Professor Andrew Bell

Professor Andrew Bell


Andrew Bell holds a First Class BSc in Physics from the University of Birmingham (1978) and a PhD in Ceramic Science and Engineering from the University of Leeds (1984). He spent 13 years in industrial research with The Plessey Company, Caswell (1978-81), Cookson Group plc (1984-89) and Oxley Developments Co. Ltd. (1995-2000).  He was also a Senior Scientist in the Materials Department of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne,Switzerland (1991-95).

He joined the University of Leeds in April 2000 as Professor of Electronic Materials. From 2001 to December 2014 he held a number of academic leadership positions including Pro-Dean for Research for the Faculty of Engineering (2003-07) and Head of the School of Chemical and Process Engineering (2011-14).

He was awarded a 5 year EPSRC Established Career Fellowship in August 2014 to develop new functional materials for additive manufacturing processes.

In 2016 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering. He received the IEEE-UFFC Ferroelectrics Recognition Award in 2012, the first UK scientist to collect the award, and in 2014 was awarded the IoM3 Verulam Prize and Medal.

Professor Bell is an Adjunct Professor at the University of Shanghai and a Visiting Professor at North-West Polytechnic University Xi'an, China.

He is a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a Senior Member of the IEEE. He has served as Area 8 Representative to the IEEE Ultrasonics, Ferroelectrics and Frequency Control Society Administration Committee and is the Conferences Officer for the Ferroelectrics Sub-Group. He served as General Chair to the 19th IEEE International Symposium on the Applications of Ferroelectrics in Edinburgh in 2010.


  • Leader: Functional Materials Group

Research interests

Professor Bell's research at Leeds has focussed on the modelling, fabrication, characterization and applications of novel ferroelectric materials in ceramic, composite, thin film and single crystal forms.

A notable achievement has been the development of bismuth ferrite based ceramics as high temperature piezoelectric materials, for which his group has been awarded 2 patents. Initially motivated by the need for piezoelectric components to operate at temperatures up to 450°C in commercial aero-engines, the material has now been proven in a number of applications, including aerospace, automotive and process engineering. Ionix Advanced Technologies Ltd, founded in 2011 as a spin-out from the University with Prof Bell as Chief Scientific Officer, now employs 12 staff and is producing high temperature ultrasound transducers based on the new materials.  Prof Bell's group is currently exploring the same material system as a multiferroic material with enhanced coupling between magnetic and ferroelectric order parameters and potential applications in sensing and data storage.

His group's current research focuses on two areas: (i) novel piezoelectric materials for sonar devices, funded by both Thales plc and DSTL, looking at new high activity ceramics and single crystals, including lead-free variants and (ii) the development of functional materials which are tailored for deployment by additive manufacturing processes, such as ink-jet printing. 

<h4>Research projects</h4> <p>Any research projects I'm currently working on will be listed below. Our list of all <a href="">research projects</a> allows you to view and search the full list of projects in the faculty.</p>


  • BSc Physics, Birmingham
  • PhD Ceramic Science & Engineering, Leeds

Professional memberships

  • Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering
  • Chartered Engineer
  • Fellow of Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining
  • IEEE (Senior Member)

Student education

Professor Bell teaches functional materials content to Level 3 and Level 5 students.

Research groups and institutes

  • Functional Materials

Current postgraduate researchers

<h4>Postgraduate research opportunities</h4> <p>We welcome enquiries from motivated and qualified applicants from all around the world who are interested in PhD study. Our <a href="">research opportunities</a> allow you to search for projects and scholarships.</p>