Thomas McCoy

Dr Tom McCoy


  • Position Fellow Junior Research Fellow
  • Subject areas Biotechnology Chemical Engineering
  • School Physical Sciences
  • Department Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology, BP Institute
  • Email
  • Department link
  • Phone number 07934 009 323

Tom is a surface/colloid scientist and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology.

Thomas McCoy

Tom finished his doctoral research in Physical Chemistry in 2018 at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia. His research investigated the chemical processing of 2-dimensional carbon nanomaterials in water for the purposes of water purification and oil recovery. In addition, he explored the self-assembly of surfactant molecules that spontaneously form complex fluids using small-angle neutron scattering.

Immediately after his PhD, Tom commenced his postdoc at the University of Cambridge in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology (CEB). The project was in collaboration with Infineum UK Ltd. to explore the mechanism of friction reduction and anti-wear caused by small molecule additives in engine oil formulations using neutron reflectivity. Tom also delivers two lecture courses in CEB on Analytical and Physical Chemistry for CET1.

In the 2021, Tom became and Oppenheimer Research Fellow in CEB and a Junior Research Fellow in Wolfson.

Tom’s current research explores the role of organic friction modifiers in engines. These are molecular additives that are incorporated into engine oil formulations to reduce friction and wear between contacting machine parts, improving performance and longevity. The precise mechanism by which these compounds adhere to a metal surface and reduce friction is still debated. Trips to ISIS, Britain’s nuclear spallation source and Institut Laue Langevin, Grenoble, France, are frequent to exploit the use of neutron scattering techniques to elucidate important structural insights for these additives.

For his Oppenheimer Fellowship, Tom will investigate the design and deposition of functional coatings based on self-organising colloidal particles. Understanding how particle interactions influence the properties and morphology of films is a key aim of the work. These findings will provide novel, low cost and low energy materials for new and improved surface coatings, helping in the collective effort towards sustainable materials and reduced climate impact.

What's on

Gender Hub

Gender Hub - 2021/2022 Kick Off Event

22/09/2021 at 18.30

After a successful first year, Wolfson College's Gender Research Hub is thrilled to start planning another year of programming beginning with our 2021/2022 Kick-Off Event! 

Students talking outside the Lee Hall

Medicine and Veterinary Medicine Virtual Admissions Clinic

23/09/2021 at 16.00

Join this dedicated admissions clinic to ask all your questions about qualifications, academic requirements and applying for Medicine, Graduate Medicine or Veterinary Medicine. Held by Dr Lesley MacVinish, Director of Studies for Medicine and Admissions Tutor. 

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University 2021 Digital Alumni Festival

24/09/2021 at 09.00

Tickets are now available for the University’s 2021 Digital Alumni Festival.

Students talking outside the Lee Hall

Virtual Admissions clinic - all subjects

24/09/2021 at 16.00

Ask Admissions Tutor, Dr Noel Rutter, all your questions about applying to study at Wolfson College. He can advise on necessary qualifications, unusual academic histories, and more. If you wish to apply for Medicine please register for the session on 23 September.  

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Virtual Personal Statement Workshop

28/09/2021 at 17.00

Writing your personal statement can seem daunting as a mature student.