Dr Paul D Topham

Reader in Polymer Chemistry


Phone number: +44 (0)121 204 3413

Email: p.d.topham@aston.ac.uk

Room number: MB128


Dr. Topham joined the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry subject group at Aston in August 2008 as a Lecturer in Chemistry, became a Senior Lecturer in August 2012 and a Reader in Polymer Chemistry in August 2013. He is currently Guest Professor at the South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, P. R. China and Secretary of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology (SPT).

Following the completion of a PhD in 2006 with Professor Anthony J Ryan OBE, he undertook a post-doctoral research position working for Unilever, under the supervision of Professor Steve Armes.

Qualifications & Education
  • Became Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SFHEA, 2015 
  • Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal 2014 Winner
  • Guest Professor of the South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, China, 2014 - present
  • Became Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, FHEA, 2011
  • Aston University Early Career Researcher of the Year, 2010
  • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Higher Education, Aston University, 2010
  • PhD in Polymer Science, University of Sheffield, 2006
  • MChem, Upper second class. University of Sheffield, 2002

Teaching activity

Chemical Kinetics (CH1103, CE1103)

Polymer Science (CH2128)

Literature Research Projects (CH3117)

Final Year Chemistry Research Projects (CH3011)

MEng Final Year Research Projects

ERASMUS Student Research Projects

Research interests

Dr Topham’s research focuses on the synthesis, development and application of well-defined polymer systems, including “smart” polymers, biocompatible and biodegradable materials and tethered polymer brushes, within the Advanced Materials Research Unit at Aston University. Controlled polymerisation techniques are combined with synthetic organic chemistry to fabricate novel (co)polymers, which display varying phenomena, depending on the material itself and the environment in which it is placed. Characterisation techniques of their nanoscale behaviour involve x-ray scattering and neutron reflectivity amongst more traditional methods. Current research interests include organic solar cells, rubber technology, electrospinning, microphase separation, click chemistry, tissue engineering, cell therapy, drug delivery, polymer fibres and water purification.

Current Research Group Members

Miss Joanna Kolomanska, PhD student (working on block copolymers in organic solar cells)

Miss Isabel Fraga, cotutelle PhD student with Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand, France (working on organic solar cells)

Miss Anna Isakova, PhD student (working on copolymers in organic solar cells)

Dr Anitha C. Kumar, Marie Curie Fellow (working on polymer-peptide biohybrids)

Dr Harikrishna Erothu, Researcher (working on triggerable block copolymers for OPV devices)

Mr George Parkes, PhD student (working on RAFT polymerisation)

Miss Helena Hutchins, Undergraduate Research student (working on OPV block copolymers)

Mr Christian Burton, PhD student (working on synchrotron radiation rigs for MX beamlines)

Previous Research Group Members

Miss Renata Rybakiewicz, visiting Polish PhD student; Miss Elodie Vanel, ERASMUS student; Miss Marion Quintana, ERASMUS student; Dr Priscilla Johnston, PDRA; Miss Lucie Vejsadova, ERASMUS student; Dr Nikki Pullan, PhD Student; Miss Sutinee Girdthep, visiting Thai PhD student; Miss Clotilde Cellié, ERASMUS student; Mr François Sahuquet, ERASMUS student; Dr Keith Berry, PhD student; Miss Sujitra Ruengdechawiwat, visiting Thai PhD student, Dr Martin Levere, PDRA; Mr Alberto Gregori, visiting PhD student from the Université de Pau, France; Dr Harikrishna Erothu, Marie Curie Intra-European Fellow; Miss Marion Bertrand, ERASMUS student; Miss Caroline Morin, ERASMUS student; Dr Arun Sohdi, PhD Student; Miss Wijitra Meelua, visiting Thai PhD student, Mr Quentin Bréton, ERASMUS student; Mr Mohammed Mizan Ahmad, Nuffield Placement student; Mr Michael J. Harvey, Aston Graduate Researcher; Miss Charlotte Grozel, ERASMUS student; Mr Vincent Deydier, ERASMUS student; Mr Rachid El-Ouazzani, Leonardi da Vinci Researcher; Mr Younes Baali, ERASMUS student; Mr Najim Chaib, ERASMUS student; Miss Manita Dumklang, visiting Thai PhD student

Membership of Professional Bodies and External Roles

Secretary of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology (SPT)

Associate Editor of RSC Advances

Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA)

Member of Division IV (Polymers) of the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC)

Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC)

Committee Member of the Macro Group UK

Previous Treasurer of Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (RAPS)

Vice-Coordinator of FP7-funded ITN project (ESTABLIS)

Member of the Advisory Editorial Board of Polymer International

Member of the Editorial Board of ISRN Polymer Science

Member of the COST Action (MP1206) for Electrospun Nano-Fibres for Bio-Inspired Composite Materials and Innovative Industrial Applications


 Funding for International Researchers

Follow this link for Professor Turitsyn's guide to a range of different funding opportunities for international researchers. For further information, contact Dr Topham directly:

Funding opportunities