Job Thijssen

Soft matter physicist

I am an experimental physicist by training, with research experience of soft matter physics. My research focusses on the physics and applications of soft materials. Examples of soft materials include colloids (e.g. milk), droplets (e.g. emulsions), gels (e.g. bijels), polymers, and biological materials (e.g. blood). My current research interests include colloidal crystals (for energy applications), droplets (the coffee-ring effect), bijels, and (interfacial) rheology. I also have an interest in particle and materials characterization: confocal microscopy, electron microscopy, image analysis, machine learning, spectroscopy and (light) scattering. I am currently a Reader in the School of Physics & Astronomy at The University of Edinburgh, where I teach Scientific Image Analysis, run the integrated-masters dissertation projects course, and I supervise undergraduate & PhD research projects. Past collaborative projects include interfaces in energy materials (MISE) and equality, diversity and inclusion in STEM (Inclusion Matters eBase). Current collaborations include forensics (evaporation of blood droplets) and knowledge exchange with industry on formulation i.e. bespoke design of complex fluids (ECFP).


Schematic of contactless setup: a cup with an edge, the lower half filled with water, the top half filled with oil, the water-oil interface pinned by the edge; a rheometer geometry attached to the water-oil interface; a confocal microscope to measure the strain in the interface from below.

Looking back at 2023: paper published and featured in the Journal of Rheology: Contactless interfacial rheology: Probing shear at liquid–liquid interfaces without an interfacial geometry via fluorescence microscopy, see also the corresponding Scilight.


Find out about past, current and prospective projects!


Overview of expertise plus data gathering and analysis techniques

Image of the month

January 2024

Photo of a dollop of yoghurt on top of some breakfast cereal in a bowl with a spoon.

You may well have eaten some soft matter this morning! Yoghurt is another example of a soft material, pictured here on top of some breakfast cereal. Even though yoghurt looks smooth macroscopicallly, cryo-FIB-SEM reveals that its micrsostructure is more complex!