Dr Paul Mulheran


Chemical and Process Engineering


Personal statement

My research interests lie in modelling and understanding nucleation and growth of nanostructures, and I aim to control these to engineer new technologies. For example, I research the growth of nanoporous gels that have various applications such as adsorbents for water purification. I also research how biomolecules such as anti-bodies interact with various materials to create bio-medical devices. I was educated as a Theoretical Physicist at both undergraduate and doctoral level, and use my experience to develop a strong analytical ethos in my teaching activities, which include programming and problem solving skills. I am the Director of Archie-West, Strathclyde’s High Performance Computing Centre that caters for the local community of industry and universities. 

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Area of Expertise

My expertise and capabilities include:

  • Classical Molecular Dynamics simulations;
  • Long time-scale simulations using saddle-point searches and Temperature Accelerated Dynamics;
  • Materials modelling for oxides such as titania, silica, ZnO;
  • Theory of nucleation and growth at surfaces (e.g. rate equations, distribution fixed point equations and scaling);
  • Monte Carlo simulation
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The impact of plasticisers on crystal nucleation, growth and melting in linear polymers
Wadkin-Snaith Dominic, Mulheran Paul A, Johnston Karen
Polymer Vol 304 (2024)
Vaccination, asymptomatics and public health information in COVID-19
Grinfeld Michael, Mulheran Paul A
Journal of Physics A: Mathematical and Theoretical Vol 57 (2024)
Assessment of GAFF and OPLS force fields for urea : crystal and aqueous solution properties
Anker Samira, McKechnie David, Mulheran Paul, Sefcik Jan, Johnston Karen
Crystal Growth and Design Vol 24, pp. 143–158 (2024)
Recent advances in photothermal therapies against cancer and the role of membrane transporter modulators on the efficacy of this approach
Abdulhussein Al-Ali Ahmed A, Al Ward Nameer, Obeid Mohammad A, Nielsen Carsten Uhd, Mulheran Paul A, Al Qaraghuli Mohammed M
Technology in Cancer Research & Treatment Vol 22, pp. 1-14 (2023)
Properties of packed bed structures formed during filtration : a two and three-dimensional model
Eales William, Price Chris J, Hicks William, Mulheran Paul A
Organic Process Research and Development Vol 27, pp. 1631-1640 (2023)
Filler-induced heterogeneous nucleation of polymer crystals investigated by molecular dynamics simulations
Wadkin-Snaith Dominic, Mulheran Paul, Johnston Karen
Polymer Vol 281 (2023)

More publications

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I currently teach the following classes:

CP409 Problem Solving, including dimensional analysis and modelling;

CP529 Programming and Optimisation, using Visual Basic with Excel to provide a versatile platform for engineering applications;

CP407 Design;

18530 Project, including research projects within my group as well industrial and Erasmus placements.

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Research Interests

Self-funded PhD projects available:

Optimising the washing and drying of filter cakes: modelling and applications


Protein adsoprtion in gel structures: simulation, experiment and applications


My research interests lie in the domain of materials modelling, including biomolecular interactions with inorganic materials, where a lot of my work is performed in close collaboration with Dr Karina Kubiak-Ossowska from the Department of Physics at Strathclyde. My current funded projects include:

  • Designing vaccines to create antibodies that can be used for cancer therapies; Designing new strategies to conjugate antibodies to nanoparticles to create novel diagnostics and therapeutics; Designing heavy-metal adsorbents using chitosan. All of these projects are funded by the BBSRC as part of the IBioIC-CTP.
  • Modelling particulate drying processes, relevant to the crucial isolation of pharmaceuticals. This project is funded by an EPSRC iCASE award.
  • A NERC-funded project to design compostable bio-composite plastic films for food packaging, as part of the drive to replace oil-derived plastics and reduce land-fill.
  • A Knowledge Transfer Partnership project working on the design and automation of an algae production process.


I have extensive collaboration with colleagues through Strathclyde, including Ashleigh Fletcher, Karen Johnston, Jan Sefcik, Chris Price, Yi-Chieh Chen from CPE, and Val Ferro (SIPBS), Michael Grinfeld (Mathematics and Statistics), Olaf Rolinski (Physics). My external research collaborators include Dr Barbara Jachimska at the Jerzy Haber Institute, Cracow, part of the Polish Academy of Science, with whom we exchange PhD students to collaborate on theranostic systems. I also work closely with a number of SMEs including The Antibody Company and Cuantec, as well as large organisations including Astra Zeneca.

Further details of my research can be found in my publications, a full list is available on: http://www.researcherid.com/rid/E-3999-2012



Professional Activities

SSPP: Shaping the Future of Plastics Research
PhD Examination for King's College London
Development of a Power-Dependent Predictive Model for the Cultivation of Spirulina Biomass at Scotbio
Scientific Reports (Journal)
Editorial board member
PhD Examination
UK-V4 Frontiers of Science Meeting 2021

More professional activities


Modelling polylactone crystallisation (AKT Ingevity)
Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Academic)
25-Jan-2024 - 23-Jan-2024
Copper-Based Co-Catalysts for Photoelectrochemical CO2 Reduction into Fuels and Chemicals
Neagu, Dragos (Principal Investigator) Inglezakis, Vasileios (Co-investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2024
IBioIC CTP PhD studentship Optimisation of alginate films for sustainable food packaging applications
Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025
EPSRC Core Equipment
Henrich, Oliver (Co-investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Principal Investigator) Martin, Richard (Co-investigator)
Extension of ARCHIE-WeSt £60,000
KTP - ScotBio. Intensifying production requires sophisticated monitoring and control solutions. The project will deliver expertise in chemical and process engineering and will shorten time to market and help automate key processes.
Chen, Yi-Chieh (Principal Investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator)
09-Jan-2020 - 08-Jan-2023
ISCF - Biocomposite design for food packaging
Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator) Liggat, John (Co-investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator) Magueijo, Vitor (Researcher)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2024

More projects

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Dr Paul Mulheran
Chemical and Process Engineering

Email: paul.mulheran@strath.ac.uk
Tel: 548 2385