Skip navigation


Jian Hui Guan

Career Path: Post-doctoral Research Assistant & Teaching Assistant Professor, University of North Carolina
Location: Oxford, UK

After graduating from Nottingham Trent University with a Masters in Physics, I came to Northumbria to study for a PhD in Experimental Physics. My studies focused on the physics and engineering of slippery liquid-infused porous surfaces, which my supervisor Prof. Glen McHale envisioned to be a potential rival of their traditional superhydrophobic counterparts in terms of water repellent materials.

The project was intellectually stimulating and my core supervisory team which consisted of Prof. Glen McHale, Dr. Gary Wells and Dr. Ben Xu provided tremendous support whilst allowing me to take the lead in the direction of the research with great level of freedom. Three years at Northumbria has immensely helped me develop as a independent research, capable of undertaking high quality research, reflected by four research articles in prestigious journals.

What are you doing now?Jian Hui Guan

I am now a Post-doctoral Research Assistant/Teaching Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

What was it about Northumbria that made you decide to study here?

After finishing my Masters' I had the desire to continue my research career in the field of fluid mechanics. The project offered by Prof. Glen McHale, whom I knew was one of the leading figures in the field, was the perfect opportunity.

What was it like studying at Northumbria?

I found Northumbria to be a relaxed environment to work and study in. Aside from research, I often went to mix of public lectures organised either by the department or the University. There were also weekly seminars organised by the department for PhD students, academics and invited speakers to share their research and engage in productive scientific discussions. Within my immediate research groups, there were frequently formal and informal meetings/seminars to discuss research.

How connected was your course with industry?

My PhD project was supported by Reece Innovation which provided a great amount of financial support over the duration of my PhD. Due to its applicability in practical applications, my work has also attracted interests from industrial partners.

What was the best thing about your course?

Hard to narrow it down to one aspect but instead it was a combination of the freedom to carry out independent research and the valuable support I received - it has been a pleasure.

How did studying at Northumbria help you achieve your career goals/ give your career an edge?

As a PhD student, I had the freedom to lead the general direction of my research which to me has been the most important aspect in terms of my development as a researcher. I also had the luxury of working with brilliant academics whom I consider experts in my field. These have led to the publications of novel research in prestigious journals.

Which skills/knowledge did you learn on your course that you use most now throughout your career?

I have become proficient in various experimental techniques used in the research of fluid mechanics and scientific literacy on wetting, fluids, capillary flows and many others.

What did you enjoy most about your time at Northumbria University?

Sharing ideas with other researchers, developing new projects based on these ideas and turning them into novel research with high impacts on the research community.

What advice would you give somebody who is considering studying at Northumbria?

The best place's study are those which motivate and inspire students to pursue a career with the skills they obtain and I think Northumbria does it ever so well.

How would you describe your time at Northumbria in three words?

Inspired, motivated and windy!

For more information about me visit:

Here are some related courses:

Latest News and Features

THE Impact rankings
Architecture Apprenticeship Handbook cover
Pictured from left to right are Northumbria University academics Dr Qiang Wu, Dr Juna Sathian, Professor Zabih Ghassemlooy, Dr Yongtao Qu and Dr Xicong Li.
Insights North East
gettyimages/Kobus Louw
Felicia Gottman
More news
More events

Upcoming events

Immunology North East Symposium - 18th June 2024
REVEAL: Industrial Design
REVEAL: Architecture

Back to top