Graduate Students

Ziming Yang

ZimingAs part of a team researching in the area of microbial community based bioreactors, I am interested in applying chemical reaction engineering approaches to the design and optimisation of this type of bioreactor systems. Currently I am working on developing mathematical models for the analysis of structures, behaviour and functions of  microbial communities, with potential applications in wastewater treatment and energy/resource recovery.

Prior to the start of my research in Oxford, I studied Chemical Engineering in Beijing University of Chemical Technology and University of Birmingham and received a Bachelor’s degree.

Till Weidner

TillMy area of interest is the food-energy-water nexus approach, which looks at the interactions between and the integration of the three big sectors that sustain human life. I am excited about improving the way these sectors harmonize with ecosystem services, how socioeconomic considerations can create more fairness and how the nexus research can lead to impact on different scales. I am employing scenario analysis, optimization, dynamic modelling and some network analysis while drawing extensive input data from a wide array of sources. During my time at Oxford, I intend to collaborate with international organizations (e.g. UN, WWF, FAO) and stake- and smallholders to capture relevant and pressing research questions.

Previously, I have worked globally for McKinsey & Company in production management and resource productivity and interned/worked in several other global corporations. I hold a M.Eng in Chemical Engineering from the University of Manchester with an exchange year at the Universidad de Oviedo.

Hong Zeng

Hong ZengSupervised by Professor Aidong Yang, I am working towards designing synthetic microbial systems. I have drawn specific interest in pharmaceutical/medical applications of such systems. I am now developing an understanding of the metabolic pathways at intra- and inter- cellular levels, with an aim to transfer the understanding into reliable mathematical models that can support design.

 I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from a joint programme of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and University of Birmingham.

Bo Han Zhang

Bo Zhang smallCo-supervised by Professor Aidong Yang and Professor Cathy Ye, I’m working towards designing a multi-scale bioreactor model that describes the intra-cellular network, cellular niche, and extra-cellular environment to facilitate the expansion and controlled differentiation of Mesenchymal stem cells (MSC). The model would link the effect of transport phenomena, kinetics with the intra-cellular processes. The methodologies of systems engineering are applied to analyze the findings from bioprocessing and tissue engineering to better understand the response of MSC to mechanical, chemical and biological stimulus. The finding is expected to contribute to the design of an enhanced bioreactor control scheme in achieving desirable MSC expansion and differentiation.

Before joining my current programme, I studied chemical engineering in University of Toronto and Cornell University and received a BSc degree and an MEng degree, respectively.

Sihao Di

Sihao DiSupervised by Professor Aidong Yang, my project is about modelling and design of microbial communities. I am currently investigating several specific cases, including microalgal-bacterial systems and anaerobic digestion processes. The plan is to build mathematical models of these systems to gain an understanding of how their microbial and engineering design would affect their functions in energy and/or environmental applications.

I hold a Bachelor's degree in Chemical Engineering from a joint programme of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and Queen’s University Belfast.

Zac Cesaro

Zac Cesaro

My research focuses on decarbonising the world’s second most produced industrial chemical, ammonia (NH3), which is a fundamental component of fertiliser. Carbon-free ammonia production would directly reduce global carbon emissions by 1.3%, or almost 11% of industrial carbon emissions. An even larger impact of my research is focused on using ammonia as a ‘green’ fuel for storing renewable energy for long periods of time and transporting renewable energy across long distances.

Under the supervision of Prof. Rene Bañares-Alcántara, my research seeks to identify where and how we can make carbon-free ammonia, i.e. ‘green’ ammonia, by utilising techno-economic models and conducting experiments at the world’s first roundtrip ‘green’ ammonia pilot plant (power-to-ammonia-to-power) commissioned in June 2018 at Rutherford Appleton Labs in Oxfordshire by Siemens. Previously, I worked in industrial operations consulting in oil and gas, food and beverage, and agriculture. I have a BSc in Chemical Engineering from Cornell University.

Chao Chen

Chao Chen

My research is focused on chemical processes electrification and the use of renewable energy sources under Prof. Rene Bañares-Alcántara’s supervision. I completed my undergraduate studies at Imperial College London and I also hold a Master by research degree from the University of Melbourne (both in chemical engineering). Prior to Oxford, I worked as a process engineer in oil and gas industry in CA USA.

Wenchan Qi

Co-supervised by Professor Rene Bañares-Alcántara and Professor Edman Tsang (Department of Chemistry), I am working towards modelling an adsorption-enhanced ammonia synthesis process. I have drawn specific interest in mathematical modeling of engineering processes. I hold a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from a joint programme of Beijing University of Chemical Technology and University of Birmingham.