Role: Associate Provost
Partner: Imperial College London
Neil Alford received his BSc from St Andrews University and spent three years working in south east Asia and South America in the Oil Exploration Industry. He returned to the UK to carry out his PhD at Queen Mary College in the area of fracture mechanics of cement mortars.
He carried out post-doctoral work at Oxford University in collaboration with ICI developing high strength cement. He joined ICI Corporate Laboratory in 1981 and was involved with projects concerning macro defect-free cement, viscous processing of ceramics and the properties of perovskite ceramics, specifically High Temperature Superconductors (HTS).
The application of HTS to microwave devices was a major area and part of this activity has been now transferred to industry for cellular communications. He joined London South Bank University in 1994 and developed HTS Magnetic resonance receive coils, microwave dielectrics, novel signal transformers and ferroelectric thin films. Recent work on microwave dielectric materials has resulted in the development of ultra-low loss alumina resonators and an understanding of the defect chemistry of TiO2 which has allowed the production of very high Q and high dielectric constant materials. This technology has been patented and transferred to industry.
Current activity is in the area of ferroelectric and multiferroic thin films deposited by pulsed laser ablation, energy materials and in new very high Q structures. His recent work has led to the first development of a room temperature, earth’s field MASER.
In 2013 he was awarded the MBE for services to engineering. He has over 250 journal publications and is the author of 21 patents. He is currently Associate Provost (Academic Planning) at Imperial College London.