Richard Hodgkinson

Biography and previous work

I obtained an M.Eng in chemical engineering with fuel technology followed by a PhD in 2017 from the department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield. Shortly after this, I joined the Natural Materials Group located just a few minutes away.


The inclination with the degree, and a personal interest in electronics, was to move more towards instrumentation. Amongst other things this lead to two undergraduate summer projects and a 4th year research project developing in-situ spin coating visualisation under Dr Jonathan Howse. However, a PhD under Prof. William Zimmerman took on rather more of a life of its own – initiated as a project developing electronic sensors for a rheometer, I turned towards answering questions about the rheology of extensional flows, instead involving optics and PIV (particle image velocimetry) amongst other disciplines. This will be - or has been, if all goes to plan - described in more detail at the IOP PAPS 2017 conference. Somewhere in this period I met Chris Holland with his interest in extensional flows, wound up borrowing several items of kit, and arguably the rest is history.


Current work

My current interests within the NMG surround the development of characterisation and instrumentation techniques for studying induced phase changes in silk. This presently includes both thermal and flow initiated transitions.


Personal interests

Apart from being an electronics hobbyist, photography and mechanical machining (particularly milling, at least for the moment) are subjects that gain rather more than their fair share of attention. I also have an interest in steam heritage, hold an amateur radio licence, and have been known to at least attempt to snowboard, on the odd occasion.


Research interests
  • Instrumentation development
  • rheology
  • measurement
  • optical imaging
  • extensional flow