Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Emeritus Professor



+44 (0)20 7594 6780alan.atkinson




214Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Alan Atkinson joined the Department of Materials in 1995 from AEA Technology (Harwell) where he was head of Materials Chemistry Department. After graduating from Cambridge he studied the electronic properties of metals for his PhD at Leeds University. He then investigated the processing of silicon nitride ceramics before moving to Harwell in 1975. There his research interests included: mass transport in ceramics (particularly at grain boundaries); high temperature corrosion; sol-gel processing of ceramics; cements and concrete for the disposal of radioactive waste; catalysts and adsorbents for environmental pollution abatement; and the mechanical properties of thin films.

His current research topics include solid oxide fuel cells, mechanical properties of films and coatings and ceramic processing. He is a Fellow of the American Ceramic Society, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and the Institute of Physics, and is a Chartered Engineer and a Chartered Physicist. He was awarded the Carl Wagner Prize in 1983 for work on high temperature corrosion and the Kroll Medal and Prize for Materials Chemistry in 2000. He is a co-founder of the fuel cell company Ceres Power Ltd,  has published over 250 papers in scientific journals and books, and was a member of the General Engineering Panel for RAE2008. He is a member of the Scientific Committee of the EU Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking and sub-editor of the journal 'Fuel Cells'.

Selected Publications

Journal Articles

Wang X, Atkinson A, 2011, Microstructure evolution in thin zirconia films: Experimental observation and modelling, Acta Materialia, Vol:59, ISSN:1359-6454, Pages:2514-2525

Wang X, Lee G, Atkinson A, 2009, Investigation of TBCs on turbine blades by photoluminescence piezospectroscopy, Acta Materialia, Vol:57, ISSN:1359-6454, Pages:182-195

Offer GJ, Shearing P, Golbert JI, et al., 2008, Using electrochemical impedance spectroscopy to compensate for errors when measuring polarisation curves during three-electrode measurements of solid oxide fuel cell electrodes, Electrochimica Acta, Vol:53, ISSN:0013-4686, Pages:7614-7621

Sarantaridis D, Chater RJ, Atkinson A, 2008, Changes in physical and mechanical properties of SOFCNi-YSZ composites caused by redox cycling, Journal of the Electrochemical Society, Vol:155, ISSN:0013-4651, Pages:B467-B472

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