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Dr Thomas Johnson
Bernard Katz
Torrington Place
Dr Thomas Johnson profile picture
  • Research Assistant
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Thomas is a UKRI Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, having been successfully funded for an Innovation Scholars Secondment with Pall Biotech. He achieved a 1st class (Hons.) MEng degree in 2014 in Biochemical Engineering before receiving his Engineering Doctorate (EngD) in 2019, supervised by Professors Daniel Bracewell and Paul Shearing at UCL with Dr. Peter Levison and Dr. John Welsh at Pall.

Thomas was the Post-doctoral Research Associate for the UCL-Pall Biotech Centre of Excellence (CoE) from 2018 to 2021. He holds positions within the Pall-UCL CoE management and Pall Academic Liaison Committees, responsible for the running and future vision of the extensive collaboration.  Thomas has been an active associate of the Electrochemical Innovation Laboratory based in Chemical Engineering, UCL since 2015. Thomas is involved in the mentoring of nine doctorate candidates within the CoE. He co-supervises EngD and PDRA projects with Professor Daniel Bracewell that both commenced in 2022. Thomas has been successfully funded for three National X-ray Computed Tomography projects with: Maria Parau (UCL), Gyorgy Ovari (UCL) and Mariachiara Conti (University of Edinburgh).

In his role as a UKRI Research Fellow and as the UCL-Pall CoE lead researcher, Thomas is responsible for interfacing between UCL and Pall to promote CoE collaboration and integrate his academic research within an industry leading vendor. His interest in tomography and material characterisation is applied to Pall downstream processing materials with a view of developing design suggestions for the next generation of bioseparation structures to improve the efficiency of novel medicines purification.

Thomas is a Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS) and Associate Member of the Institution of Chemical Engineers (AMIChemE).

Research Themes
Research Summary

Thomas’ doctoral and postdoctoral published research pioneered the application of high resolution tomographic techniques e.g. X-ray computed tomography and focused ion beam microscopy to visualise and characterise the internal structure of depth filters, membranes and chromatographic structures at multiple length scales. 3D digital geometries reconstructed from high resolution imaging were used to evaluate key geometric properties that include porosity, pore size and available surface area. Digital volumes were used as the basis for computational fluid dynamics to evaluate tortuosity, permeability and diffusivity, with this overall research agenda enabling structural and flow properties to be related with function and performance.

Thomas’ research agenda within the CoE involved developing a larger vision with Prof. Daniel Bracewell to design and generate novel bioseparations materials utilising imaging dataset information, including collaboration with relevant doctoral projects. His Research Fellowship continues this vision by producing new materials that address limitations and provide advantages over existing technologies through an imaging integrated design approach.

Teaching Summary

Thomas has co-designed, organised and delivered teaching content that includes lectures, seminars and guest talks since 2015 on courses led by Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore:

- BENG0008: Commercialisation of Research Ideas

- BENG0030: Advanced Enterprise Implementation

- BENG0035: Business Planning in Bioprocessing and Life Sciences

He is also involved with case study evaluation on courses led by Professor Daniel Bracewell:

- BENG0007: Downstream Processing

- BENG0034: Integrated Downstream Processing

Thomas has acted as a tutor for the UCL Biochemical Engineering Chromatography MBI. He has previously also partaken and supervised iGEM teams with Dr. Darren Nesbeth, in each case winning gold medals and additional prizes at the international Jamboree from 2013-2015.

He is recognised at Fellow level for the Higher Eduction Academy (FHEA).

2021 UKRI Research Fellow Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2018 – 2021 Post-doctoral Researcher Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2019   Doctor of Engineering University College London
2014   Master of Engineering University College London
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