Prof Robert Freer


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Bob Freer is Professor of Ceramics in the School of Materials. His research spans two of the research groups within the School of Materials: Ceramics and Coatings, and Nano and Functional Materials.

Bob graduated in Physics from University of Newcastle and also obtained MSc and PhD from the same institution. Following postdoctoral work at Strathclyde University and Edinburgh University and a Principal Lecturer post North Staffordshire Polytechnic he moved to Manchester in 1986. He obtained DSc from UMIST in 1998 and became Professor of Ceramics in 1998. He was elected a member of the World Academy of Ceramics in 2008 and a Fellow of the European Ceramic Society in 2017

Bob Freer’s research interests lie in microstructure-property relationships in functional ceramics, particularly thermoelectric materials for energy applications and microwave dielectric ceramics for communications applications. A common theme over a number of years has been the role and behaviour of grain boundaries and interfaces, and their impact on functional properties. Recent work on oxide composites including graphene has led to interesting phenomena and enhanced properties. Work with the EPSRC SuperSTEM has enabled investigation and understanding of the materials at the atomic scale.  The group collaborates nationally and internationally with modellers and experimentalists in a range of energy materials.


Verulam Prize and Medal of the Institute of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining 2007

Elected Fellow of the Institute of The Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (F.I.M.M.M)

Elected Member of World Academy of Ceramics, 2008

Elected Fellow of European Ceramic Society, 2017

Areas of expertise

Research Networks and Beacons

Education / academic qualifications

  • 1998 - Doctor of Science UMIST
  • 1978 - Doctor of Philosophy, Physics, Newcastle University
  • 1973 - Master in Science, Geophysics, Newcastle University
  • 1972 - Bachelor of Science, Physics, Newcastle University

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