School of Chemical Engineering

Associate Professor Tony Howes

Associate Professor
Office: 74-331
Phone: +61 7 3365 4262

Tony Howes graduated from UQ in 1983 with a degree in chemical engineering, and after 6 months working on a novel fluid bed retort system for oil shale  went to Cambridge, UK, where he worked with Malcolm Mackley as his first PhD student on what is now the “Oscillating Baffled Reactor”. His dissertation was awarded the 1988 Danckwerts-Maxwell prize for best thesis in that year. A postdoctoral year at Brown University working on patterns in fluid data sets was followed by 3 ½ years in ICI’s Corporate Colloid Science Group, where he worked on theory and application of a novel atomiser.

Since 1993 Tony has been at The University of Queensland teaching, supervising and doing research. His work (largely in collaboration with Bhesh Bhandari in Food Science) on sticky droplet spray drying has been extensively published and cited – at present Bhandari and Howes papers are in the top-10 most cited in Drying Technology, Journal of Food Engineering and International Journal of Food Properties.

Tony has also worked on a variety of other particle problems, including solid state fermentation, regimes in rotating drums and prilling. Following work on sticky mud particles he was heavily involved in local water quality issues, and sat on the Scientific Expert Panel of the Healthy Waterways Partnership in South East Queensland.

At UQ he co-ordinated an innovative programme where students are placed in industry for a research project, and actively reflect on their learning and interact with UQ staff while in industry. In 2008 he was nominated for a University Teaching Excellence Award for his efforts on this programme.


My research focus is on spray drying, especially of sticky or potentially sticky foods. With key collaborators (Prof. Bhesh Bhandari, UQ, A.Prof Benu Adhikari University of Ballarat) we have developed rules and understanding of the role of sugars, proteins and other additives on the drying of sugar rich foods, including fruit juices, honey and milk products.

My general interests are in the modelling and physical aspects of these systems.

Teaching and Learning: 

Teaching: Engineering Thermodynamics (1st year)

Education Research: The role of Work Integrated Learning in the BE and ME programmes.

  1. Spray drying at elevated temperatures
  2. API crystallisation modelling
  3. Role of proteins and additives in food spray drying
  4. Morphology development in spray drying
Key Publications: 
  1. Bhandari, B., Howes, T., 1999 ‘Implication of glass transition for the drying and stability of dried foods’, Journal of Food Engineering, 40, 71
  2. Adhikari, B., Howes, T., Bhandari, B.R., Truoung, V., 2001, “Stickiness in foods: A review of mechanisms and test methods”, Int. J. Food Props., 4, 1
  3. Wildeboer, W.J., Koppendraaier, E.,  Litster, J.D., Howes, T., Meesters, G., 2007 ‘A novel nucleation apparatus for regime separated granulation’ Powder Tech. 171, 96-105.
  4. Burey P, Bhandari BR, Howes T., Gidley, MJ., 2009 “Gel particles from spray-dried disordered polysaccharides” Carbohydrate Polymers, 76, 206-213
  5. Jayasundera, M., Adhikari, B., & Howes, T., “Surface protein coverage and its implications on spray-drying of model sugar-rich foods: Solubility, powder production and characterisation”, Food Chemistry,  128, 1003-1016