Prof. Anthony J. Ryan, OBE
Pro-vice Chancellor of the Faculty of Science &
Professor of Physical Chemistry
Room: D106, Addison Building
Tel. Assistant: +44-0(114)-22-29761 (Angela Simonite)
Professor Tony Ryan was a student at the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) where awarded a BSc in Polymer Science & Technology (Chemistry) in 1983 and a PhD in 1988. From 1985 to 1988 he was a Lecturer in Polymer Science & Technology at UMIST. He held a NATO Research Fellowship at the University of Minnesota in 1988 and 1989. In 1990 he returned to UMIST to be a Lecturer in Polymer Science & Technology in the Materials Science Department and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 1994 and Reader in 1995. From 1993 to 1997 he was seconded half-time to the Synchrotron Radiation Source at Daresbury. In 1997 he moved to Sheffield to be The Professor of Physical Chemistry. From 1999-2004 he was the Head of the Department of Chemistry, from 2000-2008 Director of the Polymer Centre 2000-2008, and in the period 2002-2008 The ICI Professor of Physical Chemistry. In 2008 he became the Pro Vice Chancellor for the Faculty of Science at the University of Sheffield.
The Plastics and Rubber Institute Silver Medal 1990; The Akzo Chemical Award 1990; Royal Society of Chemistry Thermal Methods Group Award 1992; The Morand Lambla Award of the Polymer Processing Society 1999; The Beilby Medal and Prize of the Royal Society of Chemistry 1999; Royal Society of Chemistry Environmentally Friendly Polymers Award 2003; Officer of the British Empire, OBE, for “services to science” 2006; Ellison-Cliffe Medal & Lecture, Royal Medical Society 2007; Maitland Medal & Lecture, Institute of Structural Engineers 2008; Gold Medal of the Society of Dyers and Colourists 2008; MacroGroup UK Medal, RSC/SCI/IoP 2009; RSC Materials Division Schools Lecturer 2011.
Polymer Nanotechnology (synthesis, processing, self-assembly, structure-property relations),
Public engagement in science and technology.
- Using Multimodal Blends to Elucidate the Mechanism of Flow-Induced Crystallization in Polymers, Masayuki Okura, Pierre Chambon, Oleksandr O. Mykhaylyk, J. Patrick A. Fairclough and Anthony J. Ryan, Journal of Polymer Science Part B-Polymer Physics 2011, 49, 621-628.
- A Phase Diagram of the P3HT:PCBM Organic Photovoltaic System: Implications for Device Processing and Performance, Paul E. Hopkinson, Paul A. Staniec, Andrew J. Pearson, Alan D. F. Dunbar, Tao Wang, Anthony J. Ryan, Richard A. L. Jones, David G. Lidzey and Athene M. Donald, Macromolecules 2011, 44, 2908-2917.
- Self-assembly of double hydrophilic block copolymers in concentrated aqueous solution, Adam Blanazs, Nicholas J. Warren, Andrew L. Lewis, Steven P. Armes and Anthony J. Ryan, Soft Matter 2011, 7, 6399-6403.
- Controlling Polymersome Surface Topology at the Nanoscale by Membrane Confined Polymer/Polymer Phase Separation, Caterina LoPresti, Marzia Massignani, Christine Fernyhough, Adam Blanazs, Anthony J. Ryan, Jeppe Madsen, Nicholas J. Warren, Steven P. Armes, Andrew L. Lewis, Somyot Chirasatitsin, Adam J. Engler and Giuseppe Battaglia, Acs Nano 2011, 5, 1775-1784.
- Development of a 3D Human In Vitro Skin Co-Culture Model for Detecting Irritants in Real-Time, I. Canton, D. M. Cole, E. H. Kemp, P. F. Watson, J. Chunthapong, A. J. Ryan, S. MacNeil and J. W. Haycock, Biotechnol. Bioeng. 2010, 106, 794-803.
- Effect of the Hofmeister Anions upon the Swelling of a Self-Assembled pH-Responsive Hydrogel, J. M. G. Swann, W. Bras, P. D. Topham, J. R. Howse and A. J. Ryan, Langmuir 2010, 26, 10191-10197.
- Control of Structural Morphology in Shear-Induced Crystallization of Polymers, O. O. Mykhaylyk, P. Chambon, C. Impradice, J. P. A. Fairclough, N. J. Terrill and A. J. Ryan, Macromolecules 2010, 43, 2389-2405.
- Quantifying hydrogel response using laser light scattering, J. M. G. Swann, W. Bras, J. R. Howse, P. D. Topham and A. J. Ryan, Soft Matter 2010, 6, 743-749.
- Templated formation of giant polymer vesicles with controlled size distributions, J. R. Howse, R. A. L. Jones, G. Battaglia, R. E. Ducker, G. J. Leggett and A. J. Ryan, Nat Mater 2009, 8, 507-511.
The common theme in my research is phase transitions in polymers. Most recently we have used the knowledge of the thermodynamics and kinetics of phase behaviour in polymer blends and block copolymers to develop new processing methods based on self-assembly. This has led to the development of the new field of Soft Nanotechnology where synthetic and natural macromolecules are harnessed in a way that makes use of their intrinsic flexibility and susceptibility to Brownian motion to generate work from changes on molecular conformation. Developments in polymers responsive to their environment have lead to research into molecular machines, specifically the fabrication of molecular valves and motors.
We do polymer synthesis in order to have well defined systems to study. The dynamics of phase behaviour are studied by calorimetry, spectroscopy, rheology, microscopy and light, X-ray or neutron scattering. A full suite of microstructural analysis (atomic force, optical and electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction and mechanical testing) is used to confirm the dynamic experiments and where appropriate computer modelling is also used.
My main contribution to the field has been the development and application of the techniques of time-resolved structural tools to polymers. This work was the subject of prizes in 1990 by the Plastics and Rubber Institute, in 1992, 1999 and 2003 from the Royal Society of Chemistry and in 1999 from the Polymer Processing Society.
I have been active in promulgating the public understanding of science since my graduate student days. This culminated in my appointment as the Royal Institution Christmas Lecturer for 2002 where my theme was the science and technology of everyday things. The lectures were seen on Channel 4 by 4.5 million viewers and have also been broadcast in Europe, Japan and Korea. I was also the 1st EPSRC Senior Media Fellow to allow me to combine world-class research and popular understanding of the impact of science and technology on society. I was awarded an OBE in 2005 for "services to science".
Undergraduate Courses Taught
- CHM2304.3: Equilibria
The aim of this course is to apply the laws of thermodynamics to phase equilibria.
- CHM2304.5: Equilibrium and Electrochemistry
The aim of this segment is to develop an understanding of chemical equilibrium, the formation of electrochemical potentials and their exploitation for practical applications.