Francis Dent

Francis Dent


Currently a PhD student researching surfaces with natural antibacterial/antifouling effects, and replicating these topographic features through novel surface patterning techniques. My research investigates the feasibility of capillary and surface instability driven techniques for functional polymeric surfaces.

I graduated from the University of Leeds in 2020 with a bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering (BEng First Class Hons). Alongside my undergraduate study, I was selected as a Laidlaw Research and Leadership Scholar in which I completed two periods of funded research in the Surgical Technology Department working on soft robotics. For my bachelor thesis I undertook research in the Future Manufacturing Processes Research Group, working on ‘Advanced Products by Additive Manufacturing’. 


Research interests

I am interested in the design and fabrication of novel micro-/nanopatterned materials, with research branching the domains of Fluid Mechanics, Material and Polymer Science, Micro- and Nanotechnology, and Mechanical and Chemical Engineering. In particular, I am looking at dynamic, interfacial self-assembly patterning techniques which rely on different surface instabilities to facilitate large-scale patterning. By using intrinsically energy-efficient self-replicating mechanisms, I am researching novel ways to pattern surfaces and achieve biomimetic antibacterial/antifouling properties.


  • BEng (2017 - 2020) Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds, Leeds
  • A Levels (2015 - 2017) in Maths, Physics and Chemistry, Exeter College, Exeter

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Thermofluids