Paul D Topham (CChem FRSC SFHEA) is a Full Professor of Polymer Science, Director of the Aston Institute of Materials Research (AIMR) and Deputy Head of Chemical Engineering and Applied Chemistry (CEAC) at Aston University, joining as a Lecturer in 2008. He obtained a Masters in Chemistry (MChem) and PhD in Polymer Science (with Professor Tony Ryan OBE) from the University Of Sheffield, UK, before undertaking a postdoctoral position with Professor Steve Armes FRS and Unilever, also at the University Of Sheffield.

Since his first contribution to science in 2005, he has published 66 research papers (h-index = 22) and 2 invited Wiley book chapters (both as corresponding author). He is the Secretary of the Subcommittee on Polymer Terminology for the International Union of Pure and Applied Chemistry (IUPAC). He was the MacroGroup UK Young Researchers Medal 2014 recipient and is a Visiting Professor of the South China University of Technology, a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (SFHEA), a Member of the Macro Group UK Committee and a member of the Soft Matter Panel for the Diamond Light Source. He will also be on the organising committee of the 14th International Conference on Materials Chemistry (MC14), held at Aston University, UK.

Prof Topham’s research has real world impact – he works closely with industry, developing new polymeric materials for various applications, using x-ray and neutron scattering techniques to characterise them. Selected examples include polymers for the detection of explosive material with the Home Office, the replacement of toxic additives in the rubber industry (primarily used in wet-suits and automotive parts, with local West Midlands company, Robinson Brothers Ltd) and new polymers for the next generation of solar cells (with companies, Merck, Belectric OPV and Heraeus GmbH).