Francis Clegg graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 1994 with a degree in Applied Chemistry and continued at the same establishment within MERI to complete a PhD in 1998 involving the physicochemical properties of organo-mineral interactions.
After one year in the Chemical and Process Engineering Department at the University of Newcastle, Francis returned to MERI in 1999 to further his research in organo-mineral interactions with particular emphasis on polymer (nano)composites.
As a Senior Research Fellow and chemist at heart, Francis's current research interests are fulfilled within several polymer and composite projects, including:
• Sustainable and flexible high barrier packaging;
• Controlled release open wound dressings;
• Fire retardant composite resins;
• Polymer membranes and surface modification;
• Stimuli responsive shape memory polymers;
• Intumescent paints.
At the core of these projects is a detailed understanding of the interaction and compatibility of composite fillers with the polymer matrix. This is particularly relevant to the organo-mineral interactions involved in clay-polymer nanocomposites. Complimentary knowledge and practical application of the extensive analytical instruments within MERI (in particularly thermo-analytical) allows an enhanced understanding of the systems and allows further development of the research and novel products.
In addition to being involved in internal, UK government and European Funded projects, Francis actively engages in consultancy and has worked successfully with companies both small and large, national and international.
To help deliver on research projects Francis supervises and works alongside Erasmus and visiting PhD research students to offer working experience via a hands on approach.
Arts, Computing, Engineering and Sciences
Subject Area/Group: Chemistry
- Introduction to Inorganic and Materials Chemistry (Polymers and Composites), BSc (Hons) Chemistry, Level 4;
- Advanced Inorganic, Physical and Materials Chemistry (Heterogeneous Catalysis), BSc (Hons) Chemistry, Level 6;
- Forensic Chemistry (Materials, Polymers and Composites, and their characterisation), BSc (Hons) Forensic Science, Level 5.
- Polymers, Nanocomposites and Modelling Research Centre
- Materials and Engineering Research Institute
2016 - Present: PF-CLAY - Fire-retardant Nanocomposites for Aircraft Interior Applications. Innovate UK grant.
2010 - Present: CROWD - Controlled release open wound dressings. Funded by SHU Proof-of-Concept Funding.
2011 - 2015: NewGenPak - New Generation of Functional Cellulose Fibre Based Packaging Materials for Sustainability, a Marie Curie Initial Training Network. Funded under EU FP7.
2009 - 2012: POLYFIRE – Processing and upscaling of fire resistant nano-filled thermosetting polyester resins. EU FP7 funded project.
2008 - 2011: FLEXPAKRENEW – Design and Development of an innovative, eco-efficient, low substrate flexible paper packaging from renewable resources to replace petroleum based barrier films. EU FP7 funded project.
2004 - 2008: SUSTAINPACK: Innovation and Sustainable Development in the Fibre Based Packaging Value Chain. EU funded, FP6 Integrated Project.
2003 - 2006: SUREFIRE – Next generation fire-resistant lightweight structural materials. Basic technologies for Industrial Applications (BTIA) Link programme.
2002 - 2004: PRONACOM: A Fundamental Study of the Processing-Structure-Properties of Nanocomposites for Industrial Applications. EU funded FP5 Project.
CAVAYE, Hamish, CLEGG, Francis, GOULD, Peter J., LADYMAN, Melissa K., TEMPLE, Tracey and DOSSI, Eleftheria (2017). Primary alkylphosphine–borane polymers: Synthesis, low glass transition temperature, and a predictive capability thereof. Macromolecules. (In Press)
PORTER, Christopher P., BEZZINA, James P., CLEGG, Francis and OGDEN, Mark D. (2017). Polymeric seal degradation in nuclear power plants: Determination of physical and mechanical properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 135 (7), p. 45814.
LAYCOCK, Elizabeth, JEFFERSON, David, HETHERINGTON, Steven, CLEGG, Francis and WOOD, Christopher (2017). Revitalising Collyweston limestone slate production by artificial freeze/thaw splitting. Construction and Building Materials.
BENASSI, L, DALIPI, R, CONSIGLI, V, PASQUALI, M, BORGESE, L, DEPERO, L E, CLEGG, Francis, BINGHAM, Paul and BONTEMPI, E (2017). Integrated management of ash from industrial and domestic combustion : a new sustainable approach for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy conversion. Environmental Science and Pollution Research, 24 (17), 14834-14846.
KHAIRUDDIN, , PRAMONO, Edi, UTOMO, Suryadi Budi, WULANDARI, Viki, A'AN ZAHROTUL, W and CLEGG, Francis (2016). The effect of polyethylene glycol on shellac stability. IOP Conference Series: Materials Science and Engineering, 107 (Conf 1), 012066.
JOHANSSON, Caisa and CLEGG, Francis (2015). Hydrophobically modified poly(vinyl alcohol) and bentonite nanocomposites thereof: Barrier, mechanical, and aesthetic properties. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 132 (13), p. 41737.
