Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Chemical Engineering

Professor of Particle Science



+44 (0)20 7594 5611d.r.williams Website




439ACE ExtensionSouth Kensington Campus






Date Role
2017- Professor of Particle Science
2012-17 Reader in Particle Science
2012- Director of Discovery Space
2008-2011 Director of Pilot Plant Project
Director of External Relations
1994- EPSRC Advanced Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, Imperial College London.
1991-1994 Research Fellow, Chemical Engineering Department, Imperial College London.
1986-1990 PhD Chemical Engineering Department, Imperial College London - Thesis Title " Interfacial Phenomena in Aramid Composites".
1983-1985 Experimental; Officer, MRL, Australia
1982-1983 MSc.(Polymer Science) Lehigh University, USA
1981-1982 Experimental, Officer, MRL, Australia
1977-1980 B.Sc.(Hons.) Physical Chemistry, University of Melbourne

research interests

My current research interests focus on the particulate materials and their surfaces including their role in product manufacture for both biological and non-biological materials. These interests range from manufacture of pharmaceutical and biopharmaceutical products, thought to antimicrobial materials for water cleaning and new adsorbents for cleaning air. I have invented a number of new experimental methods for determining a range of surface and bulk physicochemical properties of powders and particulate materials including mechanical, topographical, chromatographic and surface properties.

Current studies have included studies of protein aggregation, freeze drying, peptide formulations, peptide chromatographic purification, adsorbents for CO2, SO2,  VOC and organic pollutant capture,  novel engineered sponges, caking and powder flow for complex powders, antimicrobial polymer surfaces, surfactant coated polymers and reactant diffusion in catalyst particles . The group has world leading expertise in gravimetric characterisation methods as well as inverse chromatographic methods, having pioneered many of these approaches. For example, the water sorption characterisation of many classes of materials, especially pharmaceuticals, bio-materials and biopharmaceutical is an area of significant interest. Current and new project areas include:

  • Adsorption and new adsorbents for CO2  and SO2 capture
  • Effect of water vapour on adsorbent performance
  • Surface energy and powder flow for pharmacetuical powders
  • Surface properties of Complex Polymer Substrates
  • Micromechanics of agglomerates and cellular entities
  • Stability and performance of MaB bioformulations
  • Second virial coefficients and peptide-peptide aggregation behaviour
  • Fundamentals of RPLC chromatographic separation of peptide
  • Stability and the freeze drying of therapeutics
  • Nano-engineered sponges for microbe and oil pollutant capture
  • Miniature instrumentation for process monitoring
  • Diffusion of liquid phase reactants in porous catalyst particles
  • Surfaces and Particle Engineering Laboratory 
  • SMS - UK Surface Measurement Systems 

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Holmes AS, Kiziroglou ME, Yang SKE, et al., 2022, Minimally invasive online water monitor, Ieee Internet of Things Journal, Vol:9, ISSN:2327-4662, Pages:14325-14335

Cherukupally P, Sun W, Williams DR, et al., 2021, Wax-wetting sponges for oil droplets recovery from frigid waters, Science Advances, Vol:7, ISSN:2375-2548

Hunter-Sellars E, Saenz-Cavazos PA, Houghton AR, et al., 2020, Sol-Gel Synthesis of High-Density Zeolitic Imidazolate Framework Monoliths via Ligand Assisted Methods: Exceptional Porosity, Hydrophobicity, and Applications in Vapor Adsorption, Advanced Functional Materials, Vol:31, ISSN:1616-301X

Grape ES, Gabriel Flores J, Hidalgo T, et al., 2020, A Robust and Biocompatible Bismuth Ellagate MOF Synthesized Under Green Ambient Conditions, Journal of the American Chemical Society, Vol:142, ISSN:0002-7863, Pages:16795-16804

Duralliu A, Matejtschuk P, Stickings P, et al., 2020, The Influence of Moisture Content and Temperature on the Long-Term Storage Stability of Freeze-Dried High Concentration Immunoglobulin G (IgG), Pharmaceutics, Vol:12

Cherukupally P, Sun W, Wong APY, et al., 2020, Surface-engineered sponges for recovery of crude oil microdroplets from wastewater (vol 321, pg 784, 2019 ), Nature Sustainability, Vol:3, ISSN:2398-9629, Pages:161-161

Shah UV, Allenby MC, Williams DR, et al., 2012, Crystallization of Proteins at Ultralow Supersaturations Using Novel Three-Dimensional Nanotemplates, Crystal Growth & Design, Vol:12, ISSN:1528-7483, Pages:1772-1777

Ho R, Dilworth SE, Williams DR, et al., 2011, Role of Surface Chemistry and Energetics in High Shear Wet Granulation, Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research, Vol:50, ISSN:0888-5885, Pages:9642-9649

Roberts MM, Heng JYY, Williams DR, 2010, Protein Crystallization by Forced Flow through Glass Capillaries: Enhanced Lysozyme Crystal Growth, Crystal Growth & Design, Vol:10, ISSN:1528-7483, Pages:1074-1083

Yla-Maihaniemi PP, Heng JYY, Thielmann F, et al., 2008, Inverse gas chromatographic method for measuring the dispersive surface energy distribution for particulates, Langmuir, Vol:24, ISSN:0743-7463, Pages:9551-9557

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