• United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

I am happy to accept PhD students, but have no funded paces at present. Please contact me to find out more information about any of the projects below.  If you are interested in working in another area, please contact me to discuss your project ideas.

Pore-Scale Imaging of Cross Fault Flow in High Porosity Sandstones using High Pressure-Temperature Fluid Tomography
Microstructural controls on the rheology of complex fluids

From micro- to macro- understanding how pore-scale behaviours control slope stability in embankments and cuttings

Novel injection strategies for geothermal energy systems

Engineering soil health in the face of climate change

Personal profile

Personal Statement

I joined Strathclyde in 2019 as a Chancellor’s Fellow, and hold a Senior Lectureship as a joint appointment in both Civil & Environmental Engineering and Chemical & Process Engineering.  I am a geologist by background, but my research routinely bridges disciplines. Having spent time in Geoscience, Materials Science and Engineering departments, I regularly bring methods across traditional subject and area boundaries, especially at the interfaces between geology, materials science, environmental science and engineering.  

My main research interests lie in understanding the behaviour and evolution of both natural and man-made materials. More specifically, it is questions about how the microstructure of a material evolves through time, and how this changes the properties and behaviour of the larger system, that underpin most of my work.

To do this, I use x-ray computed tomography to see inside materials and objects and quantify their internal structures, and a range of experimental and analytical methods to observe the physical, chemical and biological changes within the sample overtime.

Research Interests

I apply x-ray tomography and other materials characterisation methods to investigate the textures and structures within natural and man-made materials. Similar to a medical CT but at higher resolution, the method is non-destructive, and can be applied to a wide range of samples and sample sizes. More importantly, it can be used on samples as they are heated, cooled, compressed, stretched, twisted, stirred or inundated by a range of different fluids.

My work focusses on the latest state-of-the-art 3D and real time 4D imaging techniques. In 4D studies, the ability to inside the sample as it undergoes a change allows us to collect a "movie", where each frame is a full 3D x-ray tomography image. In my own core research, the individual 3D images of the movie are each collected in under a second. For other studies it is enough to image every few seconds, few hours, or even every few months depending on the rate and magnitude of change you wish to observe. This allows me to track the location and interactions between particles or between bubbles, to quantify fracture propagation, to capture dissolution or precipitation as it occurs, to observe fluids passing through pore throats, or corrosion, or sintering, or root growth. The opportunities are almost endless.

Current interests include:

  • Multi-phase flows and rheology in complex and concentrated fluids
  • Understanding pore scale controls on slope stability to improve embankment and cutting resilience to climate change
  • Diffusion and bubble growth in silicate classes
  • In situ deformation of composite materials
  • Damage accumulation in granular and non-granular systems
  • Continuous manufacturing
  • Sustainable resource management
  • Environmental management and remediation
  • Sintering and densification processes
  • Permeability evolution in the subsurface
  • Subsurface fluid flow and fluid-rock interactions
  • Pore scale processes
  • Soil mechanics
  • The physical-chemical-biological interactions that control soil fertility


Current PhD Students

  • Rory Brittain 
    Fines migration in porous media
    University of Strathclyde, Civil & Environmental Engineering. 
  • Phil Salter
    The use of microbially and enzyme induced carbonate precipitation  for improving subsurface storage integrity
    University of Strathclyde, Civil & Environmental Engineering. 
  • Andrea Kozlowski
    Development of sustainable substitutes for Pulversized Fly Ash in cement and concrete

    University of Strathclyde, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Rebecca Lindsey-Halls
    Effect of High temperatures on NRVB cement backfill for nuclear waste storage 
    University of Strathclyde, Civil & Environmental Engineering
  • Matthew Divers
    Quantifying the mineralogical controls on precious metal enrichment in the Rum layered intrusion, NW Scotland
    University of Glasgow, Geographical & Earth Sciences

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 11 - Sustainable Cities and Communities
  • SDG 12 - Responsible Consumption and Production
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, The zircon (U-Th)/He thermochronometer: development and application of thermochronometers in igneous provinces

Award Date: 7 Jul 2007

Bachelor of Science, Natural Sciences. Earth Science & Physics

Award Date: 30 Jun 2001


  • Energy
  • Materials science
  • In situ Imaging
  • X-ray tomography
  • Geology
  • Sub surface Engineering
  • Multiphase flows
  • Permeability


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