Professor Peter Cormack

Pure and Applied Chemistry


Personal statement

Peter Cormack was raised in Fankerton, a small village situated in the upper reaches of the Carron Valley in Stirlingshire, Scotland, and he was schooled in nearby Denny (at Denny Primary and Denny High School). He graduated from the University of Strathclyde with a BSc in Chemistry with First Class Honours in 1992, and gained industrial research experience with Raychem Ltd. in Swindon, UK, working on high-performance, thermoplastic polymers for the aerospace sector. Electing to stay at Strathclyde to pursue his scientific interests further, he graduated with a PhD in Polymer Chemistry in 1996 under the supervision of Professor David C. Sherrington and Dr Barry D. Moore. His PhD research work, funded by Merck Ltd. and the SERC, focussed upon the design and the solid-phase synthesis of monodisperse liquid crystalline peptides, as well as the synthesis of thermotropic polypeptides via the anionic ring-opening polymerisation of mesogenic N-carboxyanhydrides.

In February 1996, Peter moved to the University of Cambridge to take up a position as Post-Doctoral Research Associate in the Melville Laboratory for Polymer Synthesis, working with Dr Joachim H.G. Steinke on the synthesis of hyperbranched vinyl polymers. He then moved to Lund University, Sweden, in March 1997, to work with Professor Klaus Mosbach in the area of molecularly imprinted polymers, initially as a Post-Doctoral Fellow within the Department of Pure & Applied Biochemistry (Tillämpad Biokemi) and latterly as Vice-Director of Research in the Center for Molecular Imprinting and Molecular Recognition.

In September 1998, Peter returned to the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde to take up a position as Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry, a position that was sponsored by ICI for the first three years. Subsequently, he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry in April 2004, and awarded the RSC/SCI Macro Group UK Young Researchers' Medal for 2005 in recognition of his contributions to polymer science and his research potential. Thereafter, Peter was promoted to Reader in Polymer Chemistry in 2007 and to Professor of Polymer Chemistry in 2009.

Peter was Scientist in Residence at the Centre for Self-Assembled Chemical Structures, Montréal, Canada in 2008, and has held Visiting Professorships in Canada (2008), Malaysia (2011) and Poland (2015). He served as Associate Dean for International Research in the Faculty of Science at Strathclyde from March 2015 until September 2018, and was Deputy Head of the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry at Strathclyde from 2016-2017. Since November 2017, he is Head of Materials and Computational Chemistry in the Department of Pure & Applied Chemistry. He is also a Theme Lead for Advanced Manufacturing and Materials at the University of Strathclyde.

Peter’s research interests lie predominantly in the areas of synthetic polymer chemistry and materials science, with special emphasis on the design, the synthesis and the applications of functional organic polymers.

Please click on the Research tab for further details.

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Donor-acceptor Stenhouse adduct functionalised polymer microspheres
Wesseler Justus P, Cameron Grant M, Cormack Peter A G, Bruns Nico
Polymer Chemistry Vol 14, pp. 1456-1468 (2023)
Hypercrosslinked polymer microspheres decorated with anion- and cation-exchange groups for the simultaneous solid-phase extraction of acidic and basic analytes from environmental waters
Nadal Joan Carles, Dargo Stuart, Borrull Francesc, Cormack Peter AG, Fontanals Núria, Marcé Rosa Maria
Journal of Chromatography A Vol 1661 (2022)
Polymerizable UV absorbers for the UV stabilization of polyesters. II. Photodegradation study of UV-stabilized PET copolymers
Cormack Peter A G, Erdemli Omer Can, Sankey Stephen W
Arkivoc, pp. 315-330 (2021)
On-line duplex molecularly imprinted solid-phase extraction for analysis of low abundant biomarkers in human serum by liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry
McKitterick Nicholas, Bicak Tugrul Cem, Switnicka-Plak Magdalena A, Cormack Peter AG, Reubsaet Léon, Grønhaug Halvorsen Trine
Journal of Chromatography A Vol 1655 (2021)
Polymerizable UV absorbers for the UV stabilization of polyesters. I. Design, synthesis and polymerization of a library of UV absorbing monomers
Cormack Peter A G, Erdemli Omer Can, Sankey Stephen W
Arkivoc, pp. 148-173 (2021)
Synthesis of uniform polymer microspheres with "living" character using ppm levels of copper catalyst : ARGET atom transfer radical precipitation polymerisation
Bicak Tugrul Cem, Cormack Peter AG, Walker Calum
Reactive and Functional Polymers Vol 163 (2021)

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Research Interests

Within the Cormack Group at the University of Strathclyde, we are particularly interested in the synthesis and use of functional organic materials, especially materials based upon macromolecules, with a variety of end applications in mind (including high performance chemical separations, bioanalysis, environmental and forensic analysis, ion-exchange, metrology, films, coatings, proteomics and diagnostics). Typically, the materials are prepared using a broad-range of synthetic methodologies, including radical polymerisation, step-growth polymerisation, template-directed synthesis and solid-phase synthesis. The development and exploitation of molecularly imprinted polymers, microporous solids, functionalised polymer microspheres, branched polymers, and self-assembling systems are of special interest.

If you wish to join the Cormack Group as a postgraduate or postdoctoral researcher and have your own external funding in place, or if you are highly qualified and wish to proceed with a joint studentship/fellowship application, then please contact Professor Cormack directly.

At the time of last updating of this section (15th November 2023) a PhD doctoral scholarship for an October 2024 start was open for applications. Project title: "New materials for the capture and photocatalytic destruction of “forever chemicals”". For further details, including the eligibility criteria and information on how to apply, go to:

Professional Activities

External Examiner, University of Liverpool
External Examiner
Malmö University, Sweden
Invited speaker
Lund University, Sweden
Invited speaker
Lund University, Sweden
External Examiner
Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona
Invited speaker
External Examiner, Universitat Rovira i Virgili
External Examiner

More professional activities


DTP 2224 University of Strathclyde | Corrigan, Alan
Cormack, Peter (Principal Investigator) Liggat, John (Co-investigator) Corrigan, Alan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 01-Jan-2026
KTP - RUA. Embed an understanding of polymer chemistry, rheology and process engineering for the in-house development of medical devices.
Liggat, John (Principal Investigator) Cormack, Peter (Co-investigator) Oliveira, Monica (Co-investigator) Yang, Liu (Co-investigator)
09-Jan-2022 - 08-Jan-2024
Doctoral Training Partnership 2020-2021 University of Strathclyde | McQueen, Ewan
Sprick, Seb (Principal Investigator) Cormack, Peter (Co-investigator) McQueen, Ewan (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 01-Jan-2025
Aqueous gel permeation chromatography / size exclusion chromatography
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator) Cormack, Peter (Principal Investigator)
PSS SECurity2 with autosampler, refractive index detector, variable wavelength UV-VIS detector, Multichrom Light Scattering Detector
Aqueous Gel Permeation Chromatography (GPC) / Size Exclusion Chromatography (SEC)
Bruns, Nico (Principal Investigator) Cormack, Peter (Principal Investigator)
PSS SECurity2 chromatography system with autosampler, refractive index detector, variable wavelength UV-VIS detector, and multichrom light scattering detector
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | McKendry, Christina
Liggat, John (Principal Investigator) Cormack, Peter (Co-investigator) McKendry, Christina (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 23-Jan-2023

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Professor Peter Cormack
Pure and Applied Chemistry

Tel: 548 4951