1988 …2020

Research output per year

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Personal profile

Research Interests

My main research interests focus on photocatalytic technologies for treatment of waste and potable water, solar energy conversion and storage, clean synthetic technology, environmental applications of power ultrasound and assessment and rehabilitation of contaminated land and water. The other main area of research is in the development of sensor technologies to for remote environments, such as the development of in-situ multicapability array sensors for heavy metal pollution in the marine and contaminated land environments.


On completion of my D.Phil in 1989 I joined the Faraday Centre a spinout company from Carlow Institute of Technology in Ireland. In March 1991 I moved to the Northern Ireland Civil Service as a Higher Scientific Officer attached to the Industrial Research and Technology Unit.

I joined the staff of the School of Applied Sciences at Robert Gordon University in 1995 where I was involved in teaching and research in environmental science and technology, analytical science and photocatalysis. In July 2000 I was appointed to the Chair of Energy and Environmental Engineering in the School of Mechanical and Offshore Engineering at RGU where I established the multidisciplinary Centre for Research in Energy and the Environment.  I subsequently was appointed as Vice-Principal and Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research and Commercialisation) at Robert Gordon University in September 2006. In January 2015 I joined the School of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering at Queen’s University Belfast as Professor of Chemical Engineering and was subsequently appointed as Head of School in March 2016.

I was a non-executive director of Gas2 Ltd (2012-2014) and Aberdeen’s Satrosphere Science Centre (2006-2014). In 2013 I was appointed to the Detao Masters Academy in Beijing as a Master in Photocatalytic Technology. I was a member of the Universities Scotland Research and Knowledge Exchange Committee (2006-2014) and was a member of the Northern Ireland Water Council (2003-2007). I am a member of the EPSRC Strategic Advisory Committee on Energy, the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Heads of Chemistry Standing Committee, the Energy Institute’s Accreditation and Individual Circumstances Panels and Heads of Chemical Engineering UK Committee. I am a member of the editorial board of J. Phys. Energy and the International Journal of Photoenergy and an Invited Editor of The Handbook of Environmental Chemistry Series Published by Springer Verlag, specifically co-editor of Volumes II and III on Environmental Photochemistry. I am a Chartered Engineer, Chartered Scientist and Chartered Chemist, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, the Institute of Chemistry in Ireland and the Energy Institute. I am also an Associate Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

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Research Output

  • Removal of microcystins from a waste stabilisation lagoon: Evaluation of a packed-bed continuous flow TiO2 reactor

    Pestana, C. J., Hobson, P., Robertson, P. K. J., Lawton, L. A. & Newcombe, G., 01 Apr 2020, In : Chemosphere. 245, 8 p., 125575.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • The use of titanium dioxide nanotubes as photoanodes for chloride oxidation

    Boyle, C., Skillen, N., Gunaratne, N., Sharma, P., Byrne, J. A. & Robertson, P., 01 Apr 2020, In : Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing. 109, p. 104930

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • ‘All in one’ photo-reactor pod containing TiO2 coated glass beads and LEDs for continuous photocatalytic destruction of cyanotoxins in water

    Gunaratne, H. Q. N., Pestana, C. J., Skillen, N., Hui, J., Saravanan, S., Edwards, C., Irvine, J. T. S., Robertson, P. K. J. & Lawton, L. A., 09 Jan 2020, In : Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology. 6 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Open Access
  • 2 Citations (Scopus)
    46 Downloads (Pure)




    Development of Photocatalytic Reactor Technology for the Production of Fermentable Sugars

    Author: Nagarajan, S., Feb 2017

    Supervisor: Robertson, P. (Supervisor) & De Silva, A. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy