Photo of Paul Topham
    • School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University

      B4 7ET Birmingham

      United Kingdom

    • Aston Materials Centre, Aston University, Birmingham, B4 7ET

      United Kingdom


    Research output per year

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    Personal profile


    Professor Topham is the Head of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (CEAC), Director of the Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR), Guest Professor at the South China University of Technology (SCUT), Guangzhou, P.R. China, Secretary of the IUPAC Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology (SPT), Chartered Chemist (CChem), a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC) and a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA). He joined the Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry subject group as Aston in August 2008 as a Lecturer in Chemistry, became a Senior Lecturer in August 2012, a Reader in Polymer Chemistry in August 2013 and a Full Professor in August 2017.

    In addition to the above, he has been awarded the prestigious position of representing Hydrogen in the Periodic Table of Younger Chemists for the celebration of IUPAC100 and IYPT (2019):, was the MacroGroup UK Young Researchers Medal 2014recipient and is member of the Soft Matter Panel for the Diamond Light Source.

    Following the completion of a PhD in 2006 with Professor Anthony J Ryan OBE, he undertook a post-doctoral research position working for Unilever, under the supervision of Professor Steve Armes.

    Professor Topham’s research focuses on the synthesis, development and application of well-defined polymer systems, including “smart” polymers, biocompatible and biodegradable materials and tethered polymer brushes, within the Advanced Materials Research Unit at Aston University. Controlled polymerisation techniques are combined with synthetic organic chemistry to fabricate novel (co)polymers, which display varying phenomena, depending on the material itself and the environment in which it is placed. Characterisation techniques of their nanoscale behaviour involve x-ray scattering and neutron reflectivity amongst more traditional methods. Current research interests include microphase separation (polymer self-assembly), triggerable materials, biopolymers and biodegradable polymers, biomaterials, electrospinning (nanofibrous fabrics) and organic solar cells.

    Research Interests

    Polymer Science


    Polymer nanotechnology (block copolymer self-assembly)

    Organic Photovoltaics (solar cells)


    Teaching Activity

    Chemical Kinetics (CH1103, CE1103)

    General Chemistry (CH1112)

    Polymer Science (CH2128)

    BSc Applied Chemistry Research Project Leader (CH3011)

    Literature Research Projects (CH3117)

    MEng Final Year Research Projects

    ERASMUS Student Research Projects


    • Chartered Chemist (CChem), 2017
    • Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), 2016
    • Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy, SFHEA, 2015
    • Aston University Early Career Researcher of the Year, 2010
    • Postgraduate Certificate in Professional Practice in Higher Education, Aston University, 2010
    • PhD in Polymer Science, University of Sheffield, 2006
    • MChem, Upper second class. University of Sheffield, 2002

    Contact Details

    Phone number: 0121 204 3413 
    Room number: MB128 


    • QD Chemistry
    • polymer synthesis
    • polymer physics
    • polymer nanotechnology
    • organic photovoltaics

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    Research Output

    Improved Performance and Stability of Organic Solar Cells by the Incorporation of a Block Copolymer Interfacial Layer

    Pérez, G. E., Erothu, H., Topham, P. D., Bastianini, F., Alanazi, T. I., Bernardo, G., Parnell, A. J., King, S. M. & Dunbar, A. D. F., 24 Sep 2020, In : Advanced Materials Interfaces. 7, 18, 2000918.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Metabolic characterisation of Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense MSR-1 using LC-MS-based metabolite profiling

    Abdelrazig, S., Safo, L., Rance, G. A., Fay, M. W., Theodosiou, E., Topham, P. D., Kim, D. & Fernández-castané, A., 2 Sep 2020, In : RSC advances. 10, 54, p. 32548-32560 13 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Open Access
  • The influence of structure and morphology on ion permeation in commercial silicone hydrogel contact lenses

    Saez-Martinez, V., Mann, A., Lydon, F., Molock Jr, F., Layton, S., Toolan, D. T. W., Howse, J. R., Topham, P. & Tighe, B., 24 Jul 2020, In : Journal of biomedical materials research: part B.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Open Access
  • Thermally triggerable, anchoring block copolymers for use in aqueous inkjet printing

    Parkes, G. E., Hutchins-Crawford, H. J., Bourdin, C., Reynolds, S., Leslie, L. J., Derry, M. J., Harries, J. L. & Topham, P. D., 28 Apr 2020, In : Polymer Chemistry. 11, 16, p. 2869-2882 14 p.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

  • Datasets

    Hydrophobic and Hydrophilic Effects on Water Structuring and Adhesion in Denture Adhesives

    Gill, S. (Creator), Roohpour, N. (Creator), An, Y. (Creator), Gautrot, J. E. (Creator), Topham, P. (Creator) & Tighe, B. (Creator), Aston Data Explorer, 29 Jan 2018


    Tuneable Denture Adhesives using Biomimetic Principles for Enhanced Tissue Adhesion in Moist Environments

    Gill, S. (Creator), Roohpour, N. (Creator), Topham, P. (Creator) & Tighe, B. (Creator), Aston Data Explorer, 27 Oct 2017



    Hydrogen- Periodic Table of Younger Chemists

    Topham, Paul (Recipient), 2019

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

  • Guest Professor

    Topham, Paul (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Other distinction

    MacroGroup Young Researchers Medal 2014

    Topham, Paul (Recipient), 2014

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)

    Aston University Early Career Researcher of the Year

    Topham, Paul (Recipient), 2010

    Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


    • 1 Membership of network

    Recent Appointees in Polymer Science (External organisation)

    Paul Topham (Member)

    1 Sep 2009 → …

    Activity: Membership typesMembership of network