Katherine Bailes


I graduated with MEng Chemical Engineering in 2015 from the University of Manchester. My Master's project was dissociating carbon dioxide using plasma processing. 

Research interests

I am in the first year of my project as part of Next Generation Nuclear Centre for Doctoral Training (NGN CDT). I spent the first 3 months learning about the Nuclear industry which really helped to put my project into context. A large volume of nuclear waste slurry is to be moved to new interim storage. However, due to the high density of the particles, they settle quickly in pipes which can lead to blockages. These blockages are difficult to clear due to limited access for maintenance in a radioactive environment.The proposed solution is to use a low concentration polymer additive to increase the viscosity and hinder particle settling. A highly shear thinning fluid is prefered to keep the particles suspended whilst minimising pumping and mixing costs. 

Completed work:

  • Rheology of xanthan solutions
  • Motion of two different diameter spheres settling in xanthan and sucrose solutions

Current work:

  • Refining the sphere settling tests for accurate data collection

Future work:

  • Particle Imaging Velocimetry on sphere settling tests to find velocity field around the spheres
  • Rheology modification of polymer solutions
  • Radiation protection of polymer solutions


  • MEng Chemical Engineering

Research groups and institutes

  • Nuclear Leeds