Photo of Dr Alexander Cowan

Dr Alexander Cowan MSci, PhD, FHEA

Reader and EPSRC Research Fellow Chemistry

    Biography

    Personal Statement

    Alex obtained his PhD in Chemistry from the University of Nottingham (2007) for the study of inorganic reaction mechanisms with transient spectroscopy, under the supervision of Prof. Mike George. Following a postdoctoral position at Nottingham developing catalysts for the 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 initially as a Lecturer and he was subsequently promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015. In 2012 Alex was awarded a prestigious 5-year EPSRC early career fellowship and in 2017 he was awarded a further EPSRC fellowship that will run from 2017-2020.

    Alex leads an active research group that develops and studies catalysts for the sustainable production of fuels. Recent work has focused on the chemistry of carbon dioxide utilisation with programmes exploring how solar energy can be used to drive the production of useful fuels from only carbon dioxide and water. Full details of our research activities can be found here.

    Personal Distinctions

    • EPSRC Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, EPSRC 2012)
    • ESPRC Fellowship (Competitive Fellowship, EPSRC 2017)
    • Photocatalytic Carbon Dioxide Reduction in Water (Invitation to Speak, RSC Faraday Conference 2017)
    • Photo- and electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 in water to fuels and feedstocks (Invitation to Speak, University of Reading 2017)
    • Photo- and electrocatalytic reduction of CO2 in water to fuels and feedstocks (Invitation to Speak, Open University 2017)
    • Studying interfacial processes during water splitting and carbon dioxide reduction (Invitation to Speak, Gordon Reserach Conference, Solar Fuels, Lucca, Italy 2016)
    • The study of kinetic and interfacial processes during solar fuels catalysis (Invitation to Speak, FOTOFUEL, Almeria, Spain 2016)
    • 2nd UK-Japan Solar fuels meeting (Invitation to Speak, RSC/UK-FCO, Tokyo 2016)
    • Doppler lecture 2016 - Studying interfacial processes during water splitting and CO2 reduction (Invitation to Speak, University of Cambridge 2016)
    • 2016 McCamley Lecture (University of york 2016)
    • Photoelectrodes for solar fuel production (Invitation to Speak, CIMTEC 2016, 7th Forum on New Materials 2016)
    • Materials for sustainable fuel production - solar fuels (Invitation to Speak, University of Sheffield 2015)
    • Photoelectrodes for the production of solar fuels (Keynote Speech, Royal Society, solid state chemistry meeting 2014)
    • 1st UK-Japan Solar Fuels meeting (Invitation to Speak, RSC/UK-FCO, Tokyo 2014)
    • Photoelectrodes for the production of solar fuels (Invitation to Speak, UCL seminar 2013)
    • Transient spectroscopy of photoelectrodes for water oxidation (Invitation to Speak, 242nd ACS meeting, Denver, Fuel section 2011)

    Administrative Roles

    • Impact Lead - Department of Chemistry
    • Chemistry Safety Operations Committee
    • Chemistry Research Committee
    • SIRE Safety Committee
    • School of Physical Sciences Research & Impact Committee

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