Ashleigh Fletcher

Senior Lecturer

Personal Statement

Originally from Sunderland, England, I completed a BSc in Chemistry at Durham University in 1997, before graduating with a PhD in adsorption science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2000. I undertook several post-doctoral research positions in Newcastle, and a one year lectureship in physical chemistry, before moving to the University of Strathclyde in 2008 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015.

I now lead a research team of six, with a focus on adsorption processes; this includes materials development and characterisation with applications from the removal of gas and liquid phase contaminants to gas storage and sensor development.  Also interested in pedagogic research, I currently co-supervise a project aimed at developing skills for enhanced employability within engineering disciplines.

Research Interests

My current research involves the use of a range of nanoporous adsorbents, including activated carbon, zeolites and metal organic framework materials, with particular focus on the adsorption properties of such structures.   Kinetics of adsorption are key to understanding the mechanisms involved in processes such as gas purification/separation, effluent removal and adsorbent recovery.  The future direction of my work involves the development of nanoporous materials for use in biomedical applications.  For example highly porous carbonaceous materials currently used in water purification processes for dialysis units require extensive improvement to reduce complications produced by persistent species (e.g. chloramines) that can contaminate patients’ blood, thus reducing associated therapeutic medication costs; or the removal of glycation end products for the reduction of diabetes in susceptible groups.  Another area for future research is in bio-terrorism with the need for improved personal protection devices and integrated decontamination processes.  These targets are all achievable by developing an appropriate nanoporous adsorbent possibly with tailored surface character.

Expertise & Capabilities

  • adsorption capacity measurements for most gases and vapours
  • determination of adsorption kinetics
  • surface area determination, including pore volume and pore size distribution analysis
  • specialised equipment to study adsorption systems under flow and at high temperature
  • furnace capabilities for pyrolysis and activation methods
  • thermal stabilities of materials
  • surface chemitsyr determination by Fourier transform infrared and Boehm titration
  • liquid phase adsorption analysis including leaching tendencies, small scale column studies and solvent phase extraction for determination by gas chromatography

Industrial Relevance

My work has significant industrial relevance, especially in the water and air purification industries. I regularly undertake studies into materials characterisation for industrial parties and have been engaged in a number of knowledge exchange activities, both with commercial partners and in university and UK wide consortia working on projects with specific end goals for applications or commercialisation, for example Dr Jan Sefcik and I were the recipients of the 'best new commercial opportunity' 2013 at the University's enterprise awards for our project looking at continuous manufacture methods.

Teaching Interests

I am the current academic coordinator for year 1, and also act as disability coordinator within the department. My teaching duties include the full time courses of basic principles in chemical engineering (CP101), chemical principles (CP203), emerging technologies (CP516), chemical engineering design (CP407) and the final year chemical engineering project (18530). I also teach on several distance learning modules: chemical engineering principles and thermodynamics (CP211), MSc research project (CP936) and emerging technologies (CP921). In addition to this, I am undertaking an MSc in advanced academic studies, which involves a resaerch projects; this fits well with my ongoing pedagogic research interests, which include the effects of peer tutelage, embedding skills for employability, course redesign and inclusive curricula.

Academic / Professional qualifications

  • PhD: The Compensation Effect in Adsorption/Desorption of Gases/Vapours on Porous Materials (University of Newcastle, EPSRC funded, supervisor Prof. K.M. Thomas, 2000)
  • MSc Advanced Professional Studies (University of Strathclyde, 2016)
  • 2:1 BSc Honours in Chemistry (University of Durham, 1997)
  • SFHEA (Higher Education Academy, 2017)
  • FHEA (Higher Education Academy, 2010)
  • AMIChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers, 2010)
  • CSci (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004)
  • CChem (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002)
  • MRSC (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000)
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Activities

(18)
  1. Francesca Laitano

    Activity: Hosting a visitorHosting an external, non-academic visitor

  2. SCCS Conference 2015 - Delivering low-carbon power & products: Regional pathways to CCS

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

  3. 4th ETP Annual Conference 2015

    Activity: Participating in or organising an eventParticipation in conference

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Ashleigh Fletcher

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