Dr Richard Singer

About

I was inspired to make chemistry my career during my BSc at UEA.  Subsequently I undertook a PhD exploring the interactions of metal atoms trapped in inert low temperature solids.  I then spent 18 months at the Air Chemistry Division of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, researching stratospheric  kinetics and photo chemistry.  Returning to the UK I was a BP Venture-Research-Fellow at the University of Cambridge, working with Professor Peter Edwards FRS, testing the theoretical hypothesis that atoms, even in highly symmetric environments may spontaneously become dipolar.  I joined Kingston Polytechnic in 1992 as a senior lecturer in physical chemistry, teaching widely across the  subject.  My teaching interests are kinetics, surface chemistry, computational chemistry and spectroscopy.  Since joining Kingston University I have developed research interests in materials chemistry, principally studying organic/inorganic hybrid materials for a variety of electronic applications.  I am currently the head of the department of chemical and pharmaceuitcal sciences and have overseen a number of changes to the structure of the school and faculty during that time.   I have maintained some research activity in spite of the demands of my role and have developed an interest in computational chemistry which has allowed me to collaborate with colleagues on a variety of projects.  Most recently I have been involved with a project led by Dr Gemma Shearman in which we use muon spin resonance to study the interactions of small molecules with membrane materials.

Academic responsibilities

Head of Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Qualifications

  • BSc (Hons) Chemistry 1st Class
  • PhD

Teaching and learning

I am an associate professor of physical chemistry and over the years I have developed a wide teaching portfolio. This has encompassed most of the traditional areas of physical chemistry (with the notable exception of electrochemistry), but I have also taught extensively in pharmaceutical science and pharmacy within the broad area of pharmaceutics - which  could be thought of as a specialised part of applied physical chemistry.

I have developed an interest on computational chemistry and molecular modelling and had sought to embed this important branch of chemistry across the courses at Kingston. I occasionally assist colleagues with computational aspects of their research projects.

Qualifications and expertise

  • BSc Chemistry (1st Class) University of East Anglia
  • PhD Chemistry University of East Anglia

Undergraduate courses taught

Postgraduate courses taught

Research

My current research interests are in materials chemistry.  I am currently working on the synthesis and characterisation of organic - inorganic hybrid materials for a variety of electronic applications such as electronic devices or photo-voltaic applications such as solar energy conversion.   Current projects involve intercalation of small conducting polymer precursor molecules within the layers of inorganic host materials such as vanadium pentoxide or molybdenum trioxide.  The aim is to polymerise the monomers in situ between the layers of the host in order to impart order on the resulting organic conducting polymer structure.  Such hybrid materials have useful properties, enhanced thermal and chemical stability potential use in a wide variety of applications including those mentioned above.  I also have an interest in the application of computational chemistry and have collaborated on a number of projects using computational tools to investigate a variety of chemical problems.  Most recently I have worked with my colleagues Dr Gemma Shearman and Dr Joe Bear investigating the interactions of lipid phases with drug molecules using muon spin resonance avoided level crossing spectroscopy at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory.

Publications

Leadership and management

I am currently Head of the Department of Chemical and Pharmaceutical Sciences, which has around 25 highly talented members of academic staff covering a range of  disciplines including pharmacology, forensic science, pharmaceutical science and chemistry.  I have overseen the design and assisted with the implementation of the new STEM laboratories which gave students state of the art laboratory spaces with integrated IT facilities to work in.  This has allowed the development of new ways of working such as electronic lab books and instant feedback and assessment of practical work.