Research Fellow in Microscale Flows

University of Birmingham - School of Mathematics

Duration: Fixed-term for 24 months

We are currently seeking a motivated researcher for a two-year, full-time postdoctoral research fellowship in microscale flows. The post-holder will be joining a friendly and dynamic group of collaborative, interdisciplinary researchers in the mathematical biology group, which sits within the applied mathematics group of the School of Mathematics. The project is entitled “Artificial Transforming Swimmers for Precision Microfluidics Tasks”, and is funded by an EPSRC Bright Ideas Award to Dr Tom Montenegro-Johnson. The post-holder will be embedded within Dr Montenegro’s group in Mathematics, and will collaborate with colleagues in the School of Chemical Engineering and the University’s new £7m Healthcare Technologies Research Institute.

The position is part of an exciting project to develop a new generation of self-propelled micromachines that have the ability to transform between pre-programmed shapes upon stimulus. The goal is to produce a prototype which demonstrates the ability to navigate a complex maze of channels, and will entail high-level mathematical modelling coupled with a significant amount of small-scale experimental fluid dynamics work, including design and fabrication of bespoke fluid-filled channels, manipulation of millimetre-scale filaments with micropipettes, video microscopy, and particle-tracking velocimetry. The post-holder will have the opportunity to develop new analytical and numerical models based around singularity methods in order to optimise experimental processes in silico, and create novel designs. The eventual aim of this research program is to create a microscale version for precision microfluidics tasks, such as particle sorting or mixing, and a biocompatible version for minimally invasive medical treatments, such as drug delivery to the retina.

The successful candidate should hold, or have submitted by the agreed start for the post, a PhD or equivalent in Mathematics, Physics, Engineering/Chemical Engineering or a related subject. Extensive experience in the underlying principles of microscale flows is essential, as is experience with, or a strong motivation to learn, experimental microfluidics. Due to the collaborative and interdisciplinary nature of this project, strong communication and interpersonal skills are also required. The ideal candidate will additionally have knowledge of artificial microswimmers, and experience with one or more of Matlab, acoustic-fluid interaction, and image analysis, but these are not essential.

This is a full-time post, but flexible working hours may be arranged, by agreement.  Informal enquiries about this post can be addressed to Dr Tom Montenegro-Johnson (

To download the details of this position and submit an electronic application online please click on the Apply Online button below, please quote Job Ref 58514 in all enquiries.

Valuing excellence, sustaining investment

Share this job
  Share by Email   Print this job   More sharing options
We value your feedback on the quality of our adverts. If you have a comment to make about the overall quality of this advert, or its categorisation then please send us your feedback
Advert information

Type / Role:


Midlands of England