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School of Physics and Astronomy

Professor Alan Drew


Head of CCMMP | Professor of Condensed Matter Physics

Telephone: 020 7882 3435
Room Number: G.O. Jones Building, Room 213


Research Interests:

Research Interests:

Professor Alan Drew was appointed Leverhulme Fellow in the Centre for Condensed Matter & Materials Physics in 2008. He was rapidly promoted to Senior Lecturer (2011) and then Reader (2012), and in 2018 was promoted to Professor. Prof. Drew has been awarded a number of prestigious fellowships and awards over his career, starting with a Fellowship of the Royal Commission of the Exhibition of 1851 (2004), Leverhulme Fellow (2008), European Research Council (ERC) Fellow (2012), Talent 1000 Scholar of the Chinese Ministry of Education (2014) and Changjiang Distribguished Professor at Sichuan University (2015). He is currently Head of the CCMMP Research Centre, and Director of the Materials Research Institute.

His main research interests are using spin sensitive and structural probes situated at central facilities to characterise and understand the fundamental properties of materials, backed up with laboratory based techniques (e.g magnetic, structural and electrical characterisation, thin film growth, raman/IR spectroscopy, electro/photo luminescence). His main interests are:

  • Understanding spin and charge carrier dynamics in organic and biological materials, relevant for  energy (solar cells), data storage (spintronics) and biological systems (electron  stransfer)
  • The properties of materials with novel quantum mechanical states,  relevant for energy (quantum dots for solar cells)
  • Structure function relationships in biomass derived carbons,r elevant for energy (solar cells and battery materials)

He is also active in international develpoment, most recently having founded the Indonesian National Batteries Research Institute (2020) funded via institutional GCFR QR grant, and a British Council Researcher Links Climate Change workshop “Delivering a battery revolution - reducing the drivers of climate change in Indonesia”),  which is a satellite workshop of COP26 to be held in Glasgow.


Professional Activities

  • International advisor to the Indonesian Minister for Research and Technology (2021 - Present)
  • Indonesian National Research  Priorities Leader: batteries for static power storage (2021  - Present)
  • Cofounder of the Indonesian National Batteries Research Institute (2020 - Present)
  • Director of the Materials Research Institute, QMUL (2018-Present)
  • Head of the Research Centre for Condensed Matter and Materials Physics, QMUL (2016-Present)
  • Academic lead for REF 2021 UoA9 (2018-2021)
  • Talent 1000 Scholar of the Chinese Ministry of Education (2014)
  • Changjiang Distinguished Professor (2015)
  • Hon. Secretary of the IOP Magnetism Group (2015-2019)
  • Member of a panel of experts on radiactive beam technology for the IAEA, Vienna, and co-signatory for a research agreement between QMUL and the IAEA on radiation damage in materials
  • Scientific advisory board member of a number of international conferences, referee of a number of articles in scientific journals, scientific referee for NIST NCNR,  American Chemical Society, EPSRC, EU H2020, and STFC Facilities Access Panel.


Academic Positions

  • 2018 - Present: Professor of Physics, School of Physics anf Astronomy, QMUL
  • 2012 - 2018: Reader in Physics, School of Physics anf Astronomy, QMUL
  • 2011 - 2012: Senior Lecturer, School of Physics and Astronomy, QMUL
  • 2008 - 2011: Leverhulme Fellow, Department of Physics, QMUL, UK. Additional post: Visiting Research Fellow, University of Fribourg, Switzerland (from September 2008).
  • 2006 - 2008: öberassistant (Senior scientist), Department of Physics, University of Fribourg, Switzerland. Additional posts: Research Fellow of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 (until Oct 2006) & Visiting Research Fellow, Queen Mary University of London (until September 2008).
  • 2004 - 2006: Research Fellow of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Split between: School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St. Andrews, UK; ISIS Facility, Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, UK; and the Paul Scherrer Institute, Switzerland. 


  • 2000 - 2004: Ph.D. Physics, School of Physics and Astronomy, University of St Andrews.
  • 1999 - 2000: M.Phil. Materials Engineering (M.Res.), University of Birmingham.
  • 1996 - 1999 2:1 B.Sc. (Hons.) Physics, University of Birmingham.


Career income to date: £7.1M approx. (since  2004)

  • £49,700 British Council - GCRF (February 2021 – March 2022): Researchers Links COP26 Workshop “Delivering a battery revolution - reducing the drivers of climate change in Indonesia”
  • £11,880 STFC (September 2020 – April 2021): In-situ in-operando x-ray absorption cell for electrochemical experiments
  • £49,800 (January 2020 – July 2021), GCRF: Indonesian National Batteries Research Institute.
  • £20,000 (Nov 2018 - June 2019), GCRF funding for scientific and policy workshop on biomass derived functional materials, Indonesia April 2019.
  • £1,361,836 (January 2018 – December 2020), EPSRC EP/R021554/1 “ISCF Wave 1:Designing Electrodes for Na Ion Batteries via Structure Electrochemical Performance Correlations”. Co-investigator (M. Titirici as PI).
  • £24,000 (March 2014 – March 2016) Royal Society and Chinese National Science Foundation Joint International Project, with Prof. Song Gao of Peking University, on molecular magnetism.
  • £1.7M (17M Yuan, August 2013), Chinese Ministry of Education. Laboratory refurbishment for the Sino- British Materials Research Institute. Co-investigator (W. Gillin as PI).
  • 1,486,000 (December 2012 – November 2017) European Research Council Starting Independent Researcher Grant, “MuSES: Muon Spectroscopy of Excited States”. Primary Investigator.
  • 309,000 (July 2011 – June 2014) EU-FP7 NMP programme: “Next Generation Hybrid Interfaces for Spintronics Applications”. Primary Investigator.
  • £267,447 (October 2009- April 2012), EPSRC EP/G054568/1 “Investigation of intrinsic charge and spin transport mechanisms in organic molecules”. Primary Investigator.
  • £81,000 (September 2008 – September 2011), Early Career Fellowship, Leverhulme Trust. Primary investigator.
  • CHF 600,000 (submission date September 2007), Swiss National Science Foundation (Independent Research) 200020-119784 “Interplay of magnetic correlations with electronic transport and superconductivity in oxides with strongly correlated charge carriers and subsequent multilayers”. Co-investigator (C. Bernhard as PI).
  • CHF 330,000 (submission date February 2007), Swiss National Science Foundation (R’Equip) 206021- 117403 “Multipurpose chemical vapour deposition system and carousel for sample transfer from existing pulsed laser deposition system”. Co-investigator (K Fromm as PI).
  • CHF 800,000 (March 2006 – March 2009) FriMat private donation “Epitaxial perovskite oxide growth”. Co- investigator (C. Bernhard as PI).
  • CHF 250,000 (submission date February 2006), Swiss National Science Foundation (R’Equip) 206021- 113057: “Pulsed laser deposition system for epitaxial perovskite oxide growth”. Co-investigator (C. Bernhard as PI).
  • £50,000 (October 2004 – October 2006), Research Fellowship of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Primary Investigator.
  • £25,765 in small grants from the Royal Society, STFC, University of London and EPSRC for travel, consumables and small equipment.