• Room 0G.124 - David Keir Building David Keir

    United Kingdom

Accepting PhD Students

1988 …2019
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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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Photocatalysis Engineering & Materials Science
Photocatalysts Engineering & Materials Science
Water Chemical Compounds
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Irradiation Chemical Compounds
Degradation Engineering & Materials Science
Drinking Water Chemical Compounds

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Projects 2018 2018

Research Output 1988 2019

1 Citation (Scopus)
Light emitting diodes
2-Methyl-4-chlorophenoxyacetic Acid
3 Citations (Scopus)

A one-pot method for building colloidal nanoparticles into bulk dry powders with nanoscale magnetic, plasmonic and catalytic functionalities

Ye, Z., Li, C., Skillen, N., Xu, Y., McCabe, H., Kelly, J., Robertson, P. & Bell, S., 15 Mar 2019, In : Applied Materials Today. 15, Special Issue Plasmonics, p. 398-404

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Particles (particulate matter)
Ionic Liquids
Ionic liquids
Negative ions

Ionic liquids tethered to a preorganised 1,2-diamide motif for extraction of lanthanides

Gunaratne, H., Nockemann, P., Robertson, P., Stella, L., Boyd, R. & Seddon, K., 26 Mar 2019, In : Green Chemistry. 21, p. 2583-2588 6 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Ionic Liquids
Lanthanoid Series Elements
Rare earth elements
Ionic liquids

Observation of Stimulated Emission from Rhodamine 6G-Polymer Aggregate Adsorbed at Foam Interfaces

Pancholi, K., Robertson, P. K. J., Okpozo, P., Beattie, N. S. & Huo, D., Jan 2019, In : J Phys Energy. 1, 1, 11 p., 015007.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
stimulated emission




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