John Chew

PhD in Chemical Engineering, BEng (Hons) Chemical and Process Engineering, BCom Accounting, Finance & Information Systems, Prof

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Personal profile

Research interests

My research interests fall into two areas: the first is green cleaning, and the second is dynamics of small-scale fluid particles in gas-liquid flow systems.

Green cleaning:

I have strong interest in the research area related to surface layers. I have been working on issues related to fouling and cleaning of surface layers in the food, textile, polymer processing, membranes and biotechnological industries since 2004. Fluid Dynamic Gauging (FDG) is a technique developed in my research group to measure the thickness of solid layers deposited on a substrate in situ and in real time. The technique is based on the steady flow of a fluid through a nozzle located near the layer surface, so that the device does not touch the layer but senses its presence, by virtue of its influence on the flow rate of the fluid. Measurement of the flow rate tells us the thickness and strength (cohesive and adhesive) of the surface layers. With careful mechanical design, FDG has been extended to an automated system that can now measure thickness and attachment strength or deformability of fouling layers in situ and in real time. The advances have come through combining experimental measurements and numerical modelling.

Another area of interest is the design and development of multi-functional adsorbent structures for air purification. The structures (e.g. polymeric foams and monolithic activated carbon) are low burden (low pressure drop) and capable of physically and chemically adsorb toxic species from air.  I am concentrating on a number of applications including VOC removal and respiratory protection equipment for emergency responders.

Dynamics of small scale fluid particles in gas-liquid flow systems:

Bubbles and droplets, are ubiquitous in everyday life, both in nature and in technology. My research on gas-liquid systems is centred on understanding the hydrodynamics and interfacial interactions of small scaled fluid particles with their continuous phase during the course of their movements in a piece of equipment. The most important feature of the fluid particles that sets them apart from the rigid particles is their mobile surface and their ability to deform during motion. A combination of experimental and computational techniques are used to understand the dynamics of these bubbles is process such as wastewater treatment, fermentation and surface cleaning.

Willing to supervise PhD

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Green cleaning
  • Air purification
  • Water treatment
  • Membranes
  • Sensors for fouling and cleaning
  • Gas-liquid phase flows
  • Non-Newtonian fluids

Education/Academic qualification

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

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  • 3 Similar Profiles
Gaging Engineering & Materials Science
Fluid dynamics Engineering & Materials Science
Fouling Engineering & Materials Science
fouling Agriculture & Biology
Cleaning Engineering & Materials Science
Deposits Chemical Compounds
Computational fluid dynamics Engineering & Materials Science
Microfiltration Engineering & Materials Science

Network Recent external collaboration on country level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots.

Projects 2014 2021

KTP with Norgren Ltd

Perera, S. & Chew, J.

Innovate UK


Project: Central government, health and local authorities

Equipment Supply Agreement

Chew, J.

1/06/16 → …

Project: Research-related funding

Equipment Supply Agreement

Chew, J.

4/01/16 → …

Project: Research-related funding

Aging of materials
Ceramic membranes

Research Output 2004 2020

9 Citations (Scopus)
2 Downloads (Pure)
Open Access
3 Citations (Scopus)

3D Printed Fouling-resistant Composite Membranes

Mazinani, S., Al-Shimmery, A., Chew, Y-M. & Mattia, D., 24 Jul 2019, In : ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces. 11, 29, p. 26373-26383 11 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Bubble-less ozonation with non-porous membranes: Experiments and CFD modelling

Zoumpouli, G., Ho, S., Chew, Y-M. & Wenk, J., 23 Jun 2019.

Research output: Contribution to conferenceAbstract

1 Citation (Scopus)
4 Downloads (Pure)

Coalescence of small bubbles with surfactants

Lu, J., Corvalan, C., Chew, Y-M. & Huang, J. Y., 16 Mar 2019, In : Chemical Engineering Science. 196, p. 493-500 8 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access


Dataset for "3D Printed Contactor for Enhanced Oil Droplets Coalescence"

Al-Shimmery, A. (Creator), Mazinani, S. (Creator), Flynn, J. (Creator), Chew, J. (Creator), Mattia, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 19 Jul 2019


Dataset for "3D Printed Fouling-Resistant Composite Membranes"

Mazinani, S. (Creator), Al-Shimmery, A. (Creator), Chew, J. (Creator), Mattia, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 23 Aug 2019


Dataset for "3D Printed composite membranes with enhanced anti-fouling behaviour”

Al-Shimmery, A. (Creator), Mattia, D. (Creator), Chew, J. (Creator), Mazinani, S. (Creator), Ji, J. (Creator), University of Bath, 21 Dec 2018


Dataset for ''High Flux Thin-Film Nanocomposites with Embedded Boron Nitride Nanotubes for Nanofiltration''

Casanova, S. (Creator), Liu, T. Y. (Creator), Chew, J. (Creator), Livingston, A. G. (Creator), Mattia, D. (Creator), University of Bath, 9 Oct 2019



3D printed membranes for oil-water separation processes

Author: Al-Shimmery, A., 4 Sep 2019

Supervisor: Chew, Y. (Supervisor) & Mattia, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD

Advanced Studies of Membrane Fouling: Investigation of Cake Fouling Using Fluid Dynamic Gauging

Author: Lewis, W., 5 Jan 2015

Supervisor: Chew, Y. (Supervisor) & Bird, M. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


An investigation into the strength and thickness of biofouling deposits to optimise chemical, water and energy use in industrial process cleaning

Author: Peck, O., 26 Sep 2017

Supervisor: Chew, Y. (Supervisor), Bird, M. (Supervisor) & Bolhuis, A. (Advisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Development And Computational Studies Of Multi-Channel Adsorbent Hollow Fibre For The Removal Of Volatile Organic Compounds

Author: Alsharif, A., 1 Jul 2017

Supervisor: Perera, S. (Supervisor), Chew, Y. (Supervisor) & Lukyanov, D. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD


Hygrothermal performance of Moso bamboo-based building material

Author: Huang, P., 25 May 2017

Supervisor: Chang, W. (Supervisor), Ansell, M. (Supervisor), Chew, Y. (Supervisor) & Shea, A. (Supervisor)

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisPhD