Dr Leo Lue


Chemical and Process Engineering

Personal statement

I joined the University in 2010, and I am currently a Reader in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering.  I received a BSE in Chemical Engineering from Arizona State University (ASU), graduating summa cum laude in 1988.  During that time, I received several awards, including the American Institute of Chemical Engineers' (AIChE) Annual Chapter Award for Scholastic Achievement (1987), the American Institute of Chemists' Student Research and Recognition Foundation Student Award Certificate (1988), and the ASU College of Engineering and Applied Sciences Distinguished Senior Award for the Chemical, Bio, and Materials Engineering Department (1988).  In 1994, I gained a PhD from MIT in the Department of Chemical Engineering, holding a National Science Foundation (NSF) fellowship.

In 1995, I was awarded a two year research fellowship from the Miller Institute for Basic Research in Science at the University of California at Berkeley, working closely with Prof. J. M. Prausnitz in the department of Chemical Engineering.  In 1998, I won a US National Research Council (a branch of the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering) postdoctoral fellowship to continue research at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Boulder, CO.

Before arriving at the University of Strathclyde, I worked as a Lecturer and a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science at the University of Manchester (previously UMIST) for 10 years.


Has expertise in:

    My main areas of research are modelling solution thermodynamics (e.g., developing mathematical descriptions phase behaviour), transport phenomena (e.g., heat and mass transfer calculations), and statistical mechanics (relating the bulk behaviour of a system to the structure and interactions of its constituent molecules).  The range of projects that I have been involved with are quite broad, ranging from the fluid mechanics of vented runaway reactors (supported by the European Commission, contract no. C1RD-CT-2001-00499), and thermodynamic modelling of produced-water/crude-oil mixtures (supported by Shell and STATOIL), to developing and studying surfactant specific electrodes (EPSRC, GR/R41965/01) and modelling the fundamental behaviour of polyelectrolyte fluids and the influence of membranes on protein stability (BBSRC, GR/B17005).

    Currently I am leading a KTP project with Pentagon Chemicals Ltd on developing a new process for the production of an intermediate feedstock chemical.  This encompasses the full spectrum of process development from laboratory work characterising catalyst performance to designing for production on an industrial scale.


Interactions between charged surfaces mediated by stiff, multivalent zwitterionic polymers
Bohinc Klemen, Reščič Jurij, Lue Leo
Soft Matter Vol 12, pp. 4397-4405 (2016)
The cluster vapor to cluster solid transition
Sweatman Martin B, Lue Leo
Journal of Chemical Physics Vol 144 (2016)
Molecular dynamics simulations for the prediction of the dielectric spectra of alcohols, glycols, and monoethanolamine
Cardona Javier, Fartaria Rui, Sweatman Martin B, Lue Leo
Molecular Simulation Vol 42, pp. 370-390 (2016)
Freezing properties of alkenyl succinic anhydrides derived from linear isomerised olefins
Sellars Philip B, Lue Leo, Burns Iain S, Work D Neil
Industrial and Engineering Chemistry Research Vol 55, pp. 2287–2292 (2016)
On the electrostatics of DNA in chromatin
Bohinc Klemen, Lue Leo
AIMS Biophysics Vol 3, pp. 75-87 (2016)
The influence of excluded volume and excess ion polarizability on the capacitance of the electric double layer
Minton Geraint, Lue Leo
Molecular Physics Vol 114, pp. 2477-2491 (2016)

more publications


I have taught a broad range of modules across the Chemical Engineering curriculum, both at the undergraduate and postgraduate levels.  My main teaching duties have been focused on the "core" of Chemical Engineering: transport phenomena, chemical and process thermodynamics, and design.

Currently taught modules:

  • CP204/208 Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer
  • CP407 Chemical Engineering Design
  • CP535 Molecular and Interface Science
  • 18530 Chemical Engineering Project

Previously taught modules

  • Ethics and Sustainability
  • Nanotechnology
  • Problem Solving
  • Chemical Engineering Practice 1
  • Programming and Optimisation
  • Chemical Thermodynamics
  • Momentum, Heat, and Mass Transfer
  • Modelling and Simulation

Research interests

My research group uses statistical mechanics to understand and predict how the overall properties of a system, such as its dynamics or structure, are determined by the interactions between its constituent components. These systems can range from normal fluids composed of simple molecules to complex structured fluids, such as found in biological systems or many consumer and personal care products, where the constituent molecules can assemble to form intricate structures which can again organize to form larger structures. I am also interested how collisions between granules in a powder affects its overall structure and flow, such as in avalanches or pattern formation in sand dunes, and how bubble stability and interactions lead to the properties of foams. Currently, the interests of the group are focused on the role of electrostatics and its coupling to dispersion forces on the interactions and dynamics of colloidal particles (e.g., proteins, polyelectrolytes, micellar aggregates, etc.). A better understanding of the link between microscopic characteristics and macroscopic properties should allow the rational design of new materials and better prediction and control of the behavior of processes.

I use a combination of theory and computer simulation techniques to tackle these problems. The theoretical approaches range from integral equation and density functional theories, field theoretic methods, to classical solution thermodynamics and transport modeling. The simulation methods include non-equilibrium molecular dynamics and advanced Monte Carlo methods, as well as continuum modeling through finite difference and finite element methods.

Professional activities

Particle vs field view of classical systems: Towards a theory of cluster formation
External examiner of PhD dissertation - Mr Xiao Liang, "Event-driven simulation of soft dissipative potentials", School of Engineering, University of Aberdeen
SPIE Optical Metrology
Estimation of concentration and particle size distribution in colloidal suspensions via spatially and angularly resolved diffuse reflectance measurement
Effects of particle size distribution and concentration on UV-vis-NIR spectra
Structure and cluster formation in size asymmetric soft electrolyte systems

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | Miller, Russell
Sefcik, Jan (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Miller, Russell (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 01-Jan-2022
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Shahid, Muhid
Price, Chris John (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Shahid, Muhid (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Mukhopadhyay, Aditi
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Mukhopadhyay, Aditi (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Baigent, Fraser
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Baigent, Fraser (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2019
Doctoral Training Centre In Continuous Manufacturing And Crystallisation | Svoboda, Vaclav
Sefcik, Jan (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Svoboda, Vaclav (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 29-Jan-2019
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTA - University of Strathclyde) | Romaniuk, Amy
Yang, Shangtong (Principal Investigator) Lue, Leo (Co-investigator) Romaniuk, Amy (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2014 - 17-Jan-2019

more projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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