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Fellows Directory

Derek Fray

Professor Derek Fray FREng FRS


Elected: 2008


Derek Fray is a materials scientist who has mainly researched the chemistry of solid electrolytes and their use in sensors, and the applications of molten salts. Derek was the main inventor of the FFC Cambridge process for the direct electrochemical reduction of metal oxides to metals and alloys. He has published more than 450 papers and is cited as an inventor on 350 published patents. Several of these patents have been licenced to university spin-out companies of which he is a founding Director, including Metalysis, EMC, Camfridge, Chinuka and InotecAMD.

Recently, Derek’s group has been examining the use of molten salts in the preparation of carbon nanostructures, including nanoparticles, nanoscrolls and graphene. These are being investigated for use in lithium-ion batteries and as a means of converting graphite into industrial diamonds.

Derek has received a number of awards and honours throughout his career, including the Royal Society Armourers & Brasiers’ Medal, the FEMS Materials Innovation Prize and Medal, the IOM3 Gold Medal and Futers Gold Medal, and the US Electrochemistry Society’s Max Bredig Award.

Professional positions

Emeritus Professor of Materials Chemistry, University of Cambridge
Director, Camfridge
Director, EMC Ltd

Interests and expertise

Subject groups


Carbon, Extractive Metallurgy, Molten Salts, Sensors, Technology Transfer


  • Royal Society Armourers & Brasiers' Company Prize

    In recognition of his outstanding contribution to work in the fields of extractive metallurgy and materials chemistry, in particular for his leading role in the development of the FCC process for the reduction of titanium and other metals from their oxides, and for his promotion of links with industry and other organisations interested in its exploitation.