Professor Sven L. M. Schroeder

Professor Sven L. M. Schroeder



Sven studied Chemistry with experimental Atomic Physics and Analytic Philosophy at the FU Berlin. He held a teaching assistantship in Physical Chemistry, and concurrently a full undergraduate scholarship by the German National Academic Foundation. After completing his degree in 1991 he was for one year a visiting scholar at Stanford University, in the Department of Chemical Engineering. From 1992 he carried out PhD research in the Department of Chemistry at the University of Cambridge. In the academic year 1995/6 he held a fellowship at the Fritz-Haber-Institut in Berlin. In 1996 he was awarded an Oppenheimer Research Fellowship at the University of Cambridge, but he moved to a research and lecturing position at the FU Berlin in 1997. In 2002 he was appointed as a Lecturer in the Departments of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry at UMIST. In 2005 he was promoted to Senior Lecturer in The University of Manchester, later to Reader and Professor. In late 2014 he joined the University of Leeds as RAEng Bragg Centenary Chair.

Sven has more than 20 years’ experience in translational research in applied physical chemistry using national central research facilities. He holds the Royal Academy of Engineering Bragg Centenary Chair in Engineering Applications of Synchrotron Radiation (SR), a joint appointment between UoL, Diamond Light Source and Infineum Ltd., UK. His pioneering approach has underpinned DFG, EU, NFS, EPSRC, AHRC and industrial funding totalling more than £10M. Recent industrial collaborators have spanned the oil and gas, energy, pharmaceuticals, consumer products and heritage sectors. His research makes also use of leading international facilities such as the NSLS (Brookhaven Nat’l Lab, USA) and BESSY (Germany). In 2011 he proposed a Phase III high-throughput X-ray spectroscopy facility for the UK at Diamond Light Source, which is now under construction at the VERSOX beamline.


  • Diploma in Chemistry, Freie Universität Berlin, Germany
  • PhD, Corpus Christi College, University of Cambridge, UK

Professional Roles, Scholarships, Awards

  • since 2017 Member of Peer Review Panel, Advanced Light Source, Berkeley, USA
  • since 2017 Group Leader, Research Complex at Harwell, UK
  • since 2013 Member of Peer Review Panel “Large Facility Research”, Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF), Germany. (Re-appointed for second term from 2016)
  • since 2005 Member of EPSRC Peer Review College, UK
  • 2015-2017 Director of Research and Innovation, School of Chemical and Process Engineering, University of Leeds, UK
  • 2015-2016 Member of Peer Review Panels, FCT (Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia), Portugal
  • 2014-2016 Member of Peer Review Panel, European Synchrotron Radiation Facility, Grenoble, France
  • 2009-2014 Member and Spokesperson of Soft Matter Peer Review Panel, BESSY Light Source, HZB, Berlin, Germany
  • 2009-2011 Chair of Spectroscopy Peer Review Panel, DIAMOND Light Source Ltd, UK
  • 2008-2010 Head of Research, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, UK
  • 2008-2009 Leader of Research Section (‘Group Leader’), Crystals, Colloids, Interfaces and Materials, School of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, The University of Manchester, UK
  • 2007-2009 Member of Physical Sciences Peer Review Panel, DIAMOND Light Source Ltd, UK
  • 2004-2007 Member of Peer Review Panel, Synchrotron Radiation Source, STFC, Daresbury, UK
  • 1996-1997 Oppenheimer Research Fellowship, University of Cambridge
  • 1991-1992 Research Scholarship, Stanford University, USA
  • 1988-1992 German National Scholarship (Studienstiftung des deutschen Volkes)

Research interests

Our research addresses the molecular basis for chemical product performance and its product manufacturing, covering the whole product innovation chain from the materials discovery via processing to products. We perform structure analysis on length scales from atoms/molecules to macroscopic products, and on time scales from atomic and molecular excitations (sub-femtoseconds) to shelf lives of products (years). A typical project in the team is transdisciplinary, on the interfaces between engineering, chemistry, physics and materials science, combining two or more of the following aspects:

- In situ process monitoring in microreactors
- State-of-the-art spectroscopies and microscopies
- Interface and colloid science
- Surface and solid state physics
- Instrument development
- Synchrotron radiation experiments (in situ X-ray spectroscopy, scattering and fluorescence)

Over the last years we have examined systems that are relevant for applied research in fields as diverse as soft solids, solution chemistry, nanotechnology, electronics, catalysis, adhesion, pharmaceuticals or fuel additives.

<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>


  • PhD (Cantab)
  • Dipl.-Chem. (FU Berlin)
  • CChem
  • CSci
  • MRSC

Professional memberships

  • Royal Society of Chemistry
  • American Chemical Society
  • German Physical Society
  • Cambridge Philosophical Society

Student education

My main contributions to teaching are in the fundamentals of Chemical Engineering Science (e.g. Chemical Thermodynamics) and through supervision of research projects in the final year of the MEng course. In addition, besides supervising MSc research projects I also act as supervisor for small research projects in the 1st year of our Centres for Doctoral Training in Complex Particulate Products and in Bioenergy.

Research groups and institutes

  • Complex Systems and Processes
  • Applied Photon Science
  • Clean Combustion
  • Functional Materials
  • Industrial Biotechnology and Bio-waste
  • Sustainable Low Carbon Futures

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>