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.

Expertise

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
Recipient
2021
Winner Best Lecturer in Faculty of Engineering
Recipient
2020
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Recipient
2020
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Recipient
2019
Nomination for Strathclyde Teaching Excellence Award
Recipient
2018
Shortlisted for Best Lecturer in Faculty of Engineering
Recipient
2018

More prizes and awards

Qualifications

  • 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)
  • FRSC (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2021)
  • SFHEA (Higher Education Academy, 2017)
  • CSci (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004)
  • CChem (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002)

Publications

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)
https://doi.org/10.1038/nchem.2747
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)
https://doi.org/10.1177/0263617417692339
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)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.cej.2015.10.023
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)
https://doi.org/10.1021/la502394u
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)
https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhazmat.2012.11.014
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)
https://doi.org/10.1039/C2SC21654J

More publications

Teaching

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.

Accepting PhD Student Applications in the following topics:

New methods for removal of pollutants from water

New methods of carbon capture using green materials

Professional activities

Determining the mechanism of metal-organic framework formation by non-invasive Raman spectroscopy
Contributor
15/9/2022
PhD external examiner
Examiner
17/6/2022
Strathclyde Adsorption Summer School 2022
Organiser
15/6/2022
5th Annual UK Porous Materials Conference
Organiser
13/6/2022
5th Annual UK Porous Materials Conference
Participant
13/6/2022
Elucidating the mechanism of metal-organic framework formation via non-invasive Raman spectroscopy
Contributor
13/6/2022

More professional activities

Projects

Understanding cooperative gas uptake in adaptable cage molecules
Craig, Gavin (Principal Investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2022 - 31-Jan-2024
Hydro Nation RLF: Driving Down Process Emissions in Waste Water Treatment
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Principal Investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 31-Jan-2027
Efficient utilization of biochar for water remediation and soil amendment - towards a circular economy
Zhang, Xiaolei (Principal Investigator) Davidson, Christine (Co-investigator) Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2025
Biochar Water Remediation Research Project
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Co-investigator) Zhang, Xiaolei (Principal Investigator) Davidson, Christine (Co-investigator)
01-Jan-2021 - 30-Jan-2021
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

More projects

Address

Chemical and Process Engineering
James Weir Building

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