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Research interests

Professor Semali Perera has a BSc (Eng) in Chemical Engineering and a PhD from Brunel University, Uxbridge. In 2002 she won the Mary Tasker Award for Excellence in Chemical Engineering Teaching. In 2007 she won the prestigious Royal Society Brian Mercer Award for Innovation.


Semali’s research interests are centered on the design and development of hollow fibres and novel low pressure drop monolithic structures/devices from nano materials for adsorptive separations and environmental protection. Her research also focuses on the development of biodegradable biocompatible polymer vehicle for cancer treatment.

Semali’s research is in the field of advanced separations and nanotechnology. In particular, she has expertise relating to the manufacture and testing of membranes and structured adsorbents from polymeric and ceramic materials.

She is the lead inventor of a novel adsorbent hollow fibre technology that is being developed and commercialised by nanoporous solutions limited (n-psl, university spin-off company).

Semali is concentrating on a number of important applications such as process integrated valuable material recovery and recycling, wastewater treatment, VOC removal and recovery from waste gases. She is also concentrating on developing a sustained chemotherapy release device for cancer treatment.

Bath has overcome the engineering challenges by designing and developing a bio-degradable, implantable multiple drug delivery vehicle. Professor Perera’s expertise is combined with clinical expertise from the Avon, Somerset and Wiltshire Cancer Centre at the RUH, who are collaborating in both the design/formulation and the testing of the platinum based drug encapsulated delivery vehicles.

She has collaborated extensively with industry and educational establishments around the world. Recent and current research projects range from portable oxygen generation using low pressure drop structures for COPD patients to technology for toxic industrial chemical removal.

Teaching interests

  • Reaction engineering
  • Advanced separations
  • Pollution control

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 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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Collaborations and top research areas from the last five years

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