Personal profile

Personal Statement

Professor David Littlejohn is responsible for providing academic leadership to the Faculty of Science as well as contributing to the overall leadership of the University.

At Faculty level, this includes effective management of resources, in alignment with the University's Strategic Plan, to support, develop and enhance teaching, learning, research and knowledge exchange activities.

David Littlejohn was appointed Dean in August 2014, after four years as Associate Deputy Principal – Research and Knowledge Exchange. After initially studying Chemistry at Strathclyde, before working at ICI, David later returned to the University as the Pye Foundation Lecturer in 1981.

In addition to holding a number of senior University posts over the years, David’s academic credentials saw him elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry in 1991, and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 1998

Research Interests

Professor Littlejohn’s research covers a broad range of analytical chemistry topics, including atomic spectrometry, chromatography, environmental analytical chemistry, conservation science and process analysis. His activities in the development and application of in-line, on-line and non-invasive methods of process monitoring cover a range of techniques and data analysis methods, including NIR, MIR, and Raman spectrometries, acoustic techniques, NMR spectrometry and mass spectrometry. Professor Littlejohn has supervised over 50 PhD students to graduation as first supervisor.

As a result of his research activities, Professor Littlejohn has received four awards, including three from the Royal Society of Chemistry. He also receives regular invitations to speak at conferences in theUKand abroad. Professor Littlejohn has been PI on RCUK and other major grants totalling £7.5M and CI on grants worth over £11M. To date he has published more than 170 peer-reviewed papers, 35 other papers, 4 conference proceedings, 10 reviews, 7 book chapters and edited one book.

Teaching Interests

Professor Littlejohn has taught atomic spectrometry, chromatography, process analysis, and XRF spectrometry to undergraduate students and has wide experience in MSc teaching and course administration. He has been responsible for several multi-media teaching initiatives in conjunction with colleagues in the Chemistry department and the university’s Learning Services department, including web-based learning support material for laboratory teaching and lecture courses in forensic and analytical chemistry.

Academic / Professional qualifications

Professor Littlejohn has served on the Membership, Fellowship, and Accreditation Committees of the Royal Society of Edinburgh and the Royal Society of Chemistry. He has been external examiner at many universities in the UK and Europe, sat on professorial appointment boards, served on the editorial advisory boards of international journals, and acted as a reviewer of grant applications for research councils in Canada, the USA, and the Netherlands, as well as in the UK.

Industrial Relevance

In 1997, Professor Littlejohn co-founded the Centre of Process Analytics and Control Technology (CPACT), which is a multi-disciplinary consortium of universities, end-user companies and technology vendors ( CPACT seeks to advance the use of in-process measurement and control technologies to achieve manufacturing excellence in the chemicals, healthcare, pharmaceutical, biotechnology and energy industries.  There are 6 university members and 24 companies (comprising end-user and technology vendor organisations). Through CPACT, Professor Littlejohn has helped secured over £1M in direct industrial funding since 2000, in addition to cash and indirect contributions from companies associated with funding council grants.

In 2001, through CPACT he co-founded a new international conference, Advances in Process Analytics and Control Technologies (APACT), which takes place annually ( The success of APACT has resulted in a joint venture between CPACT, the German Chemical Society, DECHEMA and other European national professional bodies to begin a triennial pan-European conference on process analysis and control, EUROPACT, which has held conferences in Frankfurt, Glasgow and Barcelona (

Also through CPACT, Professor Littlejohn has, since 2009, co-organised an annual 3-day course on Process Spectroscopy for industrialists in conjunction with Clairet Scientific and instigated a series of webinars on various topics specifically for CPACT members. Another innovation was the concept of “CPACT Feasibility Studies” where companies suggest a topic for a brief (6 – 10 weeks) study undertaken by PG researchers in CPACT. Recent additional non-CPACT KE activity has included acting as a Consultant for Stratophase Ltd. and current membership of the Advisory Board of Cascade Technologies.




Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being
  • SDG 9 - Industry, Innovation, and Infrastructure


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