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.