Philip Martin

Philip Martin, CChem FRSC, CPhys FInstP, CEng FIChemE


Personal profile


Philip Martin is a Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science. He has a first degree in Chemistry from the University of Oxford and a PhD from Cambridge in physical chemistry in the group of Professor Paul Davies. Following this he held a Royal Society European Fellowship at the Universite de Paris-Sud/CNRS in Orsay in the group of Guy Guelachvili. Following this he spent three years in the group of Professor John Maier FRS at the University of Basel in Switzerland where he worked on laser spectroscopy of free radicals and molecular ions. In 1993 he took up a position at the University of Huddersfield where he developed techniques in applied spectroscopy and environmental technology using novel laser sources.  He moved to Manchester in 2002. In the Department he is currently Head of Social Responsibility and has previously held roles of Interim Head of School, Director of Research, Director of Post-Graduate Research and Director of Taught Postgraduate.  He set up a spin-off company, TDL Sensors Ltd. in 2000 which was sold in 2016. He has research labs in the Mill Building, the James Chadwick Building and the Photon Science Institute. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry,  a Fellow of the Institute of Physics as well as a Chartered Engineer and Fellow of the Institution of Chemical Engineers.

Memberships of committees and professional bodies

Research interests

The group is involved in three main areas of research:

Process and data analytics

The group develops novel instrumentation for chemical species concentration and physical properties (such as temperature and viscosity) for in situ and on-line measurements in industrial environments. Additionally, we develop methods based on for example process Raman, near-infrared and mid-infrared spectroscopy with various probe designs combined with multivariate analysis. We also developed the process analytical suite (£650k) in the James Chadwick Building pilot hall involving process spectroscopy, tomography and particle sizing on-line instrumentation. We Use computational fluid dynamics (CFD) modelling to predict sensor/analyser optimised design and placing as well as density functional theory (DFT) for spectral interpretation.

Particular expertise is in the area of laser absorption spectroscopy for measuring chemical species in hostile environments. This led to the spin-out company TDL Sensors Ltd. which was recently sold to Envea (

We work closely with industry both in the UK and internationally and have developed measuring system for lab scale, pilot scale and up to manufacturing plant scale. We have also developed methods for industrial data analytics, taking manufacturing sensor data to develop soft-sensors for real-time optimisation of processes.

We are core members of the Centre for Process Analysis and Control Technology (CPACT –

The research area comes under the digital manufacturing umbrella.


Laser analytics for nuclear applications

We develop laser analytical instrumentation for nuclear applications such as in decommissioning, pyro-processing and nuclear forensics. We have particular expertise in Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (LIBS) and Raman spectroscopy/microscopy where we use high specification lab-based instruments but also we have designed and built instruments to operate on robotic systems for autonomous analysis. For the robotic measurements we collaborate with the group of Barry Lennox in EEE and also with the National Nuclear Laboratory (NNL). We lead the EPSRC funded TORONE project (www.TORONE- Total Characterisation by Remote Observation in Nuclear Environments.

We also jointly lead with NNL the PhLAME research group (Photonics and Laser Analysis of Materials and Environments This is a multidisciplinary group focusing on photonic solutions in the nuclear industry with regular workshops for academics and end-users. We are also members of Dalton (


Technological plasmas for processing

Non-thermal plasmas, where reactions are initiated by high energy electrons whilst the gas is close to room temperature, are showing great promise in several areas. We have studied plasma catalysis, pollution abatement, plasma-enhanced chemical vapour deposition and plasma-enhanced combustion. We use in situ and on-line diagnostics systems such as laser absorption spectroscopy, FTIR and optical emission spectroscopy to study chemical mechanisms of the plasma reactors. Plasma reactor modelling is carried out using CHEMKIN and COMSOL.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 7 - Affordable and Clean Energy
  • SDG 13 - Climate Action

Education/Academic qualification

Bachelor of Arts, Chemistry, Oxford University

Doctor of Philosophy, University of Cambridge

Research Beacons, Institutes and Platforms

  • Energy
  • Photon Science Institute
  • Dalton Nuclear Institute
  • Manchester Environmental Research Institute
  • Healthier Futures


  • Air pollution monitoring
  • Technological plasmas
  • Process analysis
  • Laser spectroscopy
  • Laser instrumentation
  • Infrared and Raman spectroscopy
  • Environmental technology
  • Emissions monitoring
  • Chemical vapour deposition
  • digital manufacturing


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