Alastair Baker

Alastair Baker

Profile

Alastair is a Research Associate investigating the process intensification of solvent extraction using centrifugal contactors in the Nuclear Engineering group at the University of Leeds. His work is undertaken on a pilot scale centrifugal contactor cascade and multi-scale platform in the GM59 Leeds Nuclear Lab. He is conducting trials on the effects of scale in the presense of solids on solvent extraction, simulating the extraction of uranium from spent nuclear fuel (SNF).

Alastair has worked in the UK Catalysis Hub across two campuses: the GlaxoSmithKline Carbon Neutral Laboratory for Sustainable Chemistry (University of Nottingham) and the Institute of Process Research and Development (iPRD, Leeds). The project investigated homogeneous and heterogeneous catalysts for the valorization of feedstock ethanol and construction of a multifunctional flow platform for high throughput screening. The automated continuous high temperature and high pressure (High T/p) reactor with at-line GC with feedback loop is still operating in the iPRD performing Design of Experiments (DoE) and self-optimising reactions.

In 2021, he was awarded a Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA) for lecturing, teaching and training in Higher Education across the UK, validating his track record of teaching in a University environment, with an enthusiastic approach to teaching core and research-led chemical engineering and chemistry topics across all levels. He received his Ph.D. in 2016 from Prifysgol Caerdydd/ Cardiff University upon completing his thesis in developing continuous flow reactors for the continuous synthesis of garlic metabolites, on a joint funded SME Industrial CASE award from Neem Biotech and the Welsh Assembly Government. He also has expertise in synchrotron techniques performed at European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF), as well as compound synthesis, natural product isolation and characterization, 3D printing and rapid prototyping.

Research interests

  • Continuous Flow Chemistry
  • Telescoped Synthesis (sequential flow reactions)
  • Process development
  • Multi-component reactions
  • Organic synthesis
  • Radiochemistry
  • Solvent Extraction
  • Process Intensification 

Qualifications

  • Ph. D. (2016)
  • MChem (2011)

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Chemistry (MRSC) (Member)
  • International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (Affiliate Member)
  • Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

Research groups and institutes

  • Energy Leeds
  • Institute of Process Research and Development
  • Nuclear Leeds