Dr Timothy Nicholson

Research Engineer

School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
t.m.nicholson@uq.edu.au
+61 7 336 54081

Overview

Dr Timothy Nicholson's current research interests include: rheological studies of polymers foods and other fluids; the application of new 'molecularly aware' constitutive equations to complex flows and extrusion in polymers using finite element methods; molecular modelling at an atomistic and meso scale.

Tim received a B.A. in Natural Sciences from the University of Cambridge, UK in 1984 (majoring in Physics) and a PhD on "Rheology and modelling of liquid Crystal polymers" from the Department of Chemical Engineering in the University of Cambridge in 1988. After a post-doc in Cambridge where Tim developed the prototype of what has become the ‘Linkcam Shear Cell’, he moved to the University of Leeds, UK in 1992 where he was part of the IRC for Polymer Science and Technology, being involved in polymer characterisation and modelling. Tim obtained a Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from the University of Leeds.

Tim moved to the University of Queensland in 2002 and is part of the Centre for High Performance Polymers as well as serving as Director of Postgraduate Studies for the School of Chemical Engineering. He is a member of the Institute of Physics (Polymer Physics Group) , the Society of Rheology, the Australian Society of Rheology and the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (secretary of the Queensland Polymer Group and treasurer of Queensland Branch).

Tim is also a Lay Preacher in the Anglican Church and obtained a Graduate Diploma in Theology from Brisbane College of Theology in 2009.

INDUSTRIAL BACKGROUND:

  • Research Fellow, Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy, University of Cambridge, UK, 1988-1992
  • Research Fellow, Department of Physics and Astronomy, University of Leeds, UK, 1992-2002 (Senior Research Fellow from 1999)

Research:

The core areas of Tim's research are rheological characterisation and polymer modelling across the length scales from process flows to the quantum mechanical level. Current research areas are:

  • Accurate rheological characterisation of food and beverages with the aim of relating these measurements to both the empirical texture studies employed in other disciplines and clinical and human perception factors of importance
  • Rheological measurements of hard to characterise materials such as starch based polymers and biological fluids, in particular using our new innovative Multi-pass rheometer
  • The development of a Lagrangian finite element solver incorporating innovative molecularly-based constitutive equations.
  • Development of novel modelling techniques for polymers including an energetic based model of chemorheology during curing of thermosets and models for structure and mechanical changes during photo-degradation of polyethylene.

Teaching and Learning:

Currently teaching CHEE3301 (Polymer Engineering) and CHEE3007 (Process Modelling and Dynamics). He has also previously taught courses in Rheology and Polymer Processing and in Systems Engineering and Design Management, and helped develop the polymer material for the new ENGG1200 first year course.

Projects:

  1. A novel rheological and chewing and swallowing model for the smart design of texture modified foods for increased aged health (ARC Linkage / RSL Care)
  2. Rheological and Flow modelling of novel online squeeze flow rheometers (Rheology Solutions)
  3. Understanding rheological parameters for thickened fluids for dysphagia (Nestlé)
  4. Processing of starch with Ionic Liquids and Carbon nanotubes (ARC Discovery)
  5. Improving the processing of low quality iron ores using polymer additives

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge
  • PhD, University of Cambridge

Publications

View all Publications

Supervision

View all Supervision

Available Projects

  • This PhD position will align with current research developing methodologies to measure the properties of thickened fluids used for people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). The scope will include:

    • developing an understanding of which rheological parameters of thickened fluids (also including liquefied foods and purees) are most relevant for the treatment of dysphagia and hence inform the developing worldwide standardisation process,
    • finite element modelling of the flow of these fluids through either teats for infant feeds or potential measuring device, and
    • interactions with with clinicians working in this area to help relate quantitate measurements with clinical practice and perceptions.

    The project is supported by Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition.

View all Available Projects

Publications

Book Chapter

  • McCrossan, K., McClory, C., Mayoral, B., Thompson, D., McNally, T., Murphy, M., Nicholson, T., Martin, D. and Halley, P. (2011). Composites of poly(ethylene terephthlate) and carbon nanotubes. In Tony McNally and Petra Pötschke (Ed.), Polymer-carbon nanotube composites : Preparation, properties and applications (pp. 545-585) Cambridge United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

  • Liu, Zhixue, Nicholson, Timothy, Halley, Peter J., David Fengwei Xie and Truss, Rowan W. (2014). Characteristics of starch-based material plasticised by glycerol and by the ionic liquid 1-ethyl-3-methylimidazolium acetate. In: 35th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Gold Coast, Australia, (). 7-10 July 2014.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Li, Ming, Mateyawa, Sainimili, Truss, Rowan W., Halley, Peter J., Nicholson, Timothy, Rogers, Robin D. and McNally, Tony (2013). Ionic liquid plasticised starch-based materials. In: 4th International Conference on Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers (BIOPOL 2013), Rome, Italy, (). 1-3 October 2013.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Mateyawa, Sainimili, Truss, Rowan W., Halley, Peter J., Nicholson, Timothy, Rogers, Robin R. and McNally, Tony (2013). Starch-based bioplastics: using ionic liquid as a novel plasticiser for improving the processibility of starch polymers. In: EP’2013: The Sixth International Symposium on Engineering Plastics, Xiamen, China, (121-122). 25-28 August, 2013.

