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Dr Ashleigh Fletcher

Senior Lecturer

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.

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 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

Prizes and awards

Selected participant on inaugural Scottish Crucible April - June 2009, administered and funded by a consortium of Scottish Universities: St Andrews, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, with additional funding from the Scottish Funding Council, NESTA and the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Selected participant on NESTA Carbon Crucible December 2008 - April 2009, sponsored by UKERC

more prizes and awards


Decoupling microporosity and nitrogen content to optimise CO2 adsorption in modified xerogels
Principe Ivan A., Murdoch Billy, Flannigan James M., Fletcher Ashleigh J.
Materials Today Chemistry, (2018)
A filter apparatus and a method for removing dissolved organic compounds from a water based liquid
Fletcher Ashleigh, Tasca Andrea, Ghajeri Farnaz
Terbuthylazine and desethylterbutylazine : recent occurrence, mobility and removal techniques
Tasca Andrea Luca, Puccini Monica, Fletcher Ashleigh
Chemosphere Vol 202, pp. 94-104, (2018)
Upskilling student engineers : the role of design in meeting employers' needs
Fletcher Ashleigh J., Harrington Ross W.
Education for Chemical Engineers Vol 24, pp. 32-42, (2018)
Threshold concepts in chemical engineering design
Fletcher Ashleigh, Boon Stuart
Threshold Concepts in Problem-based LearningThreshold Concepts in Problem-based Learning, (2018)
Investigation of IR and Raman spectra of species present in formaldehyde-water-methanol systems
Gaca-Zając Katarzyna Z., Smith Benjamin R., Nordon Alison, Fletcher Ashleigh J., Johnston Karen, Sefcik Jan
Vibrational Spectroscopy Vol 97, pp. 44-54, (2018)

more publications


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.

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

SCCS Conference 2015 - Delivering low-carbon power & products: Regional pathways to CCS
4th ETP Annual Conference 2015
CCS in the UK - Taking Stock: UKCCS Biannual Meeting
HEA Conference: Internationalising higher education: creating a globally interconnected society
Scottish PKD Conference
Education@Strathclyde: Innovative Assessment
Invited speaker

more professional activities


Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP 2016-2017 University of Strathclyde) | Sladekova, Kristina
Jorge, Miguel (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator)
Period 01-Feb-2017 - 01-Aug-2020
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTP - University of Strathclyde) | Sharif, Abdul
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Sharif, Abdul (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Aug-2015 - 01-Feb-2019
Competitive adsorption in clean air applications
Johnston, Karen (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Academic) Rapp, Paul (Post Grad Student)
Period 01-Oct-2014
Doctoral Training Partnership (DTA - University of Strathclyde) | Campbell, Christopher
Jorge, Miguel (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Campbell, Christopher (Research Co-investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2014 - 08-May-2018
EPSRC Doctoral Training Grant - DTA, University of Strathclyde | McAnally, Craig
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Principal Investigator)
Period 01-Oct-2013 - 15-Jun-2017
BTG: New connections in particles and fluids—from fracking and foods, to bacteria and blood
Haw, Mark (Principal Investigator) Zagnoni, Michele (Co-investigator) Oliveira, Monica (Co-investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Corney, Jonathan (Co-investigator) Zhang, Yonghao (Co-investigator) Pritchard, David (Co-investigator) El Mountassir, Grainne (Co-investigator)
A wide range of applications in science and engineering, including fracking, oil and gas extraction, design of pumps, water treatment, continuous crystallization for pharmaceuticals, geological phenomena, settling and separation, nuclear waste storage and processing, bacterial transport, biodiagnostics, and blood and other biological flows, involve the flow, processing and transport of systems of particles suspended in fluids. Applications involve a range of scales from microns to tens of metres and a range of particle concentrations from ‘dilute’ to concentrated. There is a wide but disparate range of relevant expertise across Strathclyde. The aim of this one-day BTG workshop and half-day follow-up is to bring this research community together, to identify innovative ideas and solutions across these applications, and to promote novel themes for funding proposals, high-impact publications, industrial and public engagement, knowledge exchange, and CPD.
Period 01-Feb-2014 - 30-Jun-2014

more projects


Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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