Professor Robert Slade

Emeritus Professor of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry

Qualifications: MA DPhil (Oxon) CSci CChem FRSC FIMMM

Phone: Work: 01483 68 2588
Room no: 24 AZ 02

Office hours

8.30am to 5.30pm

Further information


Bob Slade trained at the University of Oxford (New College), receiving a BA (1975), MA and DPhil (1978). He held post-doctoral positions at the University of York (1978-9) and the University of Oxford (1979-80), where he also held the position of Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at Lincoln College. He was appointed Lecturer in Inorganic Chemistry at the University of Exeter (1980) and then promoted to Reader in Materials Chemistry (1989). He moved to become appointed Head of Chemistry at the University of Surrey in 1998, serving in that role for 5 years, and now leads research in the sustainable chemistry of materials and of electrochemical energy devices, with a particular emphasis on envisaged applications.

1998               Professor of Inorganic and Materials Chemistry, University of Surrey
1990-98          Reader in Materials Chemistry, University of Exeter.
1987-90          Lecturer B, Chemistry, University of Exeter
1980-87          Lecturer, Chemistry, University of Exeter.
1979-80          Research Fellow, Chemistry, University of Oxford (Lecturer, Lincoln College)
1977-79          Research Fellow, Chemistry, University of York.

Senior management experience:
1998-2003     Head of Chemistry                                          
1998-2003     Deputy Head of School (School of Physics and Chemistry and then School of Biomedical and Molecular Sciences)

Recent visiting posts:
2001      Beijing University of Chemical Technology
2002      CNR Montelibretti, Rome
2004      Slovak Academy of Sciences, Bratislava

Recent conference organizations:
Sustainable Energy UK (Oxford, May 08) – Convener, Electrochemistry theme
Solid State Chemistry 2008 (Bratislava, July 08) + plenary lecturer
Biological Fuel Cells Workshop (Guildford, July 08) - Convener
International Conference on Electroactive Polymers (Jaipur, October 08) + invited lecturer
Solid State Protonic Conductors 14 (Kyoto, September 2008) - Committee
First International Conference on Sustainable Power Generation and Supply (UK-China Network for Clean Energy Research; Nanjing, April 2009) – Convener, Energy Storage
Second International Conference on Microbial Fuel cells (Gwangju, Korea, June 2009) Committee

External activities:
Member of EPSRC prioritization panels. 
Chair of EPSRC prioritization panel for UK-China Energy Program (February 2008).
Referee to a number of international journals and funding bodies (e.g. NSF, Singapore SERC).
Committee Member for RSC Downland Section and for SCI Materials Chemistry Group.

Research Interests

Tailored Materials Chemistry and Future Energy Solutions

Current activities include participation in 2 multi-university EPSRC-funded Supergen Consortia aimed at renewable and sustainable energy production, storage and recovery:  the Energy Storage and Recovery Consortium (funded for 4 years from January 2006) and the Biological Fuel Cells Consortium (Leader of the Consortium, funded for 4 years from April 2006).  Additional participation in multi-centre programs includes a new EPSRC-funded (responsive mode, DSTL co-funded) 4-university consortium in Alkaline Membrane Fuel Cells and separate Technology Strategy Board (TSB, formerly the DTI Technology Program) programs with industry and other universities. Ongoing contracts with a local firm (AFC Energy – developing alkaline fuel cells for commercialization) and with more distant firms have funded undergraduate research year students in on-campus professional training. Active grants from EPSRC currently total in excess of £1million locally, with TSB and other funding additional to this.

Research Collaborations

Dr John Varcoe (Chemical Sciences)
Dr Claudio Avignone-Rossa (Microbial Sciences)
Dr Alfred Thumser (Biochemical Sciences)

UK Universities
Alkaline Fuel Cells
University of Newcastle (Prof Keith Scott)
Imperial College London (Dr Anthony Kucernak)
Cranfield University (Dr Jackie Horsfall)
University of Reading (Prof Howard Colquhoun)
Biological Fuel Cells
University of Oxford (Prof Fraser Armstrong)
University of East Anglia (Prof Chris Pickett)
University of Glamorgan (Dr Giuliano Premier)
University of Glasgow (Prof Bill Sloan)
University College, London (Prof Xiao Guo)
Chemical Energy Storage
University of Bath (Prof Saiful Islam)
University of St Andrews (Prof Peter Bruce)
Strathclyde University (Prof Peter Hall)
Queen’s University, Belfast (Prof Haifeng Wang)

Fuel Cells
The European Union Framework 6 CARISMA Network of ca. 30 universities and industries
UK representative team to International Energy Agency PEMFC annex
University of Science and Technology, Hefei, China (Prof Tongwen Xu)
Sun Yat Sen University, Guangzhou, China (Prof Pei Kan Shen)
Mintek, Randburg, South Africa (Dr Gary Patrick)


Selected publications since 2003:

1. “Salt splitting with radiation grafted PVDF membranes”, N. Tzanetakis, W.M. Taama, K. Scott, J.R. Varcoe and R.C.T. Slade, Desalination, 151 (2003) 275-282

2. “Comparative performance of ion exchange membranes for electrodialysis of nickel and cobalt”, N. Tzanetakis, W.M. Taama, K. Scott, R.J. Jachuck, R.C.T. Slade and J.R. Varcoe, Separation and Purification Technology, 30 (2003) 113-127

3. “Alkaline anion-exchange radiation-grafted membranes for possible electrochemical application in fuel cells”, T.N. Danks, R.C.T. Slade and J.R.Varcoe , Journal of Materials Chemistry, 13 (2003) 712-731

Departmental Duties

Research Leader in the Chemistry of Energy Materials and Functional devices.
Coordinator, Inorganic Chemistry teaching group.
Coordinator, Chemistry with Forensic Investigation undergraduate programmes.
Colloquia and research seminars organizer


Chartered Scientist
Chartered Chemist, Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (CChem FRSC)
Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (FIMMM)
Society for Chemical Industry - member
Christians in Science - member

Funding Profile

Recent major funding:

2004-07   “MEA development for DMFCs with radiation grafted alkaline membranes
Post-doctoral research assistant + equipment
EPSRC £ 248,368 

2006        “Fuel Cell Interact Team Trip to China”
Leading a 4 university team to China 
EPSRC £ 20,000 (all at Surrey)

2006-08    “Durable Fuel Cell Membranes using Functionalized Additives”
A Technology Programme Consortium with industry
Technology Strategy Board    £157,000 at Surrey

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