  • Shelat, Kinnari, Gorham, Barbara, Nicholson, Timothy, Gidley, Michael J. and Williams, Barbara (2012). Dynamic in vitro digestion technique to model small intestinal digestion of food matrices containing soluble dietary fibre. In: Food Structures, Digestion and Health Conference 2012, Palmerston North, New Zealand, (). 7-9 March 2012.

  • Mateyawa, Sainimili, Halley, Peter, Truss, Rowan, Xie, Fengwei, Nicholson, Timothy, McNally, Tony and Rogers, Robin (2012). Starch polymer nanocomposite systems: use of ionic liquids and nanofillers. In: The 13th International Symposium on Biopolymers (ISBP 2012), Cairns, Australia, (). 7-10 October 2012.

  • Nicholson, Timothy, Xie, Fengwei and Halley, Peter (2012). Understanding the processibility of starch polymers. In: The 20th Australian Institute of Physics Congress (AIP 2012), Sydney, Australia, (). 9-13 December 2012.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Halley, Peter J. and Nicholson, Timothy M. (2012). Understanding the processibility of starch polymers – the key to step over the barrier to utilising starch in polymeric materials fields. In: The 13th International Symposium on Biopolymers (ISBP 2012), Cairns, Australia, (). 7-10 October 2012.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Nicholson, Timothy M. and Halley, Peter J. (2011). Understanding the processibility of biodegradable starch-based materials. In: 3rd International Conference on Biodegradable and Biobased Polymers (BIOPOL 2011), Strasbourg, France, (). 29-31 August 2011.

  • Shelat, Kinnari, Nicholson, Timothy, Williams, Barbara, Gilbert, Robert and Gidley, Michael J. (2011). Viscoelastic characteristics of pig digesta are influenced by wheat arabinoxylan. In: AACC International - 2011 Meeting Abstract. American Association of Cereal Chemists International Annual Meeting (AACC), Palm Springs, CA, United States, (). 12-19 October 2011.

  • Dunne, N., Ormsby, R., McNally, T., Mitchell, C. A., Martin, D., Halley, P., Nicholson, T., Schiller, T., Gahan, L., Musumeci, A. and Smith, S. V. (2010). Nanocomposite Bone Cements for Orthopaedic Applications. In: Abstracts of the International Conference on Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Clinical Applications and Surgery (OBCAS). The International Conference on Orthopaedic Biomechanics, Clinical Applications and Surgery, Brunel University, UK, (S53-S53). 6-9 June 2010.

  • Xie, Fengwei, Tajuddin, Suzlin, Nicholson, Timothy M. and Halley, Peter, J. (2010). Understanding the processibility of biodegradable starch-based materials. In: The 6th IUPAC International Symposium on Novel Materials and Synthesis (NMS-VI) & 20th International Symposium on Fine Chemistry and Functional Polymers (FCFP-XX), Wuhan, China, (). 10-14 October 2010.

  • Aufort, A., Gidley, M. J., Gilbert, R. G., Nicholson, T. M., Shelat, K. J. and Wong, K. (2009). Diffusion and rheology characteristics of arabinoxylan solutions and implications for digestion. In: Cereal Foods World: Quality Improvements and Preconvention. 2009 AACC International Annual Meeting Abstracts. AACC International Annual Meeting 2009, Baltimore, MD, U.S.A., (A66-A66). 13-16 September 2009.

  • Shelat, K. J., Nicholson, T. M., Wong, K. H. and Gilbert, R. G. (2009). Diffusion and viscosity in arabinoxylan solutions. In: 5th Australian-Korean Rheology Conference, Sydney, Australia, (). 1 - 4 November 2009.

  • Nicholson, T. M. and Mcleish, T. C. B. (2009). Factors affecting the extrudate swell for high density polyethylene. In: 5th Australian-Korean Rheology Conference, Sydney, Australia, (). 1 - 4 November 2009.

