Dr Alasdair Campbell

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

Senior Lecturer

Dr Alastair Campbell smiles stood in the Engineering Heartspace
Profile picture of Dr Alastair Campbell smiles stood in the Engineering Heartspace
+44 114 222 7573

Full contact details

Dr Alasdair Campbell
Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering
Room D24
Pam Liversidge Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

I completed my undergraduate degrees in Chemical Engineering at the University of Cambidge in 2003 and then subsequently read for a PhD in Chemical Engineering, which was awarded in 2007. This work was entitled, “The Effects of Natural Convection on Low Temperature Combustion,” and was awarded the Danckwerts-Pergamon Prize for the best dissertation produced in the Department of Chemical Engineering in 2007.

After the completion of my PhD, I was appointed as the Hertha Ayrton Research Fellow in Chemical Engineering at Girton College, Cambridge from 2007 until 2012. In 2011, I was awarded the Hinshelwood Prize by the Combustion Institute. This prize is awarded in recognition of meritorious work by a young scientist of the British Section of the Combustion Institute.

I was appointed as a Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at the University of Surrey in 2012, and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2017. I joined the University of Sheffield as a Senior Lecturer in 2019.

Research interests

My research interests are centred on buoyant, reactive flow. This work can be can be broadly split into work in two general areas, namely process safety (incorporating combustion, explosion and the dispersion of reactive chemicals) and the energy-water nexus, focussing on the use of low-cost technologies for the production of potable or irrigation water in arid regions.

My work has focussed on understanding the interaction of fluid mechanics and chemistry on a fundamental level using a combination of numerical and analytical techniques, coupled to simple experiments. My broad areas of interest are summarised below.


The heat released by combustion reactions can result in significant changes in the density, and thus can induce natural convection. This work has led to numerous publications in high ranking chemical engineering, combustion and interdisciplinary journals and involves a theoretical and numerical investigation of natural convection coupled with two combustion phenomena, namely cool flames, which are a feature of low temperature combustion, and thermal explosion.

Turbulent Plumes

I work on the development new integral models describing plumes in which a chemical reaction alters the density. Such plumes can arise in a variety of circumstances ranging from industrial accidents (e.g. the Gulf of Mexico oil spill) to volcanic eruption columns. The development of new models to describe such plumes is vital for designing effective responses to such events.

Energy-Water Nexus

I am interested in the investigation and deployment of low cost methods of solar energy capture and storage. In particular, I work on solar ponds, where salinity gradients can be used to trap solar energy and industrial waste heat for use in driving desalination processes.


Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers