• University of Huddersfield
    HD1 3DH

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

PhD projects

Thermal-Chemical-Electrical Energy Conversion and Storage
Additive Manufacturing of Microfluidics for Super Cooling

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Research activity per year

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Personal profile


Dr Hui Stefanie Cao joined the University of Huddersfield in 2021 as a Senior Lecturer on BEng, MEng, BSc and MSc courses. She is currently the module leader on Project Management and supervisor of final year projects and MSc projects.

Stefanie received her BEng in mechanical engineering at the Southeast University in China. Straight after, she started a joint MSc and PhD programme at the Huazhong University of Science and Technology researching on MEMS sensors and processes, during which time she spent one year visiting University of Leeds. After receiving her degree, she came to the UK and pursed her academical career in Chemical Engineering with a sponsored PhD scholarship from the global consumable company Procter and Gamble in 2011.

She received her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering at the University of Leeds in 2015 and started working as a post-doc research fellow at the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Formulation Engineering at the University of Birmingham between 2014 and 2017. And later she was promoted as T-ERA Fellow at Birmingham Centre for Energy Storage under the Midland Government capital funding Energy Research Accelerator.

She was awarded a Innovate UK ICURe programme fund (£35k) for evaluating the commercialisation of Thermal Energy Storage technology on electric vehicle HVAC system in 2018. Following on the success, she received a £25k EPSRC IAA FOF fund to demonstrate the technology on a battery converted classic Mini Cooper. The car is currently exhibited at the Birmingham Tyseley Energy Park.

She has built her strong relationship with Procter and Gamble since 2011, collaborated with the company’s Innovation Centres in Newcastle, Brussels, Beijing and head quarter Cincinnati. She recently received a fund from Cincinnati and Newcastle to investigate heat transfer of adhesive polymer on boiling regime.

Research Expertise and Interests

Over the years, Dr Hui Stefanie Cao has developed her expertise in structured particle engineering, primarily focusing on the formulation and manufacturing processes impact on particle morphology, thermophysical property, and interfacial heat and mass transfer of porous particle etc. Applications include commercial products such as detergent powder and coffee granule, and cutting-edge engineered particles e.g. perovskite for thermal-chemical-electrical energy conversion and carbon capture, nanoparticles for enhanced heat transfer fluids. Her current research includes:
• additive manufacturing of microfluidics for high power density microchip cooling
• phase change material based thermal energy storage technology on battery electric vehicles
• lanthanum strontium manganites perovskite for splitting CO2
• lithium-air battery product Li2O2 recycling
• thermal-chemical-electrical energy conversion and storage system

Research Degree Supervision

Co-supervising PhD and EngD students:
 Dr Davidson Lütkenhaus: Tribology in cleaning process, past viva in minor correction
 Dr Dimitris Karampalis: Dissolution mechanism of spray-dried detergent powder, past viva in minor correction
 Gan Zhang: High power gallium nitride microelectronics: thermal management using microfluidics, past viva in minor correction
 Harriet Kildahl: Perovskite materials for chemical looping process, viva due in Sept 2022

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Research Expertise and Interests

  • Energy Storage
  • CFD
  • Heat Transfer
  • Particle Engineering
  • Phase Change Materials
  • Perovskite
  • Microfluidics
  • Nanofluids
  • Carbon Capture & Utilization
  • Chemical Looping


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