Instrumentation and Analytical Science

Key Facts

8 Academics
14 PDRAs
23 PhD Students

Selected funding

EPSRC £7.8M
BBSRC £1.5M
MRC £0.12M
EU £1.33M

Work with

AstraZeneca, Rolls-Royce, National Grid, Unilever.


Instrumentation and Analytical Science carries out research and development of new measurement techniques with funding from UK Research Councils, The European Commission, charities and industry.

This theme brings together a multidisciplinary team that researches new measurement techniques and develops instrumentation to carry out those measurements in areas ranging from molecular processes in living cells to chemical processes in industrial reactors. More >>

Research areas

  • Process analysis

    The process analysis group is involved in the development of new methods for in situ and ex situ industrial process analysis in order to increase our understanding of processes and also for monitoring and control purposes.

    The group is particularly strong in the area of process tomography for investigating spatial properties of reactor systems through electrical resistance, electrical capacitance and optical tomography (Rogers, Martin). In situ laser spectroscopic methods have also been developed for real-time process gas analysis (Martin). This led to the creation of the University spin-off company TDL Sensors Ltd. Other developments include process monitoring through optical sensing with fibre optics such as for the detection of hydrogen (Scully). X-ray spectroscopies have been developed by Schroeder's group for in situ analysis of key industrial systems.

    The group are members of the leading UK process analytics group: Centre for Process Analysis and Control Technology (CPACT) (Martin).

    Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Philip Martin, Thomas Rodgers, Patricia Scully, Krishna Persaud, Sven Schroeder, Peter Martin.

  • Environmental monitoring

    Research into new techniques for measuring air, water and soil samples are being developed in the School. Persaud's group works on electronic nose technology for air and water monitoring. This has led to the spin-off company Multisensor Systems Ltd. Martin's group has developed laser based gas analysers for industrial stack and vehicle exhaust as well as for atmospheric analysis in collaboration with the School of Earth, Atmospheric and Environmental Sciences. This has led to the spin-off company TDL Sensors Ltd. Scully's group is developing a range of optical sensors for a range of environmental applications.

    Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Philip Martin, Patricia Scully, Krishna Persaud.

  • Miniaturisation of analytical systems

    The group has research interests in miniaturisation, sensors, electroanalysis, electrokinetic separation systems, high-throughput experimentation and bioassays. These activities are facilitated by an excellent research team, specialist equipment for polymer microfabrication and a wide range of analytical measurement instrumentation.

    Additionally miniaturised systems are investigated for chemical and biochemical sensing, mainly involving polymer microfabrication and optical waveguide sensing. Systems to be sensed range in size from small drug molecules, through proteins and DNA, to cells and small liquid droplets.

    Please contact Nicholas Goddard for further details of current research activity.

  • Biomedical spectroscopy

    Although we normally associate spectroscopy with chemistry and molecular characterisation, increasingly it is being applied to the complex problems associated with the characterisation of biological cells and tissue. Specifically CEAS has been instrumental in the development of bimolecular imaging using infrared Raman spectroscopic and mass spectrometry techniques.

    Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Peter Gardner, Nicholas Goddard, John Vickerman.

  • Optical sensors

    The theme of this research group is to measure processes and parameters using light and optical instrumentation. The group develops new techniques and novel devices to enable on-line measurement or detection in challenging environments, on both the large scale (free space atmospheric measurements) and small scale (nano, molecular and cellular).

    This group has research interests in photonic device and sensor technology ranging from waveguides, and optical fibres to novel laser systems and integrated optical and microfluidic devices. Sensors have been developed to measure parameters ranging from fluorescence, turbidity, light scattering by particulates, pH, fluid flow, bio-fouling and scaling, gas detection, moisture and strain, and have attracted investment from industrial companies to form demonstrators that have been trialed in field conditions, leading to patents and commercialisation.

    Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Patricia Scully, Philip Martin, Nicholas Goddard.

  • Surface analysis

    This research concerns the development and application of surface chemical probes. For example, Time-of-Flight (ToF) secondary ion (and neutral) mass spectrometry is used in biological and medical fields. The result is a chemical image of the cellular surface or tissue section that can be correlated with cell type or clinical condition. Synchrotron X-ray spectroscopies, e.g., near-edge X-ray absorption fine-structure (NEXAFS) are used to characterise non-covalent interactions in organic and biomaterials, with a view to the design of improved pharmaceutical formulations and medical implants.

    Please contact one of the following academic staff for further details of current research activity: Sven Schroeder, John Vickerman, Peter Gardner.

Selected major projects

The SNIFFER Project aims at creating a bio-mimicry enabled artificial sniffer to complement and leverage dogs' capabilities.

ORION - ORganic waste management by a small-scale Innovative automated system of anaerobic digestION.

FlexSMELL - Marie Curie Early Stage Researcher Training Network - The concept is to realize a hybrid (organic-inorganic) very low-cost, ultra low-power olfaction system.

Research degrees

We offer postgraduate research PhD, MPhil, MSc by Research, and EngD programmes. Read More >>

View the current funded studentships for PhD study within the School.

The School also has a number of funded scholarships linked to specific research projects.

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