Professor Vesselin N. Paunov


Vesselin Paunov photo

Professor and Chair of Chemistry



Career Profile

Vesselin Paunov received his PhD in Physical Chemistry in 1997 from the University of Sofia, Bulgaria, where he studied the lateral capillary interactions between colloid particles adsorbed at liquid surfaces. During his PhD studies he did two specializations: (i) in 1995 funded by EU TEMPUS program at the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Partas, Greece, and (ii) in 1996 funded the Volkswagen foundation at the Institute of Fluid Mechanics at the University of Erlangen, Germany. After completing his PhD in 1997, Vesselin was awarded NATO/RS Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Department of Chemistry of the University of Hull, UK, where he worked on projects related to wetting phenomena and colloid interactions. In 1998, he moved to the USA as a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the Chemical Engineering department of the University of Delaware where he specialized in research on microemulsions. He was appointed as a lecturer in Physical Chemistry at the University of Hull in 2000 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2004, Reader in 2008 and Professor Physical Chemistry and Advanced Materials in 2013. At the end of 2020 he was appointed as a Chair of the Department of Chemistry at Nazarbayev University, Nur-sultan city, Kazakhstan.

Research interests

Prof Paunov does highly interdisciplinary research in the areas of colloids, nanoscience and biomaterials. He has published over 180 scientific papers in international journals and is a co-inventor of 13 patents. He has given more than 135 invited and conference presentations. He has attracted significant research funding from the UK research councils EPSRC, BBSRC and the industry. His present research interests include colloid science of foams and emulsions, formulation science, nanoparticles, smart surfaces, microencapsulation, stimulus triggered release of actives, directed cell assembly, cyborg cells, whole cell biosensors for testing toxicity and nanotoxicity, using nanoparticles as antimicrobials. Prof Paunov’s publications have received over 10600 citations and his current h-index is 54 (google scholar). During his work at the University of Hull he has supervised 23 PhD students (21 of which already graduated), 9 PDRAs and 41 visiting researchers. Presently, Prof Paunov teaches a number of courses and modules involving elements of his own research. He has been the acting Head of the Physical Chemistry Teaching at the University of Hull for over 12 years. Prof Paunov was a member of the Management Committees of the EU COST action “Colloidal Aspects of Nanoscience for Innovative Processes and Materials” 2011-2015 and the UK Polymer Colloids Forum 2008-2014. He organized and chaired the 14th UKPCF annual meeting at the University of Hull in 2009 and the Biomaterials symposium within the Materials Research Society Fall Meeting in Boston, Massachusetts in 2012.

Professional memberships

  • Member of the Materials Research Society (USA)
  • Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (UK)
  • Member of the European Colloid and  Interface Society
  • Member of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists
  • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry of UK (FRSC)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy of UK (FHEA)

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