Case study: Professor Andrew Cooper FRS

University Research Fellow (1999–2006)
Professor of Materials Chemistry, University of Liverpool and Director of Materials Innovation Factory (MIF)

New materials - especially porous organic materials for energy applications - are the key focus of Professor Andrew Cooper’s group at the University of Liverpool. His scientific work and publications have influenced the way other research teams design materials and have garnered hundreds of citations, but Professor Cooper’s career achievements extend beyond the purely scientific.

He joined the University of Liverpool in 1999 as a recipient of the URF, and is now Academic Director at the university’s Materials Innovation Factory, which has around 100 industry researchers and 200 academic researchers. He says this is the single largest industry–university collaboration in chemistry in the UK.

As well as this, Professor Cooper added: ‘I combined the role of Head of Physical Sciences in Liverpool (Chemistry, Maths and Physics, with over 120 academics and over 1,200 students) with growth of my research activity in the period 2007–2011. I still don’t know how I did this.’

Made a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2015, Professor Cooper has received numerous honours and awards including the Macro Group Young Researcher’s Award in 2002 and the Royal Society of Chemistry Corday Morgan Medal in 2009. He has also held a Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit Award, and was listed as one of the world’s ‘Top 100 material scientists’ of the past decade by Thomson Reuters in 2011, 2014 and 2017.

He said of the URF: ‘It allowed me to get started independently at a very early stage in my career.’