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Dr Brian O'Sullivan
Dr Brian O'Sullivan profile picture
  • Research Associate
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science
I’m a chemist who has drifted into engineering!

After a B.Sc. and M.Sc in Chemistry from University College Cork, and a PhD from the University of Exeter (studying the kinetics of aromatic nitration and nitrosation), I worked on catalytic hydrogenation in supercritical fluids at the  University of Reading.

But it was at the University of Hull under Prof Stephen Haswell that I discovered an interest in microfluidics as a tool for chemistry research, learning the fabrication techniques and designing devices for chemical synthesis applications.

At the Department of Chemical Process Engineering at the University of Sheffield, I expanded my microfluidics research interests to include ionic liquids as a green solvent, and more biological applications, such as protein assays. I also took on safety-related roles, becoming Deputy Safety Officer from the department

At UCL since 2009, I am currently Manager of Microscale Bioprocessing in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, which combines research with a more technical role as part of RAFT (the Research and Facilities Team). I am also the Departmental Safety Officer, acquiring my NEBOSH diploma in 2013.

Membership of external committees and professional bodies include:
*Leading on the UCL’s Community of Practice for Engineering Technical Staff, bringing technical staff from across the Engineering Faculty (and related disciplines) together to share information and best practice, and to deliver projects that improve the value of the work technical staff do.
*Committee member of UCL’s Technical Managers Group: an inter-faculty group working to deliver the Technicians Commitment for UCL
*Technical Managers in Universities (South East Region representative): TMU is an informal nationwide association of technical managers working in engineering, technology & science disciplines in universities throughout the United Kingdom
*Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry
*Fellow of the Higher Education Academy
Research Groups
Research Summary

My current research interest is in designing, fabricating and using microfluidic devices for enzyme-catalysed reactions in flow, particularly coupling them with chemical reactions to achieve continuous multistep synthesis of pharmaceutically useful compounds.

Teaching Summary

I am the module leader on

Biomolecular and Cellular Analysis (BENG0054)

This module provides students with an overview of microfluidics theory, and the technologies that are used to fabricate bioprocess microfluidic devices, and introduces students to biomolecular and cellular analytical techniques.

After a series of practical classes, gaining "hands-on" experience with microfluidic and analytical techniques, students are required to design and present a microfluidic device with a specific analytical function

I also design and deliver the practical classes for

Biomicrofluidics and Microsystems Engineering (BENG0042)

Final year students have a microfluidic design assignment, and they are actively encouraged to use rapid prototyping techniques to build and test their designs in the lab.

Bioprocess Plant Design (BENG0022, BENG0020)
Bioprocess Design Dissertation (BENG0049)

For these modules, I provide advice on safety and waste management issues to students designing bioprocess plants

Academic Background
2018   ATQ03 - Recognised by the HEA as a Fellow University College London
1995   Doctor University of Exeter
1992   Master of Science University College Cork
1987   Bachelor of Science University College Cork
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