Melanie Britton


I am a Reader in Physical Chemistry at the University of Birmingham, and lead an active research group developing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) experiments to probe chemistry and flow in complex systems. My research area sits at the interface between chemistry, chemical engineering and physics, and I have over 15 years experience of developing MRI experiments to probe chemistry and molecular motion in complex systems.

I received a BSc in Chemistry from the University of London (Royal Holloway College), and in 1992 I completed my PhD on 13C NMR for modelling traction fluids at the University of Surrey, under the supervision of Prof. Les Sutcliffe and Dr Duncan Gillies. I then went on to work with Prof Sir Paul T Callaghan FRS in New Zealand, followed by a research position with Prof Ken J Packer FRS, at Nottingham University. During these research positions I developed MRI velocity visualisation techniques to image and understand the dynamics of complex fluids. In 2000 I was awarded an Advanced Research Fellowship to study the visualisation of chemical waves and pattern formation using MRI, working first in the Magnetic Resonance Research Centre at Cambridge University (Chemical Engineering) and then Birmingham University where I established my MRI laboratory.

My current research group uses MRI techniques to understand molecular processes that underpin systems found in a range of applications from structured materials, manufacturing and energy storage, to medical applications relevant in the diagnosis of cancer and the development of biomarkers. We have particular interests in the visualisation of electrochemical processes in batteries, corrosion and electroplating; the visualisation of chemistry in flow and heterogeneous media; probing colloidal stability; the development of MRI contrast agents and the characterisation of reverse micelles.

You can read more about Melanie’s recent research into visualising batteries using MRI here.

Mapping eddy currents near metallic structures by MRI

Mapping corrosion by MRI. Image taken from published research which can be accessed here.

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