Associate Professor David Harbottle


Associate Professor David Harbottle obtained both MEng and PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from the University of Leeds (UK). In 2014 he was appointed as a Lecturer in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, after spending 5 years as a Postdoctoral and Research Fellow in North America at the City College of New York (USA) and the University of Alberta (Canada). His interests are in the fields of colloid and surface science, rheology, and multiphase flows. His activities bridge the micro- and macro- length scales to address challenging engineering problems. He has extensive knowledge in nuclear waste handling and petroleum processing. He is an author of over 60 scientific articles, 1 patent and 2 book chapters. He was formerly a Director of Rheokinsis Ltd.


  • CP3-CDT - Management Board
  • Petroleum Leeds - Management Board
  • Colloids and Polymer Engineering - Academic Member

Research interests

Download an overview of my research

Current PhDs

John Vickers – Influence of particles in multiphase turbulent flows

Emily James – Substrate dependent wetting dynamics of viscous oils

Johannes Andries Botha – Development of QCM technology for suspension rheology measurement

Kai Yu – Rheological behavior of polymer-particle nano-composites at the air-water interfaces

Shafeeq Ahmed – Enhanced flowability of multi-component particulate slurries

Katherine Bailes – Polymer solutions for the mobilization and immobilization of heavy particles

Mohammed Jeraal – Eliminating undesirable solid phases in multi-component melt crystallization

Suparit Tangparitkul – Droplet dynamics in enhanced oil recovery fluids

Ghinwa Yaghy – Wax deposition in heavy crude oils

David Austin – Physical modeling of milling processes in non-Newtonian systems

Dewi Ballard – Asphaltene inhibition: deposition prevention and removal

Stefanos Michaelides – Drag reducing agent for heavy crude oil transport

Chris Hodges – Stimuli-responsive polymers to enhance the film properties of particle coatings

Mohammed Alshamsi – Asphaltene aggregation and precipitation: routes to effective dispersion

Current PDRAs

Dr Huguai Zhang – Innovative separation of caesium and strontium using flotation and magnetic particles, to convert large waste volumes into small waste packages

Dr Ji Young Yoon (KAIST) – Application of Prussian blue-functionalized iron oxide nanoparticles in porous organic composite for selective adsorption of Cs+ and Sr2+

Project sponsors:

EPSRC, Royal Society, Johnson Matthey, P&G, Venator, Croda, Infineum, Atkins, Innospec, Sellafield Ltd., National Nuclear Laboratory, Abu Dhabi National Oil Company.


  • 2017 - Associate Professor
  • 2014-2017 - Lecturer
  • PhD (2009) - Chemical Engineering
  • MEng (2004) - Chemical Engineering

Professional memberships

  • Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • The Society of Petroleum Engineers

Student education

2017 - Head of Petroleum Engineering (BEng, MEng) and Petroleum Production Engineering (MSc)

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Energy Leeds
  • Institute of Process Research and Development
  • Nuclear Leeds
  • Functional Materials, Products and Devices
  • Waste Management and Resource Recovery