Associate Professor David Harbottle


David Harbottle (DH) is an Associate Professor in the School of Chemical and Process Engineering and an Adjunct Professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering, University of Alberta. Trained as a Chemical Engineer (MEng, Leeds 2004), he has specialized in colloid and interfacial science, and rheology (PhD, Leeds 2008).  DH spent 5 years in North America at the City College of New York (US) and the University of Alberta (Canada), leading projects in the areas of chemical and structural characterization of asphaltenes, new chemical synthesis of functional polymers, and strategies for accelerated phase separation. Since returning to Leeds in 2014, DH has established a critical mass of research in i) suspension and emulsion rheology, ii) droplet dynamics on surfaces, iii) asphaltene science, and iv) functional polymers and membranes. He is an Associate Member of the IChemE and Energy Institute. He is an author of over 90 scientific articles, 1 patent and 3 book chapters. He was previously a Director of Rheokinisis Ltd., a technology start-up developing tools for online rheology measurement.

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Previous group members:

John Vickers (2018) – Air Products

Emily James (2018) – University of Cambridge

Kai Yu (2019) – Associate Professor, Jiangsu University

Johannes Andries Botha (2019) – Unilever, Port Sunlight

Dr Huagui Zhang – Associate Professor, Fujian Normal University

Dr Ji Young – Korea Basic Science Institute





  • Deputy Director EPSRC CDT in Molecules to Products
  • Program Lead Petroleum Engineering and Petroleum Production Engineering
  • Academic Member Colloids, Polymers and Crystallization Engineering

Research interests

Download an overview of my research



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

Professional memberships

  • Institution of Chemical Engineers
  • Energy Institute

Student education

Program Lead MEng/BEng Petroleum Engineering, MSc Petroleum Production Engineering. 

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