Group Members

Professor Glen McHale, Chair of Interfacial Science & Engineering and Director of Discipline

Professor Glen McHale
I became Professor of Interfacial Science & Engineering and Director of Chemical Engineering in Edinburgh in 2020 after eight years at the University of Northumbria at Newcastle where I was first Executive Dean of the Faculty of  Engineering & Environment and then Pro Vice-Chancellor (REF). Prior to that I spent twenty two years as as an academic at Nottingham Trent University where I was a Professor and Head of the Research & Graduate School (Science & Technology) in the College of Arts & Science and formerly Head of Physics & Mathematics. In my earlier career I held a Royal Society European Fellowship at the University of Paris VI (Pierre et Marie Curie) and both gained a PhD in Applied Mathematics and was awarded a BSc (Hons) First Class in Mathematical Physics by the University of Nottingham.
My research involves wetting, interfacial science and engineering and is undertaken as part of the Institute for Multiscale Thermofluids. It has attracted many funding awards including over twenty RCUK/EPSRC grants, mainly as Principal Investigator, and including both an EPSRC Platform Grant (awarded only to world-leading groups) and an EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training. I have published over 180 refereed journal papers, which are cited ca. 1200 times annually (Google Scholar), and have been awarded seven patents. I am a Fellow of the Royal Society for Arts, Manufactures & Commerce (FRSA), a Fellow of the Higher Education Academic (FHEA), a Fellow of the Institute of Physics (F.Inst.P) and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical & Electronic Engineers (SMIEE).  I am a member of the EPSRC Peer Review College and lead a UK Fluids Network Special Interest Group. I have previously been a Board Member of the Award Winning BIM Academy Enterprises Ltd, an Editorial Board member of Advances in Colloid & Interface Science, a UK Management Committee representative on COST Actions, and I was a member of sub-panel 13 for "Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials" for the UK Research Excellence Framework (REF2014).

Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar, Senior Lecturer in Surfaces and Wetting

Dr Rodrigo Ledesma-Aguilar
My research is focused on the theory and modelling of capillary and wetting, including the forced dynamics of thin films and fronts, capillary filling, spreading and dewetting, droplet dynamics, phase changes and electro and dielectrowetting. I am also interested in aspects of active matter, including self-propulsion of microscopic organisms and their interactions with structured environments.
My research employs tools from classical hydrodynamics and numerical methods based on diffuse interface approximations, including lattice-Boltzmann algorithms

Dr Gary G Wells, Senior Lecturer in Surfaces and Wetting

Dr Gary G Wells
After completing and access course with the Open University as a mature student I studied for my BSc(Hons) in Physics with Astrophysics at Nottingham Trent University. I continued my education and went on the gain a PhD Entitled “Voltage Programmable Liquid Optical Interfaces". After a short period as a fixed term lecturer I moved to an Industrial placement in the Hewlett Packard Displays Research Laboratory where I investigated the use of electro wetting in combination with liquid crystal displays. I was awarded an anniversary research fellowship at Northumbria University in 2013 and began research into surfaces and wetting with a particular interest in low contact angle hysteresis surfaces. In 2016 I became a senior lecturer at the same institution and in 2018 became the head of subject for Electrical Engineering. In July 2020 I became a Senior lecturer at Edinburgh University and moved my research into the Institute of Multiscale Thermofluids.

Dr Steven Armstrong, Research Associate

Dr Steven Armstrong

After beginning my career in industry as a Building Service Engineer, I went back into education to complete a BSc in Physics at Northumbria University. During this time I completed a project with the Smart Materials and Surfaces Laboratory in liquid-liquid capillary imbibition. This inspired to continue research in the field and went on to gain a PhD titled “Pinning-Free Evaporation of Sessile Droplets from Slippery Surfaces”. During my PhD my research was focused on manipulation of droplets using slippery surfaces and electric fields to modify evaporation behaviour. I am currently a Post-Doctoral Research Associate within the WISE laboratory in the Institute of Multiscale Thermofluids at the University of Edinburgh on an EPSRC funded project looking into the strain-dependant manipulation of sessile droplets on new metamaterials.


Dr Nasser Afify, Research Associate in Chemical Engineering

Dr Nasser Afify

I have BSc and MSc degrees in Physics from the University of Assiut, and PhD degree in Physics from the University of Trento. My current research is focused on fabrication and characterisation of slippery surfaces with contact angle hysteresis. My previous research focused on developing materials for several energy applications, including carbon capture, solar cells, nanocrystalline materials, and optical fibre amplifiers. My experimental research employs several fabrication and characterisation methods, including surface chemistry, sol-gel, dip-coating, X-ray diffraction, and X-ray absorption spectroscopy. Most of my previous experimental research was conducted at synchrotron radiation facilities. My computational research employs several simulation methods, including Lattice Boltzmann, classical molecular dynamics, and first-principles calculations. This research makes use of parallel computing capabilities at several high performance computing facilities.


Hernán Barrio-Zhang, Research Associate in Chemical Engineering

Hernan Barrio-Zhang

I completed my studies and submitted my thesis at the University of Edinburgh. I recently joined the Wetting, Interfacial Science and Engineering (WISE) laboratory as a Research Associate at the School of Engineering, University of Edinburgh.
My background is in interdisciplinary Physics. I have worked in Neuroscience, Medicine, Planetary Science, Wetting and Capillarity. My current research looks into the anti-biofouling properties of engineered ultra-smooth surfaces.  



Michele Pelizzari, PhD Research Student

Michele Pelizzari

Born in Brescia in 1993, interested in engineering and science in general. Bachelor degree in environmental engineering at the University of Brescia in 2016 and Master in energy engineering at the free university of Bolzano in 2019. Currently a PhD student in the Wise group with a focus on surface wetting phenomena.


Alex Jenkins, PhD Research student

Alex Jenkins

I completed my bachelors degree in physics from northumbria university before moving to Nottingham Trent university where I completed my research masters in Physics.

I based my masters research on soft matter physics and the production of slippery liquid infused porous surfaces through novel methods. I am now focused on the evaporation of complex liquids on pinning-free surfaces for my PhD.


Lucile Bisquert, PhD Research Student

Alex Jenkins

Born in Paris, France, I am first year PhD research student at the University of Edinburgh. I did my Bachelors in Physics and Masters in Fluid mechanics at Sorbonne University Pierre and Marie, Paris, France.  
During my studies, I did an internship at Polytechnique Montréal, Canada, 2020, in CFD simulations of turbulent flow in channels and a second one at EDF Renewables, France, 2021, in the evaluation of the wake effect in wind farms.
My interests include fluid mechanics, modelling and theory. My current work explores droplet condensation on engineered surfaces using mesoscopic numerical solvers, such as the Lattice Boltzmann method.


Callum Williams, PhD Research Student

Callum Williams

I started my higher education at Nottingham Trent University, where I completed both a BSc (2018) and an MSc (2021) in Physics.

My masters research project was focussed in SOFT matter, studying the upward flow of liquids within elasto-capillaries. For my PhD, I’m researching how the effects of dielectrophoresis and dielectrowetting can be used to create new microfluidic systems with reconfigurable, programmable walls


Mahya Meyari, PhD Research Student

I did my BSc and MSc in Chemical Engineering at the University of Tehran. My masters project was about particle separation in bifurcating microchannels. I joined the WISE group recently as a PhD student. My project is focused on wetting of auxetics. I am interested in transport phenomena and fluid mechanics in particular