Professor Chris Hewitt

FREng, DSc, 

Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Executive
Dean (LHS)

Professor of Biological Engineering 

School of Life & Health Sciences
Aston University
Aston Triangle
B4 7ET

Room: MB 624   
Tel: +44 (0) 121 204 4949

PA Clare Webster +44 (0)121 204 4096

Research Group

Molecular Biomedical Research

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Professor Chris Hewitt
IChemE medal winner

I joined Aston University in November 2014 as Executive Dean of Life & Health Sciences and Professor of Biological Engineering. Immediately prior to this I was Associate Dean for Research and Director of the EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine at Loughborough University where I was also co-founder of the Centre for Biological Engineering. I graduated with a first class honours degree in Microbiology from Royal Holloway College, University of London in 1990 and then went to the University of Birmingham to read for a Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering. I stayed at Birmingham for a further 13 years first as Lecturer then Senior Lecturer, developing my research at the Life Science/Engineering interface. In 2013 I was awarded a D.Sc. in Biochemical Engineering from Loughborough University. I was awarded the Donald Medal 2017 by the Institution of Chemical Engineers for outstanding services in biochemical engineering. 

I am delighted to have been awarded FREng by the Royal Academy of Engineering in 2018. 

  • D.Sc. in Biochemical Engineering, Loughborough University, 2013.
  • Ph.D. in Biochemical Engineering, University of Birmingham, 1993.
  • B.Sc. with First Class Honours in Biology, University of London, Royal Holloway College, 1990.
  • P.G.Cert. Higher Education, Teaching and Learning, University of Birmingham, 2002.
  • 2006 to 2014: Associate Dean for Research (School of Aero, Auto, Chemical and Materials Engineering - 2011) and Professor of Biological Engineering (2006), Chemical Engineering, Loughborough University,
  • 1999 to 2006: Lecturer then Senior Lecturer (2004) in Biochemical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, University of Birmingham.

I regularly lectured on degree programmes leading to B.Eng, M.Eng, and M.Sc. qualifications in Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering 

I have been working in the field of Biological Engineering for over 20 years seeking to study the interaction of the organism with the process environment using such non-invasive techniques as flow cytometry, image analysis and NIR spectroscopy. These techniques have been used to improve our understanding of how cells behave within such diverse areas as Microbial Fermentation, Bio-remediation, Bio-transformation, Brewing, Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing and Cell Culture. This work has been carried out mostly with industrial collaborators, the motivation being process improvement and optimisation for informed scale-up/out. I have acted as a bioprocessing consultant for companies such as Celgene (US), Coors, Novozymes (Sweden), Emergent Biosolutions, Merck, Unilever, Oxoid Ltd, Field Supplies Ltd, Degussa-Huels, Cobra Therapeutics and GSK advising on appropriate analytical techniques and all types of bioprocess development. I am Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Biotechnology Letters.

EPSRC and MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine. Awarded March 2014 £3.5M.

BRIC EPSRC and BBSRC project ‘Expansion of human multipotent stem cells in aqueous/aqueous two phase systems’. Awarded November 2012 £700k.

ERA-IB EU project ‘Systematic consideration of inhomogeneity at the large scale: towards a stringent development of industrial bioprocesses (SCILS)’. Awarded November 2012 £345k.

BRIC EPSRC/BBSRC project ‘Bioprocessing research for cellular products’. Awarded February 2011 £700k.

EPSRC Landscape Award ‘Engineering – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (E-TERM)’ Awarded September 2010, £2.7M.

EPSRC Innovative Manufacturing Research Centre ‘Enabling the emergence of a new industry in Regenerative Medicine remedi+’ Awarded January 2010 £6M.
I am pleased to be able to supervise PhD students in all areas of Biotechnology including Microbial Fermentation, Bio-remediation, Bio-transformation, Brewing, Regenerative Medicine Bioprocessing and Cell Culture.

Fellow of the Higher Education Academy since March 2014.

Fellow of the Society of Biology since March 2006 (Member since March 1994) and I am entitled to employ the designation CBiol.

Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers since February 2009 and I am entitled to employ the designations CEng and CSci.