Dr Richard Baker

Dr Richard Baker

Senior Lecturer

Researcher profile

+44 (0)1334 46 3899



Dr Richard Baker is a Senior Lecturer in Chemistry and Materials Science at St Andrews, where he has worked since 2005. He holds a BSc in Chemistry from Durham and a PhD in Chemical Engineering and Chemical Technology from Imperial College. He is a Chartered Chemist, MInsP and was elected FRSC in 2016. Between his BSc and PhD he gained three years’ valuable industrial R&D experience at British Steel plc. In his PhD, he used temperature programmed (TP) methods to study reduction-oxidation (redox) and reaction processes over new perovskite materials for Solid Oxide Fuel Cell (SOFCs) anodes under I.S. Metcalfe and B.C.H. Steele. During three E.U. Marie Curie Postdoctoral Research Fellowship positions at Institut Polytechnique de Grenoble (France, with M. Kleitz) and the Universities of Aveiro (Portugal, with F.M.B. Marques) and Cádiz (Spain, with S. Bernal) he worked (in the languages of those countries) on: fundamental processes at electrode-solid electrolyte interfaces; preparation and electrochemical evaluation of doped materials for SOFCs; and activity and electron microscopy studies of Ce-Zr oxide-supported metal nanoparticle vehicle exhaust catalysts, respectively. He obtained a lectureship at Dundee in 1999 where he taught inorganic and physical chemistry and continued his research in heterogeneous catalysis and SOFCs. He was one of six founder members of the EPSRC Supergen Fuel Cell Consortium in which he advanced methods for studying nanostructure-performance relationships in SOFC systems and developed anode materials based on doped ceria materials. He established a novel new research activity in electromechanics and in operando MRI imaging of electroactive polymer actuators. At St Andrews he established an independent research laboratory for the preparation and evaluation of functional materials, including supported metal heterogeneous catalysts, solid electron- and ion-conductors and electrocatalysts for SOFCs, and electroactive polymers. Recent funded research projects have examined new high precision methods for SOFC fabrication (EPSRC, IAA) and new anode catalysts for bioethanol SOFCs (Global Challenge-related, with Brazil). He has supervised eight Masters and ten PhD students to completion, as well as nine postdocs. He has acted as 'oversees expert' on three Spanish grants on hydrodechlorination catalysis. Baker has published 70 research articles, reviewed for over ten international journals, made over 25 keynote or invited presentations. He was Editor, Secretary/Treasurer and then Chair of the Electron Microscopy and Analysis Group of the Institute of Physics.


Dr Richard Baker teaches at all levels from first year undergraduate to MSc and PhD level courses. As well as contributing to undergraduate programmes in Chemistry and Materials Science, he gives a course on Energy Supply and Use on the Sustainable Development degree and contributes to an MSc on Renewable Energy (a collaboration with the University of Dundee) and to PhD-level training as part of the CRITICAT CDT. He teaches courses in physical chemistry, solid state chemistry, materials characterisation, semiconductor science, fuel cell technology, renewable energy, heterogeneous catalysis and electron microscopy.

Research areas

We are interested in the relationship between the properties and behaviour of functional materials and the structure and composition of these materials down to the atomic scale. Particular interests are ionically- and electronically-conducting materials for fuel cells and other electrochemical reactors; heterogeneous catalysts for pollution abatement and fuel cells; and Electro-Active Polymers for actuator devices. We use electrochemical techniques, especially Impedance Spectroscopy, high resolution Transmission Electron Microscopy and catalysis techniques such as Temperature-Programmed Desorption, Reduction and Oxidation (TPD/R/O).

PhD supervision

  • Hadi Hassan
  • Syed Ansar Ali Shah

Selected publications


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