Photo of Professor Andy Cooper

Professor Andy Cooper Ph.D.

Professor, Academic Director of the Materials Innovation Factory and Director of Leverhulme Research Centre for Functional Materials Design Chemistry


    Personal Statement

    Andy is a Nottingham graduate (1991), also obtaining his Ph.D there in 1994. After his Ph.D, he held a 1851 Fellowship and a Royal Society NATO Fellowship at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA, and then a Ramsay Memorial Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge. In 1999, he was appointed as a Royal Society University Research Fellowship in Liverpool.  In 2007, he was the founding Director of the Centre for Materials Discovery—the forerunner of the MIF—which cemented a long-term strategic collaboration between Unilever and the University of Liverpool. He was Head of Chemistry and then the first Head of the School of Physical Sciences in the period 2007-2012, during which time he served on the University Council.  In 2017, he co-founded a spin-out company, Porous Liquid Technologies, with collaborators at Queens University Belfast, based on an entirely new class of material, porous liquids, invented in the UK as part of an EPSRC-funded project (Nature, 2015, 527, 216).

    Andy led the bid to establish the Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) via the UK Research Partnerships Infrastructure Fund and he is its first Academic Director. He is also the Director of the £10 M Leverhulme Centre for Functional Materials Design. His main research interests are organic materials, supramolecular chemistry, and materials for energy production and molecular separation. This is underpinned by a strong technical interest in high-throughput methods and robotics.  A unifying theme in his research is the close fusion of computational prediction and experiment to discover new materials with step-change properties (Nature, 2011, 474, 367; Nature, 2017, 543, 657). This has involved close collaboration with Graeme Day, Professor of Chemical Modelling at the University of Southampton.

    Andy was elected to the Royal Society in 2015.  He has been awarded the Macro Group Young Researchers Award (2002), the RSC Award in Environmentally Friendly Polymers (2005), the McBain Medal (2007), the Corday-Morgan Prize (2009), the Macro Group Award (2010), a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, the Tilden Prize (2014), the American Chemical Society Doolittle Award (2014), the Hughes Medal (2019) and the RSC Interdisciplinary Prize for combining autonomous robotics (2021).  He was also the 2015 MIT-Georgia Pacific Lecturer in Organic Chemistry. In both 2011 and 2014, Andy was named in a Thomson Reuters list as one of the Top 100 materials scientists of the last decade. He was also named in the more recent 2017 Clarivate Highly Cited list in the field of chemistry. He was awarded an ERC Advanced Investigators grant in 2012 (RobOT). He was also awarded an ERC Synergy Grant in 2019 (ADAM). In 2015, he was appointed as a Consultant Professor in Hauzhong University of Science & Technology, China. He was also appointed as an Honorary Professor at East China University of Science and Technology, Shanghai, in 2017 and was appointed as Editor-in-Chief of Chemical Science in 2019. He has awarded the Interdisciplinary Prize by the Royal Society of Chemistry and Super Artificial Intelligence Leader (SAIL) Award at the 2021 World AI Conference, Shanghai. Previous recipient (2020) was IBM Research ( He was also awarded the Cheetham Lecture Award by University of Santa Barbara and Royal Society University Professor in 2023.

    Prizes or Honours

    • 2010 Macro Group Medal (MacroGroup UK, 2012)
    • Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award (Royal Society, 2009)
    • 2009 Corday Morgan Prize (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2009)
    • McBain Medal (SCI /RSC, 2007)
    • Industrially-Sponsored Award in Environmentally Friendly Polymers (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2005)
    • MacroGroup Young Researchers Award (Macrogroup UK, 2002)
    • Gertrude Cropper Award (University of Nottingham, 1994)

    Funded Fellowships

    • Royal Society University Research Fellowship (Royal Society, 1999)
    • Ramsay Memorial Fellowship (The Ramsay Memorial Trust, 1997)
    • Non-Stipendiary Fellowship, Darwin College, Cambridge (Darwin College, Cambridge, 1996)
    • 1851 Research Fellowship (Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, 1995)
    • NATO Fellowship (Royal Society, 1995)