Projects per year
Originally from Sunderland, England, I completed a BSc in Chemistry at Durham University in 1997, before graduating with a PhD in adsorption science from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne in 2000. I undertook several post-doctoral research positions in Newcastle, and a one year lectureship in physical chemistry, before moving to the University of Strathclyde in 2008 to take up a lectureship in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering. I was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2015 and Professor in 2020.
I now lead a research team of six, with a focus on adsorption processes; this includes materials development and characterisation with applications from the removal of gas and liquid phase contaminants to gas storage and sensor development. Also interested in pedagogic research, I currently co-supervise a project aimed at developing skills for enhanced employability within engineering disciplines.
My current research involves the use of a range of nanoporous adsorbents, including activated carbon, zeolites and metal organic framework materials, with particular focus on the adsorption properties of such structures. Kinetics of adsorption are key to understanding the mechanisms involved in processes such as gas purification/separation, effluent removal and adsorbent recovery. The future direction of my work involves the development of nanoporous materials for use in biomedical applications. For example highly porous carbonaceous materials currently used in water purification processes for dialysis units require extensive improvement to reduce complications produced by persistent species (e.g. chloramines) that can contaminate patients’ blood, thus reducing associated therapeutic medication costs; or the removal of glycation end products for the reduction of diabetes in susceptible groups. Another area for future research is in bio-terrorism with the need for improved personal protection devices and integrated decontamination processes. These targets are all achievable by developing an appropriate nanoporous adsorbent possibly with tailored surface character.
Expertise & Capabilities
- adsorption capacity measurements for most gases and vapours
- determination of adsorption kinetics
- surface area determination, including pore volume and pore size distribution analysis
- specialised equipment to study adsorption systems under flow and at high temperature
- furnace capabilities for pyrolysis and activation methods
- thermal stabilities of materials
- surface chemistry determination by Fourier transform infrared and Boehm titration
- liquid phase adsorption analysis including leaching tendencies, small scale column studies and solvent phase extraction for determination by gas chromatography
My work has significant industrial relevance, especially in the water and air purification industries. I regularly undertake studies into materials characterisation for industrial parties and have been engaged in a number of knowledge exchange activities, both with commercial partners and in university and UK wide consortia working on projects with specific end goals for applications or commercialisation, for example Dr Jan Sefcik and I were the recipients of the 'best new commercial opportunity' 2013 at the University's enterprise awards for our project looking at continuous manufacture methods.
I am the current academic coordinator for year 1, and also act as disability coordinator within the department. My teaching duties include the full time courses of basic principles in chemical engineering (CP101), chemical principles (CP203), chemical engineering design (CP407) and the final year chemical engineering project (18530). I also teach on several distance learning modules: chemical engineering principles and thermodynamics (CP211), and MSc research project (CP936). In addition to this, I am have undertaken an MSc in advanced academic studies and a PhD in engineering education, which involved research project that fit with my ongoing pedagogic research interests, which include the effects of peer tutelage, embedding skills for employability, course redesign and inclusive curricula.
Academic / Professional qualifications
- PhD: The Compensation Effect in Adsorption/Desorption of Gases/Vapours on Porous Materials (University of Newcastle, EPSRC funded, supervisor Prof. K.M. Thomas, 2000)
- PhD: Development and evaluation of open-ended learning activities to support chemical engineering students’ development (University of Strathclyde, superviosr Dr. K. Sypek, 2020)
- MSc Advanced Professional Studies (University of Strathclyde, 2016)
- 2:1 BSc Honours in Chemistry (University of Durham, 1997)
- SFHEA (Higher Education Academy, 2017)
- FHEA (Higher Education Academy, 2010)
- AMIChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers, 2010)
- CSci (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2004)
- CChem (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2002)
- MRSC (Royal Society of Chemistry, 2000)
Doctor of Philosophy, University Of Strathclyde
Award Date: 3 Jul 2020
Master in Science, University Of Strathclyde
Award Date: 9 Nov 2016
Doctor of Philosophy, University of Newcastle
Award Date: 1 Jan 2000
Bachelor of Science, University of Durham
Award Date: 1 Jan 1997
Editor in Chief of Adsorption Science and TechnologyAug 2020 → …
Young Academy of Scotland (Emeritus), Royal Society of Edinburgh2019 → …
Editorial Board Member of Gels, MDPI Open Access Journals2018 → …
External Examiner UG/PGT Chemical Engineering, Teesside University2017 → …
Young Academy of Scotland, Royal Society of Edinburgh2014 → 2019
1/10/19 → 1/04/24
Project: Research Studentship - Internally Allocated
Solvent-switchable continuous-breathing behaviour in a diamondoid metal-organic framework and its influence on CO2 vs CH4 selectivityCarrington, E. J., McAnally, C. A., Fletcher, A. J., Thompson, S. P., Warren, M. & Brammer, L., 30 Sep 2017, In: Nature Chemistry. 9, 9, p. 882-889 8 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile166 Citations (Scopus)145 Downloads (Pure)
Novel hydrophilic and hydrophobic amorphous silica: characterization and adsorption of aqueous phase organic compoundsTasca, A. L., Ghajeri, F. & Fletcher, A. J., 28 Feb 2018, In: Adsorption Science & Technology. 36, 1-2, p. 327-342 16 p.
Research output: Contribution to journal › Article › peer-reviewOpen AccessFile6 Citations (Scopus)75 Downloads (Pure)
Fletcher, A. (Creator), Kennedy, A. (Data Collector), Beveridge, S. (Data Collector), Cussen, E. (Supervisor), Nichol, G. S. (Data Collector) & McAnally, C. (Data Collector), University of Strathclyde, 14 Dec 2020
Data for: "Modelling organic gel growth in three-dimensions: textural and fractal properties of resorcinol-formaldehyde gels"
Development and evaluation of open-ended learning activities to support chemical engineering students' developmentAuthor: Fletcher, A., 1 Mar 2022
Student thesis: Doctoral Thesis
Selected participant on inaugural Scottish Crucible April - June 2009, administered and funded by a consortium of Scottish Universities: St Andrews, Aberdeen and Edinburgh, with additional funding from the Scottish Funding Council, NESTA and the Royal Society of Edinburgh
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Recipient), Apr 2009
Prize: Other distinction
Fletcher, Ashleigh (Recipient), Dec 2008
Prize: Other distinction