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. 


Has expertise in:

    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


Biomolecular interactions with nanoparticles : applications for coronavirus disease 2019
Farouq Mohammed AH, Al Qaraghuli Mohammed M, Kubiak-Ossowska Karina, Ferro Valerie A, Mulheran Paul A
Current Opinion in Colloid and Interface Science Vol 54 (2021)
Simulating peptide monolayer formation : GnRH-I on silica
Pujol-Navarro Neret, Kubiak-Ossowska Karina, Ferro Valerie, Mulheran Paul
International Journal of Molecular Sciences Vol 22 (2021)
Direct immobilization of engineered nanobodies on gold sensors
Simões Bárbara, Guedens Wanda J, Keene Charlie, Kubiak-Ossowska Karina, Mulheran Paul, Kotowska Anna M, Scurr David J, Alexander Morgan R, Broisat Alexis, Johnson Steven, Muyldermans Serge, Devoogdt Nick, Adriaensens Peter, Mendes Paula M
ACS Applied Materials and Interfaces Vol 13, pp. 17353-17360 (2021)
Structural analysis of anti-hapten antibodies to identify long-range structural movements induced by hapten binding
Al Qaraghuli Mohammed M, Kubiak-Ossowska Karina, Ferro Valerie A, Mulheran Paul A
Frontiers in Molecular Biosciences Vol 8 (2021)
Advancing computational analysis of porous materials – modelling three-dimensional gas adsorption in organic gels
Martin Elisha, Prostredny Martin, Fletcher Ashleigh, Mulheran Paul
Journal of Physical Chemistry B Vol 125, pp. 1960-1969 (2021)
On linear growth in COVID-19 cases
Grinfeld Michael, Mulheran Paul A
Computational and Mathematical Biophysics Vol 8, pp. 211-215 (2020)

More publications


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.

Research interests

Available Funded PhD Project:

Design of functional chitosan films: antimicrobial applications


Other PhD project available:

Inhibiting amyloid development using natural compounds: a molecular dynamics study



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

PhD Viva at King's College London
CECAM Workshop - Biomolecular mechanisms at functionalised solid surfaces
Invited speaker
Bioinspired Nanomaterials
Invited speaker
IBioIC Annual Conference
PhD External Examiner
Carnegie Trust for Scotland RIG Selection Panel (Event)

More professional activities


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 - 31-Jan-2023
Design of functional chitosan films: antimicrobial and heavy metal capture applications
Mulheran, Paul (Principal Investigator) Ferro, Valerie (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2024
Therapeutic Design for Nasal Powder Delivery (IBioIC CTP)
Mulheran, Paul (Principal Investigator) Ferro, Valerie (Co-investigator)
Design of peptide-adjuvant systems for enhance immunogenicity
01-Jan-2020 - 31-Jan-2024
Industrial Case Account - University of Strathclyde 2019 | Eales, William
Price, Chris John (Principal Investigator) Mulheran, Paul (Co-investigator) Eales, William (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2023
Design of self-peptide adjuvant couples for enhanced immunogenicity
Mulheran, Paul (Principal Investigator) Ferro, Valerie (Co-investigator) Mullen, Alexander (Co-investigator)
Design of peptide-adjuvant systems for enhance immunogenicity
01-Jan-2018 - 30-Jan-2022

More projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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