dccDr Denis Cumming

Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

Deputy Director Student Support, PGR Progression Tutor, 


Room G18
T: +44 (0)114 2229609
E: d.cumming@sheffield.ac.uk


I received a B. Applied Science (Materials Science) from the University of Queensland, Brisbane, Australia in 2001.

After moving to the UK, I began working with the Imperial College fuel cell spin-out, Ceres Power. During my time at Ceres Power I worked on a range of material problems related to the development of metal-supported intermediate temperature solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). My main interests during this time was the optimisation of existing anode composite structures and the development of new anode materials for SOFCs.

In 2009 I was awarded a PhD from Imperial College, London. My doctoral work was focused on the development and characterisation of novel ceramic anode materials for SOFC. This work also led to other, closely related, research interests in reduction-oxidation (redox) tolerance and sulfur tolerance of metal-ceramic anode materials in SOFC.
In 2010 I joined the electroceramics group in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Sheffield working of the development of novel high Curie temperature piezoelectric materials and processing into multilayer, co-fired actuators.

In 2012 I joined the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering and resumed research on high-temperature solid oxide cells (SOCs) for use in the electrolysis of steam and carbon dioxide for syngas production. I worked as part of the 4CU team and I was involved in the fabrication and in-situ characterisation of operational SOCs using vibrational spectroscopy techniques such as DRIFTS and Raman.

Since December 2014, have been a lecturer in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department, The University of Sheffield.


My current research interest focus on development of stable nano-sctructured materials for improved high temperature electrochemical electrodes and catalysts. This involves materials development as well as techniques to investigate changes in structure and reactivity. Applications for this research are aimed at improvements to fuel cells and electrolysers, electrochemical sensors, gas separators and heterogeneous catalysis. Key areas of interest include:

  • Electrode design development
  • Infiltration
  • Mixed conducting ceramics for functional devices
  • 3D microscopy using advanced tomographic techniques
  • High temperature in-situ spectroscopic and chemical characterisation
  • Electrochemical sensors and separators
  • Carbon measurement and control at high temperature
  • Gas-Solid interactions at high temperature
  • Mesoporous materials for high temperature applications

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