Dr Jesús Javier Ojeda is an Associate Professor at the College of Engineering. His main research focuses on biofouling and biocorrosion, and the importance of cell/surface composition and environmental conditions (such as pH, nutrients or ionic strength) on biofilm formation. His research includes the use of modern potentiometric and spectroscopic tools (such as ToF-SIMS, micro-FTIR, XPS, EXAFS) to describe these systems.

Dr Ojeda’s expertise also includes the behaviour of micro/nanoparticles in complex media, as well as the adhesion of microorganisms to the particle surfaces. Recently-awarded NERC funds allowed him to develop a proof-of-concept for the rapid identification, sizing and quantification of microplastics in the wastewater treatment process (NE/K007521). This research pioneered in the use of novel spectroscopic methodologies for the monitoring of these emerging pollutants in an automated way, without bias and with minimal human intervention. 

Before coming to the UK, Dr Ojeda worked in catalysis, surface characterisation and quality control for the oil industry, first as interim student and then full-time professional employee at PDVSA-Intevep (1998-2003). In 2003, he became Associate Specialist at Chemiconsult CA (consultant company for the oil sector), before moving to the University of Sheffield to study sorption of organic pollutants in soils. In 2005 he was appointed Research Associate in Spectroscopy at the Kroto Research Institute, and later made responsible for the Sheffield Surface Analysis Centre (SSAC). Dr Ojeda completed his PhD in 2010 in Surface Science at the Kroto Research Institute, Faculty of Engineering, University of Sheffield, studying the adhesion of microorganisms to surfaces.

Before coming to Swansea, Dr Ojeda was a lecturer in Surface Science at the Institute of Materials and Manufacturing, Brunel University London (2010-2015). Dr Ojeda has published over 30 papers and three book chapters in his research areas, and has secured funds both as a Principal Investigator and Co-Investigator from several funding bodies, including NERC, EPSRC, InnovateUK, The Royal Society and The Leverhulme Trust. He has also acted as an expert adviser at ETCBrunel, with more than 100 consultancy works carried to the private sector in surface characterisation, biocorrosion, plastic degradation and materials failure. He has been invited to review grant proposals for EPSRC, MRC and BBSRC (UK) and the National Science Foundation (USA), and is a recurrent reviewer for journals such as Langmuir, Environmental Science & Technology, Biomacromolecules and Proteomics.

Dr Ojeda is a member of the Physical Chemical and Biochemical Methods committee (EH/003/02) at the British Standard Institution (BSI), and UK-nominated expert to the International Organization for Standardisation (ISO) for the standard regarding the analysis of microplastics using vibrational spectroscopy.

Areas of Expertise

  • Biochemical Engineering
  • Surface science and spectroscopy
  • Development of novel methods for microplastic characterisation (e.g. micro-FTIR imaging)
  • Biofilms, biofouling and biocorrosion

Publications

  1. Johnson, K., Purvis, G., Lopez-Capel, E., Peacock, C., Gray, N., Wagner, T., Marz, C., Bowen, L., Ojeda Ledo, J., Finlay, N., Robertson, S., Worrall, F., Greenwell, C. Towards a mechanistic understanding of carbon stabilization in manganese oxides Nature Communications 6 7628
  2. Tagg, A., Sapp, M., Harrison, J., Ojeda, J., Ojeda Ledo, J. Identification and Quantification of Microplastics in Wastewater Using Focal Plane Array-Based Reflectance Micro-FT-IR Imaging Analytical Chemistry 87 12 6032 6040
  3. Pal, C., Sosa-Vargas, L., Ojeda, J., Sharma, A., Cammidge, A., Cook, M., Ray, A., Ojeda Ledo, J. Charge transport in lead sulfide quantum dots/phthalocyanines hybrid nanocomposites Organic Electronics 44 132 143
  4. Lalwani, N., Chen, Y., Brooke, G., Cross, N., Allen, D., Reynolds, A., Ojeda, J., Tizzard, G., Coles, S., Bricklebank, N., Ojeda Ledo, J. Triphenylarsonium-functionalised gold nanoparticles: potential nanocarriers for intracellular therapeutics Chem. Commun. 51 19 4109 4111
  5. Feizi, E., Ojeda, J., Ray, A., Ojeda Ledo, J. Vibrational spectroscopic studies on crystallisation of sol–gel derived thin films of calcia–alumina binary compound Journal of Materials Science: Materials in Electronics 25 5 2261 2266

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Teaching

  • EG-203 Biochemical Engineering I

    To provide an understanding of Biochemical Engineering as a sustainable activity concerned with the safe economic processing of biological materials and feedstocks, to make products for a healthy and prosperous quality of life. Topics will cover biochemical reaction kinetics, fundamentals of enzymatic and microbial processes, reactor design principles for enzyme and fermentation systems, recovery and purification of products, sterilisation techniques.

