Cowan Group

Group Leader: Dr Alexander Cowan

EPSRC Early Career Research Fellow and Reader in Chemistry

Picture of Dr Alexander Cowan, University of Liverpool

Alex obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham for the study of inorganic reaction mechanisms with transient spectroscopy, under the supervision of Prof Mike George. Following a postdoctoral position at Nottingham, on the photocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide he moved to Imperial College London to study photoelectrochemical water splitting with Prof David Klug. In 2011 Alex was appointed to a Lectureship in Renewable Fuel Synthesis at Imperial College on the Artificial Leaf programme. In October 2012 he joined the department of Chemistry and the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy at Liverpool University. In 2013 Alex was awarded a 5 year EPSRC research fellowship titled "Spectroscopy-driven design of an efficient photocatalysts for carbon dioxide reduction" which was extended at the end of 2017 for a further 3 years.


Group members

 PDRA, Dr Gaia Neri: Gaia is working on the photo- and electro catalytic systems for carbon dioxide reduction with a particular focus on systems that are selective in water 

Mark Forster, small headshot  PDRA, Dr Mark Forster: Mark joined the group in October 2013 to study for a PhD and has contined with the group as a PDRA. His work focuses on the use of time-resolved spectroscopy to study the mechanisms of solar energy conversion in semiconductor based systems. Current projects include the study of oxygen-defficient metal oxide photoanodes for water splitting.
  PDRA, Dr Adrian Gardner: Adrian joined the group from the University of Nottingham in 2018. He brings expertise in ultrafast spectroscopy and is developing the Liverpool SFG experiment
  PDRA, Dr Laura Whalley: Laura joined from the University of Nottigham in 2019. Laura's project is to study battery interfaces using vibraitonal spectroscopy in a UKRI Faraday institute funded programme
PhD, Verity Piercy: Verity is a joint PhD student working in collaboration with the Rosseinsky group at Liverpool studying routes to liquid fuels from CO2
PhD, Daniel Cheung: Daniel (primary supervisor Prof Dmitry Shchukin) is studying the role of sonochemistry in making novel materials for light driven water splitting

PhD, Khezar Saeed: Khezar rejoined the group in 2017 having previously carried out his 3rd year undergaduate research project with us. Khezar is studying the surface mechanisms occuring during water splitting on photoelectrodes.

Ben Greeves 

PhD, Ben Greeves: Ben is a graduate of the University of Liverpool and  joined the group in October 2018 to study organic water oxidation photoanodes in partnership with Prof Dave Adams at Glasgow University.

Alicia Garcia Osorio  PhD, Dora Alicia García Osorio : Alicia is studying photoelectrodes for the reduction of carbon dioxide to CO. She joined the group in 2018 on a CONACyT scholarship
Liam Banerji  PhD, Liam Banerji: Liam joins the group having previously studied at the University of Sheffield. Liam is working on new mixed metal electrodes for carbon dioxide reduction
Francesca Greenwell  PhD, Francesca Greenwell: Francesca is a Liverpool graduate, having previously carried out her MChem extended project witht the group on WO3 photoelectrodes for wr splitting. Her new work will look at the electrocatalytic reduction of carbon dioxide 




Dr Charlotte Smith: PhD, 2015-2019, Charlotte worked on organic materials for the production of solar fuels

Dr Laura Mears:  PDRA (2016-2017)  Laura worked on a joint project with Prof. Dave Adams of Glasgow University on Hydrogel materials for solar energy conversion

Dr Xianqiang Xiong, CSC placement (1 yr, 2017), Xianqiang studied ZnTe photoelectrodes whilst visting from State Key Laboratory of Silicon Materials and Department of Chemistry, Zhejiang University

Dr Jonathan Lee: PhD, 2013-2017,  Colloidal materials for solar energy conversion.

Dr Jamie Walsh:  Postdoctoral researcher (2013-2016), currently SFI SIRG Fellow Dublin City University

‌Dr Michael Nolan: Joint PhD student, with Prof. Dave Adams (now based at the University of Glasgow)

Elizabeth Rankin: MChem Yr. 4, Dye-sensitized approaches to soalr energy conversion in water

Dr Vanessa Dos Santos: Vanessa spent 1 year with group on placement from the IQSC of the University of São Paulo to study ZnO materials with TA spectroscopy