  • Waramboi, J. G., Gidley, M. J., Nicholson, T. M., Halley, P. J. and Sopade, P. A. (2009). Physico-chemical and functional properties of Australian sweetpotato cultivars. In: 15th Triennial Symposium of the International Society for Tropical Root Crops. Tropical Roots and Tubers in a Changing Climate: A Convenient Opportunity for the World, Lima, Peru, (1-11). 2-6 November 2009.

  • Nicholson, T. M., Samelor, A. V. and Cichero, J. A. (2009). Rheological characterization of fluids used for the management of dysphagia. In: 5th Australian-Korean Rheology Conference, Sydney, Australia, (). 1 - 4 November 2009.

  • Shelat, Kinnari J., Aufort, Anastasia, Nicholson, Timothy M., Wong, Kok Hou, Gidley, Michael J. and Gilbert, Robert G. (2008). Diffusion and viscosity in polysaccharide solutions: Beyond Stokes-Einstein. In: Abstract Book: 30th Australasian Polymer Symposium. 30th Australasian Polymer Symposium (30APS), Melbourne, Australia, (103-104). 30 November-4 December 2008.

  • Nicholson, T. M., Martyn, M. T. and McLeish, T. C. B. (2008). Measurement and modelling of high density polyethylene melt extrudate swell. In: A. Co, L. G. Leal, R. H. Colby and A. J. Giacomin, The XVth International Congress on Rheology : the Society of Rheology 80th annual meeting, Monterey, California, USA, (231-233). 3-8 August, 2008. doi:10.1063/1.2964645

  • Nicholson, T. M., Torley, P. J. and Cichero, J. A. Y. (2008). The measurement of thickened liquids used for the management of dysphagia. In: Albert Co, Gary Leal and Ralph Colby, AIP conference proceedings. XVth International Congress on Rheology : The Society of Rheology 80th annual meeting, Monterey, USA, (627-629). 3-8 August 2008. doi:10.1063/1.2964788

  • Halley, Peter J., Nicholson, Timothy M.) and Altmann, Nara) (2008). Toward a new universal model for polymer rheology based on group interactions. In: A. Co, L. G. Leal, R. H. Colby and A. J. Giacomin, XVTH International Congress on Rheology - The Society of Rheology 80th Annual Meeting. 15th International Congress on Rheology/80th Annual Meeting of the Society of Rheology, Monterey, California, USA, (461-463). 3-8 Aug 2008. doi:10.1063/1.2964729

  • Halley, P. J., Khemani, K., Krummel, E., Nicholson, T., Russo, M. A. L., Strounina, E. and Truss, R. (2007). A study of the water diffusion into thermoplastic starch polymers. In: 29th Australasian Polymer Symposium, Hobart, Australia, (). 11-15 February, 2007.

  • Russo, Melissa A. L., Strounina, Ekaterina, Waret, Muriel, Nicholson, Timothy, Truss, Rowan and Halley, Peter J. (2006). Water diffusion and degradation of starch-based plastics. In: Proceedings of the International Degradable Plastics Symposium: Status of Biobased and Synthetic Polymer Technology. International Degradable Plastics Symposium: Status of Biobased and Synthetic Polymer Technology, McCormick Place Convention Center, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A., (). 14-17 June 2006.

  • Russo, Melissa A. L., Strounina, Katia, Waret, Muriel, Nicholson, Timothy, Truss, Rowan and Halley, Peter J. (2006). Water diffusion and degradation of starch-based polymers. In: Proceedings 28th Australasian Polymer Symposium & Australasian Society for Biomaterials 16th Annual Conference. 28th Australasian Polymer Symposium & Australasian Society for Biomaterials 16th Annual Conference, Rotorua, New Zealand, (). 5-9 February, 2006.

  • Halley, P. J., Altmann, N. and Nicholson, T. (2005). Modified group interaction viscoleastic model for predicting chemorheology of thermosets. In: Chemeca 2005. Chemeca 2005, Brisbane, Australia, (). 25-28 September 2005.

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Principal Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision

Possible Research Projects

Note for students: The possible research projects listed on this page may not be comprehensive or up to date. Always feel free to contact the staff for more information, and also with your own research ideas.

  • This PhD position will align with current research developing methodologies to measure the properties of thickened fluids used for people with swallowing difficulties (dysphagia). The scope will include:

    • developing an understanding of which rheological parameters of thickened fluids (also including liquefied foods and purees) are most relevant for the treatment of dysphagia and hence inform the developing worldwide standardisation process,
    • finite element modelling of the flow of these fluids through either teats for infant feeds or potential measuring device, and
    • interactions with with clinicians working in this area to help relate quantitate measurements with clinical practice and perceptions.

    The project is supported by Nestlé Healthcare Nutrition.