Dr Joseph Manning

Joe manning

Joe has now moved to the University of Manchester as a PDRA.


Joe studied Applied Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, receiving an MSci in 2014. During his final year, he worked on a research project, “Continuous Manufacturing of Bioinspired Silica,” in the Patwardhan research group. He continued this research with a PhD, initially at Strathclyde before moving to the University of Sheffield with the research group in 2016.

Joe was awarded his PhD, entitled “Sustainable Chemistry and Process Intensification of Bioinspired Silica Materials” from the University of Sheffield in 2019. His research involved developing new synthesis and finishing methods for ‘bioinspired’ sol-gel silica materials to both improve quality and enable scale-up to commercial levels. During his PhD, Joe won a Royal Society of Chemistry Researcher Mobility Grant to visit the Heinz group at CU Boulder, learning how to use molecular dynamics to help predict purification methods. He further spent time as an IP development researcher at the University of Sheffield to demonstrate the commercial viability of the bioinspired silica technology.

After his PhD, Joe moved to the University of Bath as a PDRA in the Düren group  working on the ERC-funded GROWMOF project. Joe used molecular simulations to investigate the activation processes of metal-organic framework materials, which can lead to material degradation if non-deal conditions are used. Joe’s research aimed to both better understand the physical chemistry underpinning activation and develop tools to predict new experimental activation protocols.

Research Interests

Joe’s interests lie in developing environmentally-friendly process chemistry for porous nanomaterials. His research uses physical chemistry at nanoscale surfaces to develop synthesis and modification methods, leading both to new functionality and manufacturing-compatible processes. Through this, he aims to help simplify industrial adoption of new porous materials which will lower the global carbon footprint of chemicals manufacturing. In his work with the Davies group, Joe will use his knowledge of surface modification to tailor nanoparticle-based MRI contrast agents towards performance and cost-effectiveness.


  1. Centi, A.; Manning, J. R. H.; Srivastava, V.; Van Meurs, S.; Patwardhan, S. V.; Jorge, M. The Role of Charge-Matching in Nanoporous Materials Formation. Horizons 2019, 6 (5), 1027–1033.
  2. Patwardhan, S. V.; Manning, J. R. H.; Chiacchia, M. Bioinspired Synthesis as a Potential Green Method for the Preparation of Nanomaterials: Opportunities and Challenges. Opin. Green Sustain. Chem. 2018, 12.
  3. Manning, J. R. H.; Routoula, E.; Patwardhan, S. V. Preparation of Functional Silica Using a Bioinspired Method. Vis. Exp. 2018, No. 138, 1–9.
  4. Manning, J. R. H.; Yip, T. W. S.; Centi, A.; Jorge, M.; Patwardhan, S. V. An Eco-Friendly, Tunable and Scalable Method for Producing Porous Functional Nanomaterials Designed Using Molecular Interactions. ChemSusChem 2017, 10 (8), 1683–1691.
  5. Patwardhan, S. V.; Manning, J. R. H. Silica Synthesis. WO2017037460A1, 2015.