How are complex fluids relevant?

It has been four years since I helped found the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership and, lately, I have been conducting a review of our activity.  In particular, I have examined the sectors with which we have worked.  Unsurprisingly, the dominant sectors are food and personal care industries which require formulation expertise that is clearly reliant on complex…

A need for parallel maths

On Thursday 14th January I attended the inaugural talk by Professor Mark Parsons, ‘“A billion billion calculations in a second – a step too far?”.  Prof. Parsons is Director of the Edinburgh Parallel Computing Centre which hosts the UK’s national supercomputer, ARCHER. As an experimentalist, parallel computing has never really been my thing although I…

Knowledge exchange for start-ups

Personally, I find it very satisfying to play a small part in helping a new business grow from the kitchen sink to a manufacturing plant with products on the supermarket shelf.   When working with academics, my advice to start-ups is: Be open with academics about what you want to solve – often they can solve the unexpected. Academics…

Switchable solvents and surfactants

I went to a fascinating talk yesterday on green chemistry by Professor Philip Jessop from Queen’s University, Canada.  Prof. Jessop has created reversible switchable solvent and switchable surfactant systems which can be turned from ‘good’ to ‘poor’ behaviour by simply bubbling carbon dioxide through the system.   With switchable solvents, the idea is to remove…

Introducing the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership

I would like to introduce the Edinburgh Complex Fluids Partnership (ECFP), part of the University of Edinburgh.  We provide consultancy to companies working with or producing soft matter materials.  Our services can help improve the shelf-life of products or the processing of formulations.  We work on all sizes of contracts so just get in contact if you are…

Defect Glass published in Science

A Self-Quenched Defect Glass in a Colloid-Nematic Liquid Crystal Composite Wood T.A., Lintuvuori J. S., Schofield A. B., Marenduzzo D. and Poon W. C. K. Science, 334, 79, 2011. When colloidal particles are dispersed in a nematic liquid crystal medium the composite exhibits very interesting behaviour.   At volume fractions above 20% it becomes very stiff and,…