Peter Lovell graduated from UMIST with a BSc in Polymer Science and Technology (Chemistry) in 1977 and a PhD on the Synthesis of Poly(Arylene Sulphide)s in 1981. After three years leading the Polymer Science Research at Ilford Ltd., he returned to UMIST as a Lecturer. Following promotions to Senior Lecturer (1993) and Reader (1996), he was awarded a Personal Chair in Polymer Science (1999). In the years leading up to merger of the universities, he had an active role in the management of UMIST, where he was instrumental in developing the Foundation Studies activity (1999-2004) and was Dean of Teaching and Learning (2002-4). He was the founding Chairman of the UK Polymer Colloids Forum and was Chairman of Macro Group UK from 2004-2007, after which he was Chairman of the organising committee for Macro2010, the biennial IUPAC World Polymer Congress. Peter retired in October 2016, but remains active and contributes to teaching at international short courses on emulsion polymerisation and related topics.
Peter's research interests have the underlying theme of controlling polymer structure and morphology in order to manipulate polymer properties. Studies of correlations between polymerisation process/conditions and the structure and molecular properties of the polymers produced have underpinned the research, most of which is concerned with materials of industrial importance and carried out in close collaboration with industry. Emulsion and miniemulsion polymerisation have featured prominently, with a focus on (i) control of branching and grafting, (ii) control of multi-phase particle morphology; (iii) developing and understanding crosslinking chemistry, (iv) living radical miniemulsion polymerisation, (v) functional latex particles, and (vi) water-borne pressure-sensitive adhesives.