1988 …2021

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 and solar energy conversion and storage. 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 Head of School between March 2016 and August 2018. 

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), the Royal Society of Chemistry’s Heads of Chemistry Standing Committee (2016-2018), Heads of Chemical Engineering UK Committee (2016-2018) and the Council of the Institute of Chemistry of Ireland (2016-2019). I am a member of the REF2021 Subpanel 8 (Chemistry), EPSRC Scientific Advisory Committee on Energy, the EPSRC High-level Group for the SUPERGEN Programme, Vice-Chair of the Royal Irish Academy’s Physical Chemical and Mathematical Sciences Committee and the Energy Institute’s Accreditation and Individual Circumstances Panels. 

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

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
    Open Access
  • 12 Downloads (Pure)

    Photocatalytic removal of the cyanobacterium Microcystis aeruginosa PCC7813 and four microcystins by TiO2 coated porous glass beads with UV-LED irradiation

    Pestana, C. J., Noronha, J. P., Hui, J., Edwards, C., Gunaratne, H. Q. N., Irvine, J. T. S., Robertson, P., Capelo-Neto, J. & Lawton, L., 22 Jul 2020, In : Science of the Total Environment. 745, 8 p., 141154.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • 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

  • 1 Citation (Scopus)
  • Datasets



    • 2 Membership of national or international committees and working groups

    Engineering & Physical Sciences Research Council (External organisation)

    Peter Robertson (Advisor)

    2019 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of national or international committees and working groups

    Royal Irish Academy (External organisation)

    Peter Robertson (Advisor)


    Activity: Membership typesMembership of national or international committees and working groups


    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


    Hydrodynamic Cavitation for Effluent Treatment: Using Vortex-based Cavitation Devices

    Author: Sarvothaman, V. P., Dec 2020

    Supervisor: Ranade, V. (Supervisor) & Robertson, P. (Supervisor)

    Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy