Professor Ashleigh Fletcher

Chemical and Process Engineering

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 and Professor in 2020.

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.


Has expertise in:

    • 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 chemistry 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

Prizes and awards

Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Winner Best Lecturer in Faculty of Engineering
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Shortlisted for Best Lecturer in Faculty of Engineering

More prizes and awards


  • PhD: The Compensation Effect in Adsorption/Desorption of Gases/Vapours on Porous Materials (University of Newcastle, EPSRC funded, supervisor Prof. K.M. Thomas, 2000)
  • PhD: Development and evaluation of open-ended learning activities to support chemical engineering students’ development (University of Strathclyde, superviosr Dr. K. Sypek, 2020)
  • 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)


Solvent-switchable continuous-breathing behaviour in a diamondoid metal-organic framework and its influence on CO2 vs CH4 selectivity
Carrington Elliot J, McAnally Craig A, Fletcher Ashleigh J, Thompson Stephen P, Warren Mark, Brammer Lee
Nature Chemistry Vol 9, pp. 882-889 (2017)
Novel hydrophilic and hydrophobic amorphous silica : characterization and adsorption of aqueous phase organic compounds
Tasca Andrea Luca, Ghajeri Farnaz, Fletcher Ashleigh J
Adsorption Science & Technology Vol 36, pp. 327-342 (2018)
Scalable continuous solvothermal synthesis of metal organic framework (MOF-5) crystals
McKinstry Colin, Cathcart Russell J, Cussen Edmund J, Fletcher Ashleigh J, Patwardhan Siddharth V, Sefcik Jan
Chemical Engineering Journal Vol 285, pp. 718-725 (2016)
Gelation mechanism of resorcinol-formaldehyde gels investigated by dynamic light scattering
Taylor Stewart J, Haw Mark D, Sefcik Jan, Fletcher Ashleigh J
Langmuir Vol 30, pp. 10231-10240 (2014)
Metaldehyde removal from aqueous solution by adsorption and ion exchange mechanisms onto activated carbon and polymeric sorbents
Tao Bing, Fletcher Ashleigh
Journal of Hazardous Materials Vol 244-245, pp. 240–250 (2013)
Chemical transformations of a crystalline coordination polymer : a multi-stage solid–vapour reaction manifold
Vitorica-Yrezabal Iñigo, Mínguez Espallargas Guillermo, Soleimannejad Janet, Florence Alastair, Fletcher Ashleigh, Brammer Lee
Chemical Science Vol 4, pp. 696-708 (2013)

More publications


I am the Deputy Head of Department for Teaching and Learning, which means that I am responsible for the strategic planning of teaching within the Department, assisting colleauges in the delivery of an excellent teaching experience for all of our students. My teaching duties include the full time courses of basic principles in chemical engineering (CP101), chemical principles (CP203), 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), and MSc research project (CP936). In addition to this, I am have undertaken an MSc in advanced academic studies and a PhD in engineering education, which involved research projects that fit with my ongoing pedagogic research interests, which include the effects of peer tutelage, embedding skills for employability, course redesign and inclusive curricula.

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.

Professional activities

EPSRC Physical Sciences Prioritisation panel (External organisation)
PhD external examiner
PhD external examiner
Federation of European Zeolite Associations Conference 2021
Horizons in STEM Higher Education Conference: Making Connections, Innovating and Sharing Pedagogy
MOFs for energy and the environment Faraday Discussion

More professional activities


Quantifying the Dynamic Response in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs): A Platform for Tuning Chemical Space in Porous Materials
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Principal Investigator) Oswald, Iain (Co-investigator)
Quantifying the Dynamic Response in Metal-Organic Frameworks (MOFs): A Platform for Tuning Chemical Space in Porous Materials
01-Jan-2020 - 30-Jan-2023
Doctoral Training Partnership 2018-19 University of Strathclyde | McCready, Connaire
Jorge, Miguel (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) McCready, Connaire (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2019 - 01-Jan-2024
Materials characterisation for Peak Scientific
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2018 - 31-Jan-2018
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Sladekova, Kristina
Jorge, Miguel (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Sladekova, Kristina (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2017 - 01-Jan-2021
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Sharif, Abdul
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Sharif, Abdul (Research Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2015 - 01-Jan-2019
Competitive adsorption in clean air applications
Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Academic) Rapp, Paul (Post Grad Student)

More projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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