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As a member of the SOFI CDT cohort you will be welcomed into an environment where you will be inspired by world leaders in the SOFI field.

In the SOFI CDT there are around 50 potential PhD supervisors from the three universities (Durham University, University of Edinburgh and the University of Leeds) in departments of Chemistry, Food Science, Physics, Engineering, Computing, (Applied) Mathematics and Durham Business School. This group forms a consortium with global industrial partners, major research facilities and international universities and institutes.

SOFI CDT Leadership Team

Professor Colin D Bain

Director, SOFI CDT

Durham University, Department of Chemistry

Research Summary: Chemistry of surfaces and interfaces; Surfactants, lipds and polymers; Liquid Jets - Micelles, Marangoni and molecular tribology; Optical sculpting and binding.


Professor Lian Hutchings

SOFI CDT Manager (Durham University)

Research Summary: Synthetic Polymer Chemistry; Controlled and Living Polymerisation; Branched Polymers; Functional Polymers for Interfacial Modification; Temperature Gradient Interaction Chromatography


Professor Daniel Read

Deputy Director (University of Leeds)

University of Leeds, School of Mathematics

Research Summary: Polymer; rheology; tube model; branched polymer reactions; stochastic physics; coarse graining proteins


Dr Simon Titmuss

Deputy Director (University of Edinburgh)

University of Edinburgh, Department of Physics and Astronomy

Research Summary: experimental approaches to tackle problems at the Physics & Life Sciences interface


Key contributors

The academic staff involved in the SOFI CDT attract considerable research funding and regularly publish in Science, JACS, PRL and the Nature journals. The core management group alone has published over 500 papers, with 17500 citations.

To see a list of all the academic members of the SOFI CDT please follow this link.

Global Industrial Partners

Industiral partners who are supporting the SOFI CDT include the global companies listed below. The sectors that these companies occupy are given to show the breadth of the application of soft matter research.

  •  AkzoNobel (Paints, Performance Coatings)

  •  Mars (Food & Drink)

  •  Ashland (Performance Polymers)

  •  Michelin (Polymers/Tyres)

  •  Croda Europe (Speciality Additives)

  •  Mondelez (Food & Drink)

  •  DuPont Teijin Films (Polyester Films)

  •  PA Consulting Gp (Science Consultancy)

  •  Epigem (Micro-engineering SME)

  •  Procter & Gamble (Home and Personal Care)

  •  GSK (Healthcare/Pharmaceuticals)

  •  Schlumberger (Oil/Gas Services)

  •  Infineum (Fuel Additives)

  •  Synthomer (Speciality Polymers)

  •  Innovia Films (Films/Packaging)

  •  TFP Global (Non-woven Materials)

  •  Lucite International (Polymers/Plastics)

  •  Unilever (Home/Personal Care, Food)

SOFI Research: Image taken from RSC Soft Matter front cover (Volume 9, Number 43, 21 November 2013, showing rheology of cubic blue phases from paper by Oliver Henrich et al