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Thokozile Kathyola

Level 1, Energy Building
Primary Supervisor
Professor Sven Schroeder, Chemical & Process Engineering
BEng Chemical Engineering, UCL; MSc Pharmaceutical Science & Engineering, Leeds
PhD Viva
31 October 2018 (passed with minor corrections)


Thoko gained a Bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering from University College London in 2012 and then completed a Master’s in Pharmaceutical Science and Engineering at the University of Leeds. As part of these courses she undertook two group plant design projects, one involved the production of biodiesel and the other the production of the antiretroviral drug Ritonavir, and one individual research project which involved experimentally and theoretically determining the dissolution of ibuprofen in ethanol.

PhD: Solvent-mediated control of the internal microstructure of calcium carbonate particles

The project focuses on determining the impact of solvents, surfactants and process conditions on functionalised calcium carbonate particles. This work correlates with Thoko’s interests in process engineering, analytical chemistry and lubrication science.

Outreach, training and other activities:

  • 5 beamtimes at beamlines B18, B07 and I15-1 using X-ray absorption, photoelectron and scattering techniques
  • Pfizer Cross CDT Day 18 Oct 2017
  • Placement with Infineum (2 months)

Publications and presentations:

  • Oral presentation at 255th ACS National Meeting (New Orleans, USA) including Overseas Conference Travel Grant (2018) from the Analytical Chemistry Trust Fund of the Royal Society of Chemistry

Masters research project in year 1 of CDT:

  • ‘The effects of the Ball Size on the Milling of Quartz’ with Professor Mojtaba Ghadiri, Chemical & Process Engineering
  • ‘Ruthenium-catalysed Transfer Hydrogenation using Hydrazine and Isopropanol in Continuous Flow’ with Drs Richard Bourne and Thomas Chamberlain, Chemistry