Personal profile

Research interests

Dr Mike Bird holds degrees in Chemical Engineering from the Universities of Swansea and Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers, and a Chartered Engineer.


Mike’s research interests are in the area of biochemical and food process engineering. Research work has investigated the interaction between surfaces and bioproducts, particularly in stainless steel equipment and in pressure driven synthetic membrane systems. This includes fouling and cleaning of surfaces; a multidisciplinary area requiring an appreciation of surface chemistry, material science, biochemistry as well as chemical engineering.

Chemical cleaning is of great interest to the food industry to ensure product quality. Optimisation of cleaning processes leads to a reduction in the amount of water, energy and cleaning chemicals consumed, and the downtime lost.

Fouling and cleaning phenomena are critical to the operation of synthetic membranes. Such membranes are used to purify and process streams containing proteins, carbohydrates and salts in food, water and pharmaceutical industries. Mike’s work has a strong relevance to improving product quality, and reducing downtime, water and chemical consumption.

A strong emphasis is placed on understanding the fundamental surface science of the deposition and removal processes occurring.

Mike’s research group has studied deposition to and removal from:

  • Ultra/microfiltration membranes of: Bacterial spores (Kerry Group), beer (Courages), coffee (Nestle), gum Arabic (Kerry Group), lignosulphonates (Borregarrd Lignotech, Alfa Laval), molasses (Danisco), nisin (Danisco) raw skimmed milk (TetraPak), tea (Unilever, Findlays), tomato serum (Unilever), milk protein isolate (Kerry Group) and yeast,
  • Clothes fabrics (P&G)
  • Heat exchange surfaces of: Whey proteins and starches,
  • Non-heated stainless steel surfaces of: crude oil (International Products Corp), tube drawing lubricants (Fine Tubes), and bacterial biofilms (Solvay Interox),
  • Electrical component surfaces (cables and relay contacts) of: rosin flux and surface contamination.

He has co-authored in excess of 80 papers, of which over 30 have appeared in peer reviewed journals.


Willing to supervise doctoral students

Interested in supervising students studying:

  • Synthetic Membrane Separation Processes
  • Food Process Engineering
  • Reduction of Water and Energy consumption in industrial processes
  • Fouling and Cleaning of Process Plant.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy


  • membranes, fouling, cleaning, disinfection, process optimisation


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