Contact details


Telephone number: 01865 273179 (Department) or 01865 274192 (LMH)

Role: Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering; Tutorial Fellow in Engineering Science.


Prof Nick Hankins


Nick Hankins is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at the Department of Engineering Science, The University of Oxford. He holds an M.A. from the University of Cambridge,and a PhD from the University of Oklahoma. He is a Chartered Chemical Engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers. He has over 7 years industrial experience in the petroleum and chemical industries with Shell Research and Aspen Technology, and 25 years of academic experience in esteemed UK and US institutions. He was a Post Doctoral Fellow in Colloid Chemistry at the University of Bristol, a Visiting Scholar in Chemical Engineering at the Pennsylvania State University, and a Lecturer at the University of Nottingham.

His area of expertise lies in colloidal and interfacial processes and the application of colloids, surfactants, interfaces and membranes in process technology, particularly in sustainable water process engineering for desalination and potable and waste water treatment. He is the Research Leader of the Centre for Sustainable Water Engineering at The University of Oxford, and has acted as the Oxford Director of the Singapore-Peking-Oxford Research enterprise. He is Joint Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Water Process Engineering, and sits on the editorial board of four other journals.

Research interests

My research focusses on developing sustainable engineering processes for clean water acquisition, recycle and reuse in a world of diminishing resources, climate change and the drive to reduce environmental and carbon footprints. This work includes the provision of clean drinking water; the desalination of ground water and seawater for potable purposes; and industrial and domestic wastewater processing and recycle, with the recovery of valuable resources such as metallic ions. Much of my work is underpinned by the use of membrane technology, and the application of colloidal and interfacial chemistry and engineering.


Chemical Engineering Design; Chemical Product Design; Fluid Mechanics and Dynamics; Engineering and Chemical Thermodynamics; Reactor Design; Hazards and Safety; Chemical Processes Laboratory; Transport Phenomena Laboratory; Colloid and Interfacial Chemistry.


Engineering Science

Selected publications

Christian D. Peters and Nicholas P. Hankins: “The Synergy between Osmotically Assisted Reverse Osmosis (OARO) and the Use of Thermo-Responsive Draw Solutions for Energy-Efficient, Zero-Liquid Discharge Desalination”, Desalination, 2020, 493, 114630. doi: 10.1016/j.desal.2020.114630

M. Chen, N. P. Hankins: “Interaction Among Branched Polyethylenimine (PEI), Sodium Dodecyl Sulfate (SDS) and Metal Cations During Copper Recovery from Water using Polymer-Surfactant Aggregates, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2020, 34, 101170. doi:10.1016/j.jwpe.2020.101170.

Ming Chen, Chad T. Jafvert, YichenWue, Xiaoqiang Cao, and Nicholas P .Hankins: “Inorganic Anion Removal using Micellar Enhanced Ultrafiltration (MEUF), Modeling Anion Distribution and Suggested Improvements of MEUF: A Review”. Chemical Engineering Journal, 2020, 398, 125413.

Basma Al-Najar, Christian D. Peters, Hanan Albuflasa, Nicholas P. Hankins: “Pressure and Osmotically Driven Membrane Processes: A Review of the Benefits and Production of Nano-enhanced Membranes for Desalination”, Desalination, 2020, 479, 114323.

Linnet Zohrabian, Nicholas P. Hankins, Robert W. Field: “Hybrid Forward Osmosis-Membrane Distillation System: Demonstration of Technical Feasibility”, Journal of Water Process Engineering, 2019, 101042.

Fernanda S. Peiter, Nicholas P. Hankins and Eduardo C.Pires: “Evaluation of Concentration Technologies in the Design of Biorefineries for the Recovery of Resources from Vinasse”, Water Research, 2019, 157, 483-497.