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Dr Thomas Johnson
ACBE, Bernard Katz building
Torrington Place
  • Research Assistant
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Thomas is the lead Post-doctoral researcher in Bioprocessing and Characterisation of Flow Through Porous Structures as a part of the UCL-Pall Centre of Excellence (CoE - https://www.ucl.ac.uk/biochemical-engineering/research/centres-excellence). Thomas achieved a 1st class (Hons.) MEng degree in 2014 and was a recipient of the PwC team prize in 2013 for the best presentation appraising and developing a biotech business proposal.

Thomas completed his Engineering Doctorate in 2019 with UCL (Professors Daniel Bracewell and Paul Shearing) and Pall Biotech (Dr. Peter Levison and Dr. John Welsh), pioneering the application of high-resolution tomographic techniques including X-ray Computed Tomography and focused ion beam microscopy for the visualisation, characterisation and simulation upon the detailed, internal structure of chromatography materials at multiple length scales. During this time and continuing into his Post-doctoral studies, Thomas has been an active associate of the Electrochemical Innovation Laboratory in Chemical Engineering, UCL.

His Post-doctoral research agenda involves expanding the number of bioseparation materials that are evaluated when applying high-resolution imaging approaches, in particular considering depth and membrane filters. The cutting-edge research which Thomas produces and regularly presents to an international Pall audience is used to develop a design cycle to provide proposals for novel bioseparation media formulations to enhance performance in an orthogonal manner to conventional approaches.

Thomas 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 acts as a mentor to seven Pall-UCL CoE Engineering Doctorates, including in multiple cases collaborative input and is also a co-supervisor to a project starting in September 2020 that was selected through a competitive tendering process.

Research Themes
Research Summary

Thomas is interested in tomographic representation of bioprocessing material structure to better understand how 3D geometry relates to and impacts unit operation performance. In particular the optimisation and use of high resolution imaging techniques (X-ray Computed Tomography and focused ion beam for microscopy example) applied to industrially relevant products can be used to visualise and evaluate nanometre-scale detail to determine geometric characteristics such as porosity and pore sizes for chromatography and filtration materials.

The 3D structures generated using tomographic imaging can also be used for flow-based simulations that can be used for determination of properties such as diffusivity, permeability and tortuosity using laboratory-obtained values as inputs, linking real experiments on commercially available products to digital representations. The information and knowledge obtained using this approach is aimed at making suggestions to improve structural behaviour and characteristics of these materials for intended functions that meet emergent bioprocessing needs.

Teaching Summary

Thomas has designed, organised and delivered teaching content that includes lectures, seminars and guest talks since 2015 across three undergraduate and Masters level courses with Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore. Thomas has also assisted in other department activities, including assiting in other courses ran by Professor Daniel Bracewell and also supervised multiple iGEM summer project teams, in each case winning gold medals and additional prizes at the international Jamboree.

01-OCT-2018 Post-doctoral Research Associate Biochemical Engineering University College London, United Kingdom
Academic Background
2019   Doctor of Engineering University College London
2014   Master of Engineering University College London
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