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The University of Southampton

Professor Derek Pletcher 

Emeritus Professor

Professor Derek Pletcher's photo

Professor Derek Pletcher is Emeritus Professor within Chemistry at the University of Southampton.

Derek Pletcher was born in North London and studied Chemistry at the University of Sheffield, receiving a BSc in 1964 and a PhD in 1967. After graduation, he immediately joined the Electrochemistry Group in the School of Chemistry in Southampton and has remained there since. He was promoted to a Chair in 1993 and became a Professor Emeritus in October 2008. His research interests extend from fundamental electrochemistry, through electrochemical engineering to the industrial applications of electrolysis (electrosynthesis, gas sensors, fuel cells, batteries, metal deposition and effluent treatment). He is the author of ~ 340 technical papers in International Journals and ~ 30 reviews and has supervised the training of > 90 postgraduate students. He has presented papers at International Meetings throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, South Africa etc.

In 2010, Derek was awarded the prestigious Vittorio de Nora Medal by the US Electrochemical Society for his work related to the applications of electrochemistry. Earlier he had been elected to a Fellowship of the Electrochemical Society (2005) and awarded their Henry Linford Medal for Teaching Excellence in Electrochemistry (2006). Derek was also the recipient of the 2013 Castner Medal awarded by the Society for Chemical Industry. He is a past Editor of the Journal of Applied Electrochemistry (1980 – 85) and presently serves on the Editorial Boards of Electrochimica Acta and Electrochemical Communications. He has been an active Consultant to Companies throughout Europe and N. America who are developing electrochemical technology. He has also been responsible for the development of short courses for more mature scientists/engineers including the Southampton Summerschool, Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry, attended by > 1000 scientists/engineers since its initiation in 1969. Courses on aspects of fundamental and applied electrochemistry have been mounted in North America and Europe as well as Venezuela, Pakistan and South Africa as well as within Companies.

His books, A First Course in Electrode Processes (1991,2009 and 2013) and Industrial Electrochemistry (1984 and 1990) have introduced many scientists and engineers to electrochemistry and its applications while Instrumental Methods in Electrochemistry (1984 and later editions) has become a reference text for voltammetry and related techniques. He is also the author of A First Couse in Ion Permeable Membranes (1997) and Editor to a number of books.

Research Keywords

Electrochemical technology, electrocatalysis, fuel cells, flow batteries, water & effluent treatment, corrosion

Research interests

Electron transfer at surfaces is a way to initiate chemical change that may be harnessed for good in a host of applications (the manufacture of chemicals, improving and protecting the environment, recycling of chemicals and materials, water purification, the manufacture of electronics and engineering components, surface finishing, batteries and fuel cells, sensors etc). Understanding electron transfer is also central to controlling the rate of wet corrosion. In addition, voltammetric and related techniques provide opportunities to gain a greater understanding of many physical, chemical and biochemical systems. Hence, there are many reasons to be interested in electrochemistry. Present research activities include:

  • Batteries for large scale energy storage
  • Bifunctional oxygen catalysts
  • Microflow cells for organic electrosynthesis
  • Effluent water treatment

Research group


Research project(s)

Pletcher: Batteries for large scale energy storage

Pletcher: Electrocatalysis and Fuel Cells

Pletcher: Effluent and Water Treatment

Garcia-Araez: A new method of lithium production and recycling

Professor Derek Pletcher
Chemistry University of Southampton Highfield Southampton SO17 1BJ

Room Number : 29/6023

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