interaction between a particular polymer and filler particle is not. The main challenge in simulating polymer-solid interfaces is the different length and time scales involved. This research bridges the gap between the micro- and mesoscale properties using a hierarchical multiscale approach. Density functional theory (DFT) calculations are used to obtain the detailed quantum interactions at the interface and this information is used to build surface potentials for atomistic and coarse-grained (CG) molecular dynamics simulations.

 

Expertise & Capabilities

  • Density functional theory (DFT): electronic structure, adsorption and surface energies, vibrational frequencies etc.
  • Molecular dynamics (MD) simulations: structure and dynamics of thin films, liquids, solutions, solids etc. 

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, Queen's University Belfast

Master in Science, Queen's University Belfast

Keywords

  • Density functional theory; molecular dynamics
  • Polymers
  • Classical molecular dynamics simulations
  • Multiscale modelling
  • Interfaces
  • Surfaces
  • Adsorption
  • Ferroelectrics

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

Density functional theory Chemical Compounds
density functional theory Physics & Astronomy
Adsorption Chemical Compounds
adsorption Physics & Astronomy
Molecules Chemical Compounds
Polymers Chemical Compounds
Benzene Chemical Compounds
Gold Chemical Compounds

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2020

RI@S funded summer project

Johnston, K., Haw, M. & Sefcik, J.

10/06/195/08/19

Project: ResearchSuccessful - Funding Does Not Count as R or KE

EPSRC funnded summer project

Johnston, K.

3/06/1912/08/19

Project: ResearchSuccessful - Funding Does Not Count as R or KE

Research Output 2002 2019

Conundrum of γ glycine nucleation revisited: to stir or not to stir?

Vesga, M. J., McKechnie, D., Mulheran, P. A., Johnston, K. & Sefcik, J., 7 Apr 2019, In : CrystEngComm. 13, p. 2234-2243 10 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
File
glycine
Glycine
Amino acids
Nucleation
nucleation

"Curdling" of soymilk in coffee: a study of the phase behaviour of soymilk coffee mixtures

Brown, M., Laitano, F., Williams, C., Gibson, B., Haw, M., Sefcik, J. & Johnston, K., 20 Apr 2019, In : Food Hydrocolloids. 95, p. 462-467 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

coffee
Coffee
Phase behavior
Phase separation
Fourier transformation

Thesis

Computational modelling of the effect of surfaces on polyvinyldenedifluoride

Author: Pelizza, F., 1 Oct 2017

Supervisor: Johnston, K. (Supervisor) & Lue, L. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis

Prizes

Strathclyde Team Award

Karen Johnston (Recipient), 2019

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

Activities 2013 2019

CECAM workshop Biomolecular mechanisms at functionalized solid surfaces

Karen Johnston (Speaker)
14 May 201917 May 2019

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk

Solvay

Karen Johnston (Visiting researcher)
24 Apr 201925 Apr 2019

Activity: Visiting an external institution typesVisiting an external organisation