professorphillipwrightWelcome to ChELSI, Chemical Engineering at the Life Science Interface.

ChELSI has brought life science interface work right into the heart of chemical engineering and that was our vision when we developed our strategy for the future of chemical engineering education and research.

This opportunity and ChELSI itself, could not have been achieved without the substantial funding of the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the University of Sheffield.

Professor Phillip Wright, Chemical and Biological Engineering Department Head and Director of ChELSI

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CHELSI - in more depth

About ChELSI

chintChELSI is an interdisciplinary institute founded to enhance interactions between chemical engineers and biologists across strategically important research themes. The Institute was established with a £4.3m EPSRC grant awarded in 2006.

This has funded a brand-new, 1500m2 building within the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield. The aim of ChELSI is to revolutionise the way in which life science research is conducted by adopting approaches from chemical engineering, and to exploit advances in biology to improve engineering processes.

Our Facilities

ChELSI research is founded upon state-of-the-art analytical methods and expertise available within the Institute and is performed in fully-equipped, custom-built molecular and microbiology laboratories. Find out more

Our Research

The Institute provides the space and facilities to enable chemical engineers and life scientists to collaborate on research in four key sectors:


Microbiology in urban water systems

WaterResearchers in ChELSI explore the role of microbiology in producing clean drinking water and treating waste and are setting out future uses for microbes engineered through synthetic biology.

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New fuels from Biology

energyAs we move away from fossil fuels the energy portfolio of the future must become more diverse. In ChELSI new energy sources from biology are being developed, from microbial fuel cells to algal biodiesel.

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Optimising cell factories for the biotechnology industry

biomanufacturingBiomanufacturing harnesses the power of cells to synthesise chemicals for industry. In ChELSI improved microbial and mammalian cell culture systems are being developed.

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Medicines Interface

Engineering insights to understand disease

medicineModern medicine increasingly considers disease in the context of a mis-functioning complex biological system. To address this complexity ChELSI interacts with medical researchers to bring an engineering approach to understanding disease.

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