Dr Nicole Hondow

Profile

In 2015 I commenced as a University Academic Fellow in the area of Materials Characterisation.

Prior to this I completed undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Chemistry at The University of Western Australia. I then moved to the University of Leeds where I undertook postdoctoral research in the electron microscopy of materials relevant to catalysis (with Professor Rik Brydson) and toxicology (with Dr Andy Brown) before being awarded an independent fellowship from the AXA Research Fund. This fellowship permitted two years of research on the project 'Assessing the biomedical risk of engineered nanoparticles: understanding the behaviour of nanoparticles in physiological media and cells'.

Responsibilities

  • Leader of the Materials Characterisation group
  • Deputy Assessment Lead

Research interests

My research focuses on materials characterisation, specifically in using analytical electron microscopy in the examination and quantification of nanomaterials in complex matrices. Engineered nanomaterials are being exploited in numerous areas including medicine, catalysis, energy and the environment; however, continued use and growth only comes with an understanding of structure property relationships.

Within the School of Chemical and Process Engineering, I am part of the Materials Characterisation group and the Leeds Electron Microscopy and Spectroscopy (LEMAS) centre. With my colleagues, I have been involved with EPSRC funding for advanced microscopy, including transmission electron microscopy (EP/M028143/1), focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy (EP/P00122X/1), and confocal scanning laser microscopy (EP/S01764X/1). We have external access to these facilities through the Leeds EPSRC Nanoscience and Nanoequipment User Facility (EP/R02863X/1) and the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials.

My research is focused on applying analytical electron microscopy to challenging systems, in particular to nanomaterials at the interface with life sciences and in soft materials.

I am particularly interested in applying cryogenic approaches to capture nano- and soft-materials in the native state, with analysis by analytical (S)TEM and FIB-SEM. This work is funded by an EPSRC New Investigator award (EP/R043388/1).

I apply these microscopy techniques to a range of projects. Currently this includes a BBSRC-funded project (BB/R007829/1) using polyvalent multifunctional nanoparticles to address important biomedical challenges. I also have experience in nanotoxicology projects, including HISENTS, which is developing high-throughput toxicity screening for the risk assessment of novel nanomaterials.

Qualifications

  • PhD
  • BSc (Hons, 1st class)

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Microscopical Society
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Student education

I am involved in teaching Materials Characterisation, covering topics such as electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and chemical analysis.

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Functional Materials, Products and Devices

Postgraduate research opportunities

We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study.

Projects currently available:

Publications:

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