Professor Will Zimmerman

Prof. Will Zimmerman

Director of Research in Chemical and Biological Engineering


Tel: +44 (0)114 222 7517

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
The University of Sheffield
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Portobello Street
Sheffield, S1 3JD,
United Kingdom

Links: University Profile



My research interests are fairly broad, including;

  • Energy efficient generation of microbubbles and their applications (particularly biofuels and bioreactors)
  • Plasma microreactors, especially low power consumption generation of ozone
  • Fluid dynamics of helical turbulence and mixing
  • Thin film dynamics and microrheometry
  • Computational modelling with inverse methods

My research in applied phycology is centred around the utilisation of microbubbles generated by fluidic oscillation for efficient algal production and harvesting.

A graduate of Princeton and Stanford Universities in Chemical Engineering, the author of over 100 scientific publications, past Director of the M Sc in Environmental and Energy Engineering, and a winner in US and UK national competitions of five prestigious fellowships (2005-6 Royal Academy of Engineering Senior Research Fellow, 2000-5 EPSRC Advanced Research Fellow; 1994-99 Royal Academy of Engineering, Zeneca Young Academic Fellow; 1991-93 visiting professorships appointed by the French Ministry of Education at the Littoral University in Dunkirk in 1998 and 2005. He was interviewed on his algal biofuels work on BBC Radio 4 “Material World with Quentin Cooper”, 4 Feb 2010. His Royal Academy of Engineering SRF, entitled “Systems Biology and Chemical Engineering” has laid down a protocol for optimal experimentation for bioreactor model-building via inverse methods. He directed Microfluidics 2003, a workshop at CISM in Udine from which he edited a book on microfluidics, and is the author of two bestselling texts on multiphysics modelling .



Main supervisor

Kezhen Ying

Yuzhen Shi





Zimmerman, W.B., Hewakandamby, B.N., Tesař, V., Bandulasena, H.C.H., Omotowa, O.A., 2010. On the design and simulation of an airlift loop bioreactor with microbubble generation by fluidic oscillation. Int. Sugar J. 112, 90–103.

Zimmerman, W., Zandi, M., Bandulasena, H., Vaclav, T., Gilmour, D.., Ying, K., 2011. Design of an airlift loop bioreactor and pilot scales studies with fluidic oscillator induced microbubbles for growth of a microalgae Dunaliella salina. Appl. Energy 88, 3357–3369.

Zimmerman, W., Hanotu, J., Murphy, K., 2012. Bubbles for biofuels. Chem. Eng. 34–37.

Hanotu, J., Bandulasena, H.C.H., Zimmerman, W.B., 2012. Microflotation performance for algal separation. Biotechnol. Bioeng. 109, 1663–1673.

Gilmour, D.J., Zimmerman, W.B., 2012. Can algal biofuels play a major role in meeting future energy needs? Biofuels 3, 511–513.

Budarin, V., Ross, A.B., Biller, P., Riley, R., Clark, J.H., Jones, J.M., Gilmour, D.J., Zimmerman, W., 2012. Microalgae biorefinery concept based on hydrothermal microwave pyrolysis. Green Chem. 14, 3251–3254.