  • EG-M11 Biochemical Engineering II

    This module builds up from EG-203 (Biochemical Engineering I) and describes more advanced topics in the production and optimisation of biological materials and processes. Optimisation methods of bioprocesses are described, and how these are exploited in the commercial situation. Topics such as mixed cultures, allosteric enzymes, genetically modified micro-organisms, biofouling and biocorrosion, specialised biological separation processes (e.g. chromatography), biosafety, quality control, and Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) are discussed in detail. The principal products of such processes are investigated to illustrate the current and future technology of these systems with an emphasis on modern biotechnology methods. The impact of the use of such techniques on quality management, safety assessment and regulatory environment are reviewed.

  • EGC401 Industrial Engineering and Research Practice

    This module aims to give students practical experience in either the industrial setting or the research environment. Either two day placements in industry or two day research placements within the College of Engineering are conducted. The industrial placements are determined by interview with the companies involved or College staff. A range of research projects will be offered by the College staff. The module aims to reinforce and deepen material taught previously in the undergraduate environment and broaden practical skills learnt during the previous years. The module will provide an opportunity to apply to industrial/research problems the knowledge obtained within the undergraduate course. The module will also give experience in teamwork, communication, presentation and planning skills plus where appropriate the experience of the management structures and practices of industrial organisations or research projects.

  • EGCM89 Chemical and Environmental Engineering MEng Design Project

    This module aims to advance and broaden the design practices learnt at Level 3. This project will necessitate the students to adapt the design methodologies learnt previously to an unfamiliar molecule in order to generate a novel manufacturing process. The project itself requires the students to develop an innovative design for a plant to make a molecule for which no large scale production facility exists. The molecules to be produced need to be selected on the following characteristics: they should not be manufactured on a large capacity production facility (there may however be small scale production) and an outline of a manufacturing process including basic chemistry exists somewhere. The project will require the students to make choices and judgments on: the production capacity, time of operation, raw materials to use, production process, and benefit of the molecule to the company (ie economic, extending the knowledge base etc). Design is a team exercise throughout and working well as a team is critical to successfully completing this project.

Supervision

  • The development of nano/polymer biopesticide formulations for improved control of western flower thrips (current)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christopher Wright
  • A new family of extra-large pore zeolites, for NOx reduction at low temperatures. (awarded 2019)

    Student name:
    MSc
    Other supervisor: Dr Yon Ju-Nam
  • 'Assessing the fate of microplastics derived from industrial and domestic products in the water treatment process ' (awarded 2017)

    Student name:
    PhD
    Other supervisor: Dr Christopher Wright

Key Grants and Projects

  • INNOVATEUK: "Fuel Architecture and Systems Technology - FAST" 2019 - 2022

    TS/R008132/1 Principal Investigator for Swansea University. Large consortium led by Airbus, with 14 industrial and academic partners. Funding for Swansea University: £150K.

  • NBIC Proof of Concept Call: “The effect of electrospun nanofibre diameter and conditioning film on controlling active biofilm formation in wound dressings” 2019 - 2020

    02POC19-0000000078 Co-Investigator (with Chris Wright, Engineering, and Thomas S. Wilkinson, Medical School (PI)) Funding requested to NBIC: £51,149; Contribution from Industrial project partners: £35,800; Project total budget: £86,949

  • EPSRC Directed Assembly Network: “A new family of Ce-Ti based extra-large pore zeolites, for NOx reduction at low temperatures” 2016 - 2017

    PP104-310516 Principal Investigator (with Yon Ju-Nam, Swansea University, Alan Reynolds and Lorna Anguilano, Brunel University London). £14,718.12 - Directed Assembly Network: Pump-priming Award.

  • NERC: “Assessing the fate of microplastics derived from industrial and domestic products in the waste water treatment process” 2013 - 2017

    NE/K007521 Principal Investigator (with Melanie Sapp, FERA; and Peter Vale, Severn Trent Water) £84,148.00.

  • EPSRC: “Upgrading the small scale equipment base for early career researchers: manufacture of lightweight metallic materials/composites” 2012 - 2013

    EP/K031422/1 Co-Investigator (with Brian McKay, Ian Stone, Shouxun Ji, Yan Huang and Hari Babu Nadendla (PI)) £475,380.12

  • LEVERHULME TRUST: “Determination of chronological context of latent fingerprints on porous surfaces” 2011 - 2014

    RPG-138 Co-investigator (with Alan Reynolds and Benjamin Jones (PI)) £174,942.00

  • Brunel Graduate School funding competition: ETC seminar series “Advances in Transmission Electron Microscopy and applications to biology, medicine and materials engineering” 2012 - 2013

    PI (internal funding competition) £2,495.00 – Brunel University London

  • BRIEF AWARD: “Investigating the bioavailability and toxicological effects of manufactured nanomaterials on microbial communities” 2012 - 2013

    Principal Investigator £14,939.32 – Brunel University Research & Knowledge Transfer Committee, Brief Award.

  • THE ROYAL SOCIETY - New Inverstigator Grant: “Bioavailability and fate of manufactured nanoparticles on microbiota: the interactions between nanoparticles and soil and water microorganisms” 2011 - 2012

    RG110242 Principal Investigator. £14,708.00