Professor Nik Kapur


Professor Nikil Kapur has been an academic within the School of Mechanical Engineering since 2002. He is Professor of Applied Fluid Mechanics and holds the RAEng / GSK Chair in Pharmaceutical Processing. His research interests centre around fluid mechanics, and in particular the application to manufacturing processes. Frequently these are multiphasic, with complex fluid behaviours. He uses a range of computational and experimental techniques to understand both the fundamentals of processes and their application within industry.  

He has a broad portfolio of grant funded work spanning application through to fundamentals including a large range of highly interdisciplinary projects with chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics and works with a wide range of industrial sectors. Prof Nikil Kapur teaches in the areas of thermodynamics and fluid flow, both within the university but also to industry through short courses.


  • Director of Institute of Thermofluids

Research interests

Fluid flow is crucial to many industrial processes – for example in the manufacture of pharmaceuticals or other chemical materials, as a way of transferring heat to solid bodies (e.g. cooling of electronic components, baking of bread), in the recovery and processing of oil and gas and as a step in many manufacturing processes (e.g. tableting, coating or printing). The fluid environment is key to biological processes including those which we influence through delivery of a drug (e.g. nasal sprays, injections) or use as a manufacturing step – e.g. fermentation or bio-manufacture.  Understanding fluid mechanics is vital in making these processes as efficient as possible – thereby reducing material and energy use, increasing yield and improving product quality.My research encompasses a whole spectrum of activity – from developing fundamental understanding of fluid flow and behaviour through to practical implementation of the findings at the commercial level; I am interested in flows on all length-scales – from microfluidics through to industrial scale. The work is highly interdisciplinary and I am fortunate to work with mathematicians, chemists, materials scientists, physicists and biologists, to name a few. I use both computational (CFD) and experimental methods to develop understanding of flows and run a well equipped laboratory with access to high speed imaging, spray and droplet analysis equipment and fluid characterisation equipment.

Finally, industry plays a major role in shaping many of the research programmes I run, from raising research challenges through to implementing and transferring research findings into their industrial processes – making for more efficient processes. I have considerable experience in working at the interface between fundamental science and application. Addressing the complexity of fluids and fluid mechanics in real systems is something I truly enjoy and I always welcome new challenges!

The table below gives details of a few of the projects I’m currently involved in. These have been funded through a mixture of direct industry funding through to fundamental research grants. As Director of the Institute of Thermofluids,  and with excellent contacts across the University of Leeds and beyond, I am also well placed to find the academics with the right skills to address your research questions.

This list isn't exhaustive so don't hesitate to contact me if you have specific areas of work that aren't listed.

Processing of materials:

  • Emulsion formation; complex material characterisation; Mixing; flow chemistry and continuous bio-processing includine equipment design - (reactors, flowcells, electrochemical cells), in partnership with iPRD; Stability of proteins under processing conditions with Astbury ; corrosion and erosion of materials.

Sprays and Droplets:

  • Spray nozzle and spray characeristics; polymeric fluid additions; characterisation of weakly dilute polymers; printing of tablets; inkjet.


  • Design and optimisation of filter materials (in partnership wthi NIRI) including flow modelling.

Heat Transfer:

  • Modelling and optimisation of heat exchangers including working on high heat density cooling (with application into electronics industry).


  • Design of microfluidic cells for e.g. crystallisation studies; emulsion formation; sensing.


  • BEng (1st Class), University of  Bradford: Chemical Engineering;
  • PhD School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds

Student education

I teach and have taught fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, computing, experimental and computational methods and microfluidics across years 1-4 of the MEng Programmes run in the School of Mechanical Engineering. I run 3rd and 4th year projects in alignment with my research interests, and frequently with industry.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Thermofluids