Current Supervisors

There are 55 members of The Polymer Centre. Their research interests and contact details can be found here. Currently, the academics supervising CDT PhD projects are: 


Prof. Steve Armes FRS - Chemistry

Steve's research group combines synthetic polymer chemistry with colloid science. Using various controlled polymerisation techniques his team synthesises a wide range of polymer colloids. A particular focus of his research group is polymerisation-induced self-assembly, forming block copolymer nanoparticles of tuneable size and shape. These nanoparticles have a wide range of potential applications, including as a long-term storage medium for stem cells, viscosity modifiers, novel microcapsules and nanoparticle lubricants. His other research interests include developing colloidal nanocomposite particles, which have applications in paints and antireflective coatings. 


Dr. Candice majewski - mechanical engineering

Candice has been involved in additive manufacturing since 2000, initially working with metal-based sintering processes. Since then she has moved towards polymer-based processes, again mainly focused around sintering technologies. She has also managed several consultancy and contract research projects, using the knowledge gained from previous research projects to help steer the selection and development of new materials for the Laser Sintering process.



Dr. Seb Spain - Chemistry

Seb's research interests lie at the interfaces of chemistry, biology and pharmacy, particularly the use of modern synthetic polymer chemistry for the development of new therapeutics and diagnostics. Particular areas of interest are Stimuli-Responsive Materials for drug delivery, modular approaches to biomaterials where a core structure may be later decorated with functional components, and biological interactions with polymers.


Prof. Tony Ryan OBE - Chemistry

Tony's research covers sustainable synthesis, structure, processing, and applications of polymers using advanced analytical and measurement techniques. Recent research projects included renewable sources for polyurethane synthesis, organic photovoltaics, maximising the properties of polymers and biopolymers through flow-induced crystallisation, formulation of home and personal care products and polymer foams for high intensity urban agriculture.


Prof. Patrick Fairclough - mechanical engineering

Patrick's research covers a wide variety of polymers, soft materials and composite systems. He is director of the Composites Systems Innovation Centre at Sheffield (CSIC). CSIC has a focus on low energy materials; this includes natural materials and reducing the energy costs of processing conventional materials. The polymer projects cover the understanding of stability as applied to polymer crystallisation, colloidal structures and phase separation in mixed polymer systems. Patrick is currently working on structural colour with collaborations both in industry and academia. 


Prof. Kirill Horoshenkov - mechanical engineering

Kirill’s main research interests are in novel sensors for water industry, novel acoustic materials and physical acoustics. His other areas of work relate to noise control, audio-visual interactions and design of nature-inspired noise control solutions.

Dr. Mark Ogden - chemical and biological engineering

Mark's main research interests are spent nuclear fuel reprocessing, solvent extraction and ion exchange and novel separation processes. His other areas of work include ionic liquids and supercritical fluids in separation processes and actinide speciation.


Prof. Nigel Clarke - physics and astronomy

Nigel's research interests are theoretical polymer and soft matter physics, the rheology of polymers and gels, neutron scattering from polymers under flow and polymer nanocomposites.

prof. paul hatton - School of Dentistry

Paul is one of Europe’s leading bioengineers with an interdisciplinary research group working on innovative and emerging healthcare and manufacturing technologies to improve the repair and regeneration of human musculoskeletal and dental tissues. He applies this expertise extensively in undergraduate and postgraduate education, and is well known for his passionate support of academic-industrial collaboration and knowledge exchange to drive economic growth and benefit society.


dr. Oleksandr Mykhaylyk - Chemistry

Sasha is a polymer physicist working in the Dept. of Chemistry. His research interests are the development of X-ray, light and neutron scattering techniques and rheological measurements for the characterisation of various types of soft matter, such as polymer colloids, fats and lipids. He has recently developed a new rheological technique known as shear-induced polarised light imaging (SIPLI) in collaboration with an instrument manufacturer (Anton-Paar).


prof. Sheila Macneil - Materials science and engineering

Sheila's research focuses on developing tissue engineering which will benefit patients, alongside fundamental work to develop new understanding and tools in the area of tissue engineering. Her primary research interests are in tissue engineering of soft tissues – skin, oral mucosa, urethra and cornea, with a strong focus on translating research for clinical benefit. She has also developed 3D tissue engineered models for studying a wide range of normal and abnormal conditions, spanning wound healing, skin contracture, pigmentation, melanoma invasion, angiogenesis, bacterial infection and skin sensitisation.


Prof. Mark Geoghegan - physics and astronomy

Mark's interests are polymers at surfaces and interfaces, polymer gels and diffusion, cell-surface interactions, soft nanotechnology and semiconducting polymers.


Dr. Rob Dawson - Chemistry

Rob's research interests focus on the synthesis and applications of microporous polymers. These materials are produced from rigid organic building blocks linked together using high yielding chemistries to produce networks. The subsequent removal of the reaction solvent from the rigid framework leaves behind channels into which small molecules can be adsorbed. Previously, he has looked at these materials for applications in hydrogen gas storage, carbon dioxide capture and heterogeneous catalysis. His current research looks at these materials for energy applications; for example reducing energy demand by performing reactions photocatalytically, and utilising CO2 to produce valuable materials.

Dr. Chris Holland - Materials Science and Engineering

Chris’ research uses tools developed for the physical sciences to better understand Nature’s materials, from latex to collagen, but with a focus on silk. By investigating unspun silk’s flow properties he has been able to gain unique insights into their biodiversity, structure and evolution. Additionally, this work has made important links between natural and industrial fibre processing which has lead to a fundamentally new way of designing, testing and fabricating bio-inspired materials. Today he combines multiple instruments with rheology, from microscopes (confocal) and spectrometers (IR) to synchrotrons (SANS at ISIS and SAXS/WAXS at ESRF) in order to understand exactly how silk proteins arrange themselves into one of Nature’s most impressive materials.


Dr. Denis Cumming - Chemical and Biological Engineering

Denis's current research interest focus on development of stable nano-sctructured materials for improved high temperature electrochemical electrodes and catalysts. This involves materials development as well as techniques to investigate changes in structure and reactivity. Applications for this research are aimed at improvements to fuel cells and electrolysers, electrochemical sensors, gas separators and heterogeneous catalysis.