Imperial College London


Faculty of EngineeringDepartment of Materials

Professor of Materials



+44 (0)20 7594 6724n.alford




Miss Catherine Graham +44 (0)20 7594 3330




2..05 (in RSM)Royal School of MinesSouth Kensington Campus





Neil Alford received his BSc from St Andrews University and spent three years working in SE Asia and S America in the Oil Exploration Industry.  He returned to the UK to carry out his PhD at Queen Mary College in the area of fracture mechanics of cement mortars. He carried out post doctoral work at Oxford University in collaboration with ICI developing high strength cement. He joined ICI Corporate Laboratory in 1981 and was involved with projects concerning macro defect free cement, viscous processing of ceramics and the properties of perovskite ceramics, specifically High Temperature Superconductors (HTS). The application of HTS to microwave devices was a major area and part of this activity has been now transferred to industry for cellular communications. He joined London South Bank University in 1994 and developed HTS Magnetic resonance receive coils, microwave dielectrics, novel signal transformers and ferroelectric thin films. Recent work on microwave dielectric materials has resulted in the development of ultra low loss alumina resonators and an understanding of the defect chemistry of TiO2 which has allowed the production of very high Q and high dielectric constant materials. This technology has been patented and transferred to industry.

Technology transfer is a key component of the work undertaken by his group and collaborations with industry are encouraged and actively pursued. He is a member of the Electrical Engineering RAE panel, sits on the Advisory Board of Cambridge Massachusetts Institute, the Advisory Board, Antenova Ltd, a member of the DTI Working Group for the Quantum Metrology Programme at NPL and he is a consultant on technical programmes for the Gatsby Charitable Foundation. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a fellow of the Institution of Engineering and Technology. He is an associate editor for the Journal of the American Ceramic Society. He has over 200 journal publications and is the author of 21 patents. In January 2007 he and his research group moved to Imperial College London.

Guest Lectures

“The Hume Rothery Lecture”, Oxford University, Oxford, 2009

Research Staff


Research Student Supervision

Yousefi,M, Zinc Oxide Thin Films