Dr Timothy Nicholson

Honorary Associate Professor

School of Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology

Overview

Rev 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.

Timothy 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 he 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. He obtained a Certificate of Learning and Teaching in Higher Education from the University of Leeds.

Timothy moved to the University of Queensland in 2002 and is part of the Polymer Translational Research Group (formerly the Centre for High Performance Polymers). He is a member of the Institute of Physics (Polymer Physics Group), the Society of Rheology, the Australian Society of Rheology and is a fellow of the Royal Australian Chemical Institute (past treasurer of Queensland Branch).

Timothy is also a Priest in the Anglican Church, serving in a parish on the Sunshine Coast, and obtained a Bachelor of Theology from Charles Sturt University in 2017.

Research:

The core areas of Timothy'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
  • The development of a Lagrangian finite element solver incorporating innovative molecularly-based constitutive equations.

He also has expertise in processing and characterisation of starch based polymers, the application of rheology to mineral processing, and in atomistic modelling.

Teaching and Learning:

Timothy has been course coordinator for courses in Polymer Engineering (CHEE3301) and Process Modelling and Dynamics (CHEE3007). 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 a first year course. He has advised 16 HDR students since coming to UQ.

Research Impacts

Timothy has collaborated with the team that is developing international standards for thickened fluids for dysphagis (iddsi.org) and provided rheological expertise that has assisted with teh development of these standards.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Theology, C.Sturt
  • Bachelor of Arts, University of Cambridge
  • PhD, University of Cambridge

Publications

View all Publications

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., McConnell, D., McNally, T., Murphy, M., Nicholson, T., Martin, D. and Halley, P. (2011). Composites of poly(ethylene terephthalate) and multi-walled carbon nanotubes. Polymer–carbon nanotube composites: preparation, properties and applications. (pp. 545-586) edited by Tony McNally and Petra Pötschke. Oxford, United Kingdom: Woodhead Publishing. doi: 10.1533/9780857091390.2.545

Journal Article

Conference Publication

PhD and MPhil Supervision

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.