JOHANSSON, Caisa and CLEGG, Francis (2015). Effect of clay type on dispersion and barrier properties of hydrophobically modified poly(vinyl alcohol)-bentonite nanocomposites. Journal of Applied Polymer Science, 132 (28), -n/a.
KELES, Hakan, NAYLOR, Andrew, CLEGG, Francis and SAMMON, Chris (2015). Investigation of factors influencing the hydrolytic degradation of single PLGA microparticles. Polymer Degradation and Stability, 119, 228-241.
KELES, Hakan, NAYLOR, Andrew, CLEGG, Francis and SAMMON, Chris (2014). The application of non-linear curve fitting routines to the analysis of mid-infrared images obtained from single polymeric microparticles. The Analyst, 139 (10), p. 2355.
KELES, Hakan, NAYLOR, Andrew, CLEGG, Francis and SAMMON, Chris (2014). Studying the release of hGH from gamma-irradiated PLGA microparticles using ATR-FTIR imaging. Vibrational Spectroscopy, 71, 76-84.
CLEGG, Francis, BREEN, Christopher and KHAIRUDDIN, . (2014). Synergistic and competitive aspects of the adsorption of Poly(ethylene glycol) and Poly(vinyl alcohol) onto Na-Bentonite. The Journal of Physical Chemistry B, 118 (46), 13268-13278.
BARWOOD, Michael J., BREEN, Christopher, CLEGG, Francis and HAMMOND, Carol L. (2014). The effect of organoclay addition on the properties of an acrylate based, thermally activated shape memory polymer. Applied Clay Science, 102, 41-50.
CLEGG, Francis and BREEN, Christopher (2013). Mixed modifier clays and their dispersion in solvent cast polycaprolactone nanocomposites. Applied Clay Science, 85, 80-87.
BREEN, Alastair F., BREEN, Christopher, CLEGG, Francis, DÖPPERS, Leena-Marie, KHAIRUDDIN, ?, LABET, Marianne, SAMMON, Chris and YARWOOD, Jack (2012). FTIR-ATR studies of the sorption and diffusion of acetone:water mixtures in poly(vinyl alcohol)-clay nanocomposites. Polymer, 53 (20), 4420-4428.
CLEGG, Francis, BREEN, Christopher, JOHANSSON, C, BRAS, J, MONDRAGON, I, NECHITA, P, PLACKETT, D, ŠIMON, P, SVETEC, DG, VIRTANEN, S, BASCHETTI, MG and AUCEJO, S (2012). Renewable fibers and bio-based materials for packaging applications - A review of recent developments. BioResources, 7 (2), 2506-2552.
CLEGG, Francis, BREEN, Christopher, TATHDIL, Ilknur, SOKMEN, Munevver, BURUK, Celal Kurtulus and BACAKSIZ, Emin (2011). Degradation of Candida albicans on TiO2 and Ag-TiO2 thin films prepared by sol–gel and nanosuspensions. Jounal of Sol-gel Science and Technology, 60 (1), 23-32.
CLEGG, Francis, BREEN, Christopher, CARTER, Margaret A., INCE, Ceren, SAVAGE, Shaun D., WILSON, Moira A. and LEE, W. (2011). Dehydroxylation and Rehydroxylation Mechanisms in Fired Clay Ceramic: A TG-MS and DRIFTS Investigation. Journal of the American Ceramic Society, 95 (1), 416-422.
SÖKMEN, Münevver, TATLIDIL, İlknur, BREEN, Christopher, CLEGG, Francis, BURUK, Celal Kurtuluş, SIVLIM, Tuğba and AKKAN, Şenay (2011). A new nano-TiO2 immobilized biodegradable polymer with self-cleaning properties. Journal of Hazardous Materials, 187 (1-3), 199-205.
BELVER, C., BREEN, C., CLEGG, F., FERNANDES, C. E. and VICENTE, M. A. (2004). A variable-temperature diffuse reflectance infrared Fourier transform spectroscopy study of the binding of water and pyridine to the surface of acid-activated metakaolin. Langmuir, 21 (6), 2129-2136.
BREEN, C., CLEGG, F., HUGHES, T. and YARWOOD, J. (2001). Distinguishing interlayer cations in montmorillonite by thermal analysis of demethylformamide-saturated samples. Journal of physical chemistry. B, 105 (21), 4872-4878.
- Treasurer (2016) and committee member (2013-present) for the Clay Minerals Group of The Mineralogical Society;
- Associate Editor for Applied Clay Science;
- Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry;
- Internal and External PhD examiner.
Francis has previously acted as Director of Studies for two PhD students and as supervisor to 6 internal PhD students.
- Trinh Pham. Chemical/Thermal Modification of Poly(vinyl alcohol) Film for Enhanced Water Vapour Barrier Properties. 2016.
- Khairuddin. Clay poly(vinyl alcohol)(PVOH) nanocomposites: competitive and synergistic adsorption of PVOH and plasticisers onto Na-bentonite. 2012.
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