Robert Barber

Computational Engineer

Robert Barber is a Principal Scientific Officer in the Computational Engineering Group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. He received his Ph.D. in Computational Fluid Dynamics in 1990 and spent ten years as a lecturer in engineering fluid mechanics at the University of Salford before joining the newly established Centre for Microfluidics and Microsystems Modelling at Daresbury Laboratory in January 2000 where he now specialises in the simulation of gas and liquid flows in micron-sized devices.

Robert's main research interests include non-equilibrium (rarefied) gas flows in miniaturised systems, micro-reactors and rapid mixing devices for high-throughput life-science applications, air-segmented/capillary-driven liquid handling systems, ultrasonic particle separation devices and the design of novel microreactors for the generation of chemical concentration gradients. In addition, Robert's recent research work has involved the use of biologically-inspired principles to optimise the design of hierarchical branching microfluidic networks.

Robert has participated in research projects funded by EPSRC, MRC and European Framework programs, and has published more than 75 papers in refereed journals and proceedings, including Physics of Fluids, Physical Review E, International Journal for Numerical Methods in Fluids, Lab-on-a-Chip and Microfluidics and Nanofluidics. His work has led to invitations to organise the gas microflows session at the 3rd International Conference on Microchannels and Minichannels (Toronto, 2005) where he also gave a keynote presentation. In addition, he was invited by the Société Hydrotechnique de France to give the opening plenary lecture at Microfluidique 2006 (Toulouse, 2006). In 2009, he was invited by FRAME (the Fund for the Replacement of Animals in Medical Experiments) to give an invited presentation on the design of artificial micro-vasculatures to the FRAME 40th Anniversary Symposium on Human Alternatives to Animal Studies.

Selected publications:

S. Yuhong, R.W. Barber and D.R. Emerson, “Inverted velocity profiles in rarefied cylindrical Couette gas flow and the impact of the accommodation coefficient”, Physics of Fluids, Vol. 17(4), 047102, 2005.

J.J. Hawkes, R.W. Barber, D.R. Emerson and W.T. Coakley, “Continuous cell washing and mixing driven by an ultrasound standing wave within a microfluidic channel”, Lab-on-a-Chip, 4, pp. 446-452, 2004.

R.W. Barber and D.R. Emerson, “Challenges in modelling gas-phase flow in microchannels: from slip to transition”, Heat Transfer Engineering, 27(4), pp. 3-12, 2006.

D.R. Emerson, K. Cieślicki, X.J. Gu and R.W. Barber, “Biomimetic design of microfluidic manifolds based on a generalised Murray’s law”, Lab-on-a-Chip, 6, pp. 447-454, 2006.

S. Mohr, Y.H. Zhang, A. Macaskill, P.J.R. Day, R.W. Barber, N.J. Goddard, D.R. Emerson and P.R. Fielden, “Numerical and experimental study of a droplet-based PCR chip”, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 3, pp. 611-621, 2007.

R.W. Barber and D.R. Emerson, “Optimal design of microfluidic networks using biologically inspired principles”, Microfluidics and Nanofluidics, 4, pp. 179-191, 2008. Paper originally presented as the opening plenary lecture at Microfluidics 2006 (muFlu’06), Toulouse, France, December 2006.

H. Abdulla Yusuf, S.J. Baldock, R.W. Barber, P.R. Fielden, N.J. Goddard, S. Mohr and B.J. Treves Brown, “Optimisation and analysis of microreactor designs for microfluidic gradient generation using a purpose built optical detection system for entire chip imaging”, Lab-on-a-Chip, 9, pp. 1882-1889, 2009.

R.W. Barber and D.R. Emerson, “Biomimetic design of artificial micro-vasculatures for tissue engineering”, ATLA - Alternatives to Laboratory Animals, 38, Supplement 1, pp. 67-79, 2010.

A. Dinler, R.W. Barber, D.R. Emerson, S.K. Stefanov and K. Orucoglu, “Role of surface shape on boundary slip and velocity defect”, Phys. Rev. E, 86, 016314, 2012.

R.W. Barber and D.R. Emerson, “Recent advances in electrowetting microdroplet technologies”, invited book chapter in Microdroplet Technology: Principles and Emerging Applications in Biology and Chemistry, eds. P. Day, A. Manz and Y. Zhang, Integrated Analytical Systems, ISBN 978-1-4614-3264-7 (Springer), Chapter 4, pp. 77-116, 2012.

Microfluidic modelling capabilities:

This list provides a summary of my microfluidic modelling interests:

  • simulation of fluid flow and heat transfer in gas microsystems
  • simulation of micro-reactors and rapid mixing devices for life-science applications
  • air-segmented and capillary-driven fluid handling systems
  • micro-droplet technologies for high throughput screening devices
  • electroosmotic flows and electrophoretic/isotachophoretic separations
  • electric/magnetic/ultrasonic/diffusion-based Field Flow Fractionation (FFF) separations
  • hydrodynamic focusing techniques
  • PCR and thermal problems
  • gas-liquid and liquid-liquid micro-droplet technologies
  • electrowetting-on-dielectric (EWOD) phenomena
  • non-Newtonian rheological problems
  • physiological flow phenomena
  • biomimetic design of artificial micro-vasculatures for tissue engineering applications
  • geometric optimisation

  • Error contacting Epubs

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