Professor Richard Barker

Professor Richard Barker


Richard Barker is a Professor in Corrosion Science and Engineering within the Institute of Functional Surfaces at the School of Mechanical Engineering, University of Leeds. He currently has over 13 years of experience working in the field of corrosion, graduating with a PhD from the University of Leeds in 2013.


  • Deputy Director of Postgraduate Research Studies
  • Lecturer and Module Leader in Thermofluids

Research interests

Professor Barker's research interests lie in the areas of electrochemistry, corrosion science and corrosion engineering, particularly in the context of established and new energy systems and carbon abatement technologies (i.e. carbon capture, utilisation and storage). His expertise can be divided into the following:

  • Numerical modelling and experimental studies for erosion/corrosion prediction
  • Design of unique, custom flow cells, systems and electrochemical techniques to observe and understand corrosion phenomena
  • Development of in-situ methods for simultaneous surface characterisation and electrochemical analysis in real time
  • Corrosion measurements in extreme environments (strong acids, high temperature and high pressure)

Research Philosophy
In the Engineering sector, numerous challenges exist in relation to cost-effective operational performance and asset integrity management. Corrosion is one of the key problems which plagues this sector.

Industry-driven collaborative research within my research institute (the Institute of Functional Surfaces) focuses on understanding the fundamental physics of material degradation mechanisms with a distinct focus of providing outputs which industry can utilise to ensure safer and more efficient operation of facilities. My focus is not only directed towards understanding and predicting the corrosion processes, but also on novel approaches for corrosion mitigation.

My research philosophy revolves around 5 key areas:

  1. Experimental studies – my research is largely experimental in nature, focusing on modelling or simulating oilfield processes/environments to understand material-electrolyte interactions
  2. Understanding processes at the material-electrolyte interface – identifying the characteristics of material surfaces both during and after degradation using state of the art analysis techniques
  3. Numerical methods – experimental observations are complemented with numerical models to help further understand mechanisms. Corrosion prediction models developed are also validated by experimental data.
  4. Research to generate industrial impact – my research is largely industry driven. Despite addressing fundamental research questions in some instances, the focus is always on generating impact with collaborators/partners.
  5. Custom methodologies, designs and in situ techniques – developing novel methodologies/apparatus/techniques to understand mechanisms more clearly. There is a particular emphasis here on in situ electrochemical and surface analysis methods.
<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>


  • MEng, CEng, PhD

Professional memberships

  • Institute of Mechanical Engineers
  • Institute of Corrosion
  • AMPP

Student education

Dr Barker's teaching presently focsuses on delivery of Thermofluids modules within the School of Mechanical Engineering.

Research groups and institutes

  • Institute of Functional Surfaces
  • Corrosion and flow assurance

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>
    <li><a href="//">Unravelling the role of corrosion products in the localised corrosion of large scale energy system infrastructure</a></li>