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





Research interests

My current research interests focus on the particulate materials and material surfaces and their role in product manufacture including both biological and non-biological materials. I have developed a number of novel and leading edge methods for determining a range of surface and bulk physicochemical properties of powders and particulate materials including mechanical, topographical, chromatographic and surface properties.

Recent studies have included studies of protein aggregation, protein crystallisation and freeze drying. The group has world leading expertise in gravimetric charactisation 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, biomataterials and biopharmaceutical is an area of significant interest.

Current and new project areas include:

  • Biofilms and biocleaning of surfaces
  • Harvesting Water from Air with Surface Engineered Sponges
  • Aggregation behaviour of Crystallin –fundamentals of Cataract Formation
  • Inverse Liquid Chromatography for Reaction Engineering
  • A New Chromatographic Approach for Determining Protein Hydrophobicity and its relationship to Protein Aggregation and Unfolding
  • Fragrance and Malodour Molecule Sorption/Desorption into Solids
  • New Measurement Approaches for studying Caking behaviour of Powders
  • Surface Engineered Sponges: A Low-Cost Material for Bacteria Removal from Water
  • Removal of Volatile Organic Chemicals (VOC’s) from the Environment
  • Miniature Autonomous Sensors for Process Monitoring
  • Surface Acoustic Wave Sensors for remote temperature measurement •Advanced solids for CO2 sorption in carbon capture
  • Novel materials to inhibit biofilm adhesion for medical environments
  • Understanding Small Molecule Interactions with Hair
  • Stability of mABs therapeutics in solution
  • Formulation of peptide therapeutics

Selected research projects

  1. Multi-Component Molecular Diffusion and Sorption in Complex Organic Solids using Inverse Gas Chromatography/Proton Transfer Reaction Mass Spectroscopy in collaboration with Brian Guthrie and Dave Butler download PDF
  2. Micromechanical Properties of Microscopic Particles in collaboration with Brian Briscoe download PDF
  3. Physicochemical Properties of Hydrates and Polymorphic Particulate Materials download PDF