Dr Luke Townsend

MChem PhD

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Post Doctoral Research Associate


Full contact details

Dr Luke Townsend
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Luke is a Research Associate in the Immobilisation Science Laboratory led by Prof Neil Hyatt. His research will be focussed on exploring materials relevant to the meltdown of Fukushima Daiichi Units 1-3.

Prior to joining the group, Luke was at the University of Manchester where he completed his PhD in Environmental Radiochemistry. Here, Luke investigated how uranium behaved when interacting with sulfide in systems relevant to the geological disposal of radioactive waste.

Following his PhD, Luke won an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellowship for his first postdoctoral role and expanded on his PhD work by investigating how neptunium behaves in similar geodisposal scenarios.


MChem in Chemistry with Industrial Experience (University of Manchester)

PhD in Environmental Radiochemistry (University of Manchester)

Research interests

Luke’s interests lie in investigating how environmental conditions affect systems containing radioactivity. Analysing these systems uses a combination of a variety of laboratory techniques coupled with synchrotron techniques (namely, X-ray Absorption Spectroscopy).


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Media and Public Engagement

Demming, A. (2019). ‘New form of uranium found that could affect nuclear waste disposal plans’, The Guardian, 20 December. In print or available at: https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2019/dec/20/new-form-of-uranium-found-that-could-affect-nuclear-waste-disposal-plans (Accessed: 29 October 2020).

Fryer, T. (2020). ‘Time to bury the radioactive waste issue’, Engineering & Technology Magazine, 20 January. In print or available at: https://eandt.theiet.org/content/articles/2020/01/time-to-bury-the-radioactive-waste-issue/ (Accessed: 29 October 2020).

Gunther, M. (2020). ‘Uranium compound unearths questions on nuclear waste’, Chemistry World, 10 January. In print or available at: https://www.chemistryworld.com/news/uranium-compound-unearths-questions-on-nuclear-waste/4010995.article (Accessed: 29 October 2020).