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Dr Thomas Johnson
2.04 Cloisters Office
Bernard Katz
Torrington Place
Dr Thomas Johnson profile picture
  • Senior Research Fellow
  • Dept of Biochemical Engineering
  • Faculty of Engineering Science

Thomas is a Senior Research Fellow in the Department of Biochemical Engineering, having been successfully funded for a UKRI Innovation Scholars Secondment with Cytiva. 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 Drs Peter Levison and John Welsh from Pall Corporation (now Cytiva).

Thomas was the Post-doctoral Research Associate for the UCL-Cytiva Centre of Excellence (CoE) from 2018 to 2021. He holds positions within the CoE management and Cytiva 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. He co-supervises an engineering doctorate and a Post-doctoral Research Fellow project with Professor Daniel Bracewell that both commenced in 2021. Thomas has been successfully funded for five National X-ray Computed Tomography (NXCT) projects with Dr Maria Parau (UCL, completed), Hercules Argyropolous (UCL, completed), Mariachiara Conti (University of Edinburgh, completed), Gyorgy Ovari (UCL, ongoing) and Dr Michael Thomas (UCL, ongoing).

As the lead researcher for the Cytiva Centre of Excellence, Thomas is responsible for interfacing between UCL and Pall to promote international collaboration and integrate his academic research within an industry leader. His interest in tomography and material characterisation is applied to Cytiva 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 Chartered Engineer (CEng), Intstitution of Chemical Engineers Chartered Member (MIChemE) and Member of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Research Themes
Research Summary

Thomas’ published research pioneers 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 are used to evaluate key geometric properties that include porosity, pore size and available surface area. Digital volumes are 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 involves 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 expands vision by producing new materials that address limitations and provide advantages over existing technologies through an imaging integrated design approach.

Teaching Summary

Thomas leads three undergraduate and Masters modules alongside course coordinator Professor Eli Keshavarz-Moore:

- BENG0008: Commercialisation of Research Ideas

- BENG0030: Advanced Enterprise Implementation

- BENG0035: Business Planning in Bioprocessing and Life Sciences

He leads the evaluation of final presentations on courses coordinated by Professor Daniel Bracewell:

- BENG0007: Downstream Processing

- BENG0034: Integrated Downstream Processing

- Modular Training for the Bioprocess Industries (MBI): Chromatography

In 2018 Thomas established the Pall doctoral mentorship programme that he still coordinates, which currently has over ten members.

He has previously supervised three International Genetically Engineered Machine (iGEM) competition entries from UCL in 2013-2015. Every year the project was awarded a gold medal and recieved multiple prizes.

Thomas is recognised as a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA) by UCL ARENA.

2022 – 2024 Senior Research Fellow Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2021 – 2022 Research Fellow Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
2018 – 2021 Research Associate Biochemical Engineering UCL, United Kingdom
Academic Background
  SFHEA Senior Fellow Higher Education Academy
2019 EngD Doctor of Engineering University College London
2014 MEng Master of Engineering University College London
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