Dr James Winterburn


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James joined the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science as a Lecturer in 2013, was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2018 and to Reader in 2021. His current research interests are focused around industrial biotechnology, fermentation processes and the efficient production and separation of bio-based products, including biosurfactants and biopolymers. He is also Programme Director for the MEng with Industrial Experience degree programme. James is a Co-founder of Holfierm Limited, spun-out from his research group in 2018. Holiferm are commercialising biosurfactant production technology and currenlty produce sophorolipid biosurfactants at pilot scale. Prior to his Lectureship James worked as a Post-doctoral Research Associate in the Multiphase Processing Group on an EPSRC funded Challenging Engineering Project.

James obtained a PhD in the area of biosurfactant production and separation from The University of Manchester in 2011, supervised by Dr Peter Martin and funded by EPSRC and Unilever, following which he was awarded a six month EPSRC Doctoral Prize. He graduated with a MEng in Engineering Science from the University of Oxford in 2007. 


  • MEng Engineering Science – University of Oxford (2007)
  • PhD – The University of Manchester (2011)

External positions

Chair Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group, Institution of Chemical Engineers

Jul 2018 → …

CTO and Co-Founder , Holiferm Limited

1 May 2018 → …

Associate Editor, Biochemical Engineering Journal

Jul 2017 → …

Vice-Chair Biochemical Engineering Special Interest Group, Institute of Chemical Engineers

Jul 2016Jul 2018

Related information


Activity: MembershipMembership of committee

Activity: Consultancy, spin-outs, CPD & licensingSpin-outs & start-ups

Activity: Publication peer-review and editorial workEditorial work

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Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

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