Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Final Report Summary - NBM-HT (Non Boiling two phase Microfluidics with Heat Transfer)

The Career Integration Grant (CIG) has provided an excellent foundation upon which to establish the fellow as an academic for a life-long career in microfluidics, heat transfer and energy based research activities. It has enabled the foundations of a new research direction in microfluidics at the University of Oxford, by providing critical support in the initial stages of his lab/research development activities. These research activities have focussed on two core thematic areas; 1) thermal management and energy efficiency in applications related to jet engines and 2) microfluidics applied to heat transfer and biotechnology applications which have resulted in a spin-out company where the fellow is a co-founder. Building upon this grant several additional funding sources/collaborations and patent opportunities have emerged, that were only viable at such an early stage as a result of this CIG. The grant has provided a cornerstone to forge on-going multidisciplinary collaborations emerging from the fellow’s basic research with separate groups in pathology, zoology, cardiology and math based at University of Oxford and Sheffield University. The core results is that the fellow is now fully integrated within the department of engineering science and expects to have a long term career within the University of Oxford.

Impact
The impact of this research is split between thermal/energy impact and microfluidics impact. The research objective related to fluid mechanics/heat transfer in jet engines was achieved by forming a collaboration with Rolls Royce (RR). I have secured three sequential research projects (as PI) with RR towards innovative thermal management solutions for electrical machines/power electronics within a jet engines operating envelop. In addition, RR in collaboration with the EPSRC awarded me funds for a doctoral studentship at Oxford to research multiphase flows as a thermal management strategy for electrical machines. This is a new research direction for RR and the research projects to date have enabled me to build a network of contacts within RR to become a core part of their thermal research agenda in power electronics and electrical machines, now and, into the future. This is an activity that is expected to grow over the coming years as the more electric aircraft moves closer to reality, bringing with it many thermal management challenges. This RR research area is a collaboration with Sheffield University (RR preferred power electronics research group).
The second objective related to microfluidics applied to biotechnology: My research strategy here was to develop a microfluidic lab to enable demonstration of new methods in microfluidics, and thereby build a multi interdisciplinary collaborative network. This has been a tremendous success, largely as a result of the accelerated start provided by the CIG, and my activities continue to gain significant momentum outside of my department (engineering science) and my division at Oxford for applications with cell based research groups. For example, over the past two years I have developed collaborations related to bacterial cells with Zoology (the Kevin Foster group), cancer cells with Pathology (the Peter Cook group) and cardiac cells with the JR hospital (the Matthew Daniels (consultant) group). These collaborations are supported by three full time doctoral students that I am supervising (one co-supervised with Prof. Alfonso Castrejon-Pita in Engineering Science, and one co-supervised by Prof. Matthew Daniels (cardiology consultant in the JR) and three full time post-docs (two of which are based in engineering science). Based on this research I have led the establishment of a spin out company. The spin out process, and my responsibility to ensure IP protection to enable Oxford University technology transfer office to maximise potential commercialization activities had initially slowed my publication rate in this area. However, the spin out process completed recently, October 2016, and this has enabled me to begin to publish around this new technology, and to develop collaboration outside of the University of Oxford (e.g. collaboration established with University of Sheffield and Math department at University of Oxford).

Reported by

THE CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD
United Kingdom

Subjects

Life Sciences
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