Academic Staff

Katie Cole

Katie Cole


Office: RW James Building, Room 4.04
Phone: 021 650 3344

Research Areas: Applied Physics


2002-2006 MPhys (Hons) Physics, UoM, UK.
2006-2007 MSc Nuclear Science and Technology (NTEC), ULiv, UK.
2007-2011 PhD Earth Science and Engineering, ICL, UK.
2011-2013 PDRA, Rio Tinto Centre for Advanced Mineral Recovery, ICL, UK.
2014-2016 PDRF, Physics, UCT, ZA.


2021: PHY1004W - PHY1012SPHY2004W


Bubbles and foams are amazing! They have interesting and unusual properties which are prized in many applications, from crash resistance in cars to recovering precious minerals from ores.

My research focuses on using physics to explain the fundamental behaviour of foams, froths and other soft matter systems, particularly where it can enhance the efficiency of industrial processes and reduce the impact on the environment. A lot of my experimental research takes place at PEPT Cape Town which is a facility managed by the UCT Department of Physics at iThemba LABS.

Check out my profile on Research Gate.

Current students: Ono Daniel (MSc), Moment Mahlangu (MSc), Rorisang Sitoboli (PhD), Ntshembho Mtsetwene (Hons).


  • Measuring turbulence in multiphase fluids such as flotation froths.
  • Following flow on the microscale and in simulated microgravity.
  • Developing fundamentally based models of bubble coalescence and topology in foams and froths.
  • Fabricating novel tracer particles for positron emisison particle tracking (PEPT) and characterising their physical properties.
  • Industrial applications of positron imaging - tracking of solid, liquid and gas phases.

Please get in touch if you are interested in starting a student project or collaboration. There are projects available for 3rd year undergraduate, honours, MSc, PhD students and postdoctoral fellowships.