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Professor Andrea E Russell 

Professor of Physical Electrochemistry

Professor Andrea E Russell's photo

Andrea Russell is Professor of Physical Electrochemistry. Her research interests are in the application of spectroscopic methods to study the electrode/electrolyte interface, with particular emphasis on electrocatalysts and electrode materials for fuel cells, metal-air batteries, water electrolysers, and gas sensors.




Professor Russell obtained her BS degree in Chemistry from the University of Michigan in 1986 and then went on to the University of Utah to complete her PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry in 1989, with funding from the US Congress through a Patricia Harris Fellowship. She was then awarded an NRC Postdoctoral Research Fellowship to work at the US Naval Research Laboratory. She came to the UK in 1991, first holding temporary lectureships at the Universities of Liverpool and Newcastle upon Tyne. She was appointed to a lectureship in Physical Chemistry at the University of Southampton in 1997 and promoted to Professor of Physical Electrochemistry in 2007. In 2011 she was appointed as an Adjunct Professor in Chemical Engineering at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio.

Andrea's research often involves the use of national and international facilities such as the Diamond Light Source, ISIS, and other synchrotron radiation sources in Europe and the USA. She is particularly known for her in situ and in operando X-ray aborption spectroscopic studies of electrocatalysts, with an emphasis on electrocatalysts for PEM fuel cells. 

She is the author or co-author of > 70 refereed papers, including an invited review article and has chaired a number of international conferences and symposia, such as the Gordon Research Conference on Fuel Cells (2002) and a Faraday Discussion on Electrocatalysis (2008). She is a member of the EPSRC College, Chair of the Physical Electrochemistry Division of the International Society of Electrochemistry and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Higher Education Academy. 

Andrea's undergraduate teaching contributions are primarily focused in the first year of the Physical Chemistry course, where she lectures on equilibria and electrochemistry. She also delivers mathematics workshops and key-skills training as part of the practical chemistry module and lectures on ethical practices in science, engineering, and technology. At the postgraduate level she contributes to the electrochemistry modules and the Southampton Electrochemistry Summer Schools, both in the UK and abroad (Xiamen in 2009 and 2012).



Research interests

Electrochemistry, Electrocatalysis, Spectroelectrochemistry, Infrared, Raman, EXAFS.

Research Funding

Current grants

EPSRC EP/K014706/1 The UK Catalysis Hub (Co-I) £3.06M

EPSRC EP/I019693/1 Catalytic Science in the Harwell Research Centre (Co-I) £1.65M

Royal Society Newton Fund “Advanced X-ray and Fundamental studies of Pt electocatalysts supported on doped SiC and B4C”, PI £110k

Industrial CASE award with Johnson Matthey Technology Centre

Industrial CASE award with City Technology

China Scholarship Council currently hosting one PhD student/fellowship holder

Historic research income since 1992 totals over £13M as PI and Co-I from EPSRC, EU, and a variety of industrial partners.


Research group


Research project(s)

Russell: Surface Enhanced Raman Spectroscopy for the study of the electrode/electrolyte interface

Russell: In situ (operando) structural characterisation of electrocatalysts

Russell: Oxygen electrocatalysis

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Key Publications




CHEM1033 Introduction to Physical Chemistry I: The semester 1 core physical chemistry course for year 1 students on chemistry degree programmes. I coordinate the module, give lectures on equilibria and electrochemistry, covering chapters 7 through 9 of Atkins’ “Elements of Physical Chemistry” and maths support lectures covering topics that start at rearrangement of equations and progress through to differentiation. The lecture materials are supported by homework problems, in class quizzes using Nearpod, and workshops.

CHEM1040 Introduction to Analytical Chemistry: A semester 2 optional module for students in years 1 and 2 of the chemistry degree programmes. I give lectures on separation science and mass spectrometry. These are supported by use of CHROMacademy (see The lectures are supported by workshops and materials are assessed through a group project and presentation.

Southampton Electrochemistry Summer Schools: This is a continuing professional development course given annually in Southampton and periodically overseas (e.g. Xiamen, China in 2009 and 2012, ITT Bombay, India 2011, and Buenos Aires, Argentina 2013) by members of the Electrochemistry group. I give several of the lectures and teach one or two practical (laboratory) sessions.



Professor Andrea E Russell
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number: 29/7003

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