Dr Xiaodong Jia

Dr Xiaodong Jia


Graduated from Tsinghua University (Beijing) with a BSc in Engineering Physics in 1986, came to the UK in 1987 to study at now Manchester University with an MSc in Environmental Biology and a PhD in Chemical Engineering. After several years of being a postdoc at UMIST (now Manchester University) and Camborne School of Mines (Exeter University), I joined Leeds as a permanent staff member in 1999. After a stint of almost 10 years as an executive director of a spin-out company (Structure Vision Ltd), I came back to be a full-time academic again in 2010 and began to have formal teaching duties as well. 

My main research interests include computer modelling of various particulate systems (e.g., packing of particles of arbitrary shapes, structure-property relationships) and process tomography (in particular X-ray micro tomography or μCT). I have 25 years of experience in developing, implementing and optimising particle-level computer simulation models, has co-authored a research monograph/textbook on colloidal aggregation and deposition, over 60 refereed papers and numerous conference contributions. I have been PIs for two EPSRC sponsored research projects (GR/N13357/01 and EP/D503078/1), several industry (BNFL, NNL, Anglo American) sponsored projects, one University sponsored knowledge transfer project, and more than a dozen consultancy projects. I am a co-founder and the technical director of a University spin-out company, Structure Vision Ltd, which provides software (DigiPac and NuPlant) and consultancy services for structure modelling and structure-property relationships. I have supervised or co-supervised eight PhDs, four PDRAs and dozens of MSc.


  • Year Tutor for year 3 Chemical Engineering courses

Research interests

Computer models and software development for:

  • Packing of particles of arbitrary shapes and size distributions
  • Discrete Element Methods (DEM) for non-spherical shapes
  • Segregation and/or mixing of powders
  • Powder flowability and granular flow
  • Fluid flow in and permeability of porous media
  • Thermal and electrical conductivities
  • Light scattering of coating
  • Sintering and melting

Active research:

  • DigiDEM - Fluid-structure interaction (via Lattice Boltzmann Method or LBM) and its use in DEM
  • DigiSorp - Mass transfer in reactive packed columns or porous media (e.g., CO2 absorption)
  • DigiDiss - Dissolution of composite granules and tablets
  • DigiMelt - Product quality from selective sintering/melting and its relationships with powder properties (e.g., size/shape/composition).
  • DigiTray - tray density optimisation for 3D printing   


<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="https://eps.leeds.ac.uk/dir/research-projects">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • PhD (Chemical Engineering, Manchester)
  • MSc (Environmental Biology, Manchester)
  • BSc (Tsinghua University, Beijing)

Professional memberships

  • IChemE
  • SCI
  • ACS

Student education

Involved in teaching of some Year 1 and Year 3 modules covering general engineering, nuclear engineering, mining and mineral engineering.

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Institute of Process Research and Development
  • Functional Materials
  • Sustainable Low Carbon Futures
  • Computational Science and Engineering
<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="https://phd.leeds.ac.uk">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>