UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering


Aleksandra Głowska passed her PhD viva on International Women in Engineering Day

29 June 2022


Congratulations to Aleksandra Głowska for passing her PhD viva on International Women in Engineering Day, 23 June 2022. Her project was on a "Multi-technique analysis of pore networks in gamma-alumina catalyst supports", a collaboration between the UCL Centre for Nature Inspired Engineering (CNIE) and IFP Energies Nouvelles (IFPEN) with Elsa Jolimaitre, where Aleksandra spent much of her PhD in the IFPEN labs near Lyon, France.

Despite the pandemic, Aleksandra completed her thesis in less than 3 1/2 years. She is now as fluent in French as in English, as well as in many analytical characterisation and imaging techniques. The combination of various porosimetric methods, SAXS/WAXS, NMR, high-resolution SEM and TEM, together with proper theoretical analysis, allowed Dr Glowska to gain unprecedented insights into the heterogeneous structure of this extremely important nanoporous catalyst support (for chemical production, energy and environmental processes). Aleksandra could finally elucidate why some supports might have different molecular diffusion properties (influencing overall catalytic product distributions) even though common pore size distribution techniques would give nearly identical results. Important fundamental insights with great practical, industrial impact.

Thanks to IFPEN for all their support, as well as Professors Sean Rigby and Asterios Gavriilidis for examining the future Dr Głowska.