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Academic Biography

Meez Islam is a Professor in Physical Chemistry in the School of Science and Engineering. Before coming to Teesside he obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from the University of Oxford and his PhD in chemistry from the University of Birmingham under the supervision of Professor Ian Smith FRS. Following this, he undertook two postdoctoral research fellowships, firstly working in the research group of Professor Richard Wayne at the University of Oxford followed by another spell back in the research group of Professor Ian Smith.

Meez's research interests lie in the development and application of novel optical spectroscopy techniques. At Teesside he has utilised his expertise in interdisciplinary projects in areas ranging from liquid phase analytical spectroscopy, to forensic science, archaeology and catalysis.

He has developed collaborations with internationally renowned spectroscopy groups including Professor Gus Hancock and Professor Grant Ritchie at the Department of Chemistry, University of Oxford and Professor Clemens Kaminski at the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of Cambridge. His research in forensic science is partly in collaboration with the Home Office, Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST).

Meez has been an expert reviewer for EU national grants and numerous peer reviewed journals, including Analytical Chemistry, Analyst and Sensors and Actuators B. He has received funding from the EU as the coordinator of the EU FP7 project CE-microArray, Innovate UK through an SBRI call for Forensic Science and the Technology Strategy Board (UK) through the Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme for research work with Johnson Matthey Plc. He is the holder of 2 patents related to cavity enhanced spectroscopy. Two spin-out companies (Anasyst and Chemicam) have so far arisen from his research work.

Summary of Research Interests

1. The development and application of liquid phase broadband cavity enhanced absorption spectroscopy (BBCEAS)

At Teesside we have performed some of the pioneering experiments in this field, including the first demonstration of LED based BBCEAS in liquids, the first application of CEAS as a detector for HPLC and the most sensitive liquid phase absorption measurement to date. We are striving to improve the robustness and sensitivity of the technique and also increase its applicability to analytical and bio-analytical measurement.

2. The application of hyperspectral imaging for the non-destructive detection and age estimation of blood stains

At Teesside we have developed a novel means of using hyperspectral imaging to detect blood stains in the presence of other similarly coloured objects in a non-contact and non-destructive manner. In addition we are able to estimate the age of the blood stain. We are currently working with forensic end users to produce a robust commercial instrument which could be used at the crime scene or the laboratory. This technique also has the potential to be applied for the detection of other bodily fluids and also other substances of forensic interest.

3. The investigation of the chemical composition of fingerprints

In collaboration with the Home Office, Centre for Applied Science and Technology (CAST) we are investigating the change in the chemical composition of fingerprints as a function of time using a variety of analytical techniques with a view to estimating the age of a fingerprint. Furthermore we are studying the effectiveness of fingerprint enhancement processes on certain substrates.

Meez would welcome enquires from prospective PhD students in areas related to the development and application of optical spectroscopy. He has so far successfully supervised eight PhD students to completion, six as Director of Studies and two as 2nd or 3rd supervisor. He is currently involved in the supervision of ten PhD students, six as the Director of Studies and four as 2nd or 3rd supervisor.

Enterprise Interest and Activities

Meez would welcome enquires from companies which require expertise related to making measurements using optical spectroscopy.

He has previously worked with Johnson Matthey through a CIP and then a KTP project funded by the TSB and is currently working with Lucite International on collaborative research.

Meez is currently Chief Technical Officer for Anasyst a start-up company that arose from collaborative work with colleague Professor Zulfiqur Ali. Anasyst is focussed on commercialising Cavity Enhanced Absorption Spectroscopy for liquid based sensing, optical ammonia sensing and microfluidics based point-of-care diagnostics.


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