Professor Ian Thompson
Fellow by Special Election in Engineering
Ian Thompson trained as an environmental microbiologist at the University of Essex and after Research Assistant posts in the Universities of East Anglia and Kent moved to Oxford in 1989. Until 2007 he was Head of Environmental Biotechnology at the NERC Centre for Ecology & Hydrology (CEH), Oxford. In 2007 he was seconded to the University Begbroke Directorate where he has established his current research laboratory. In 2008 he was made Professor of Engineering Science, Department of Engineering Science and NERC CEH Fellow.
The move to the Department of Engineering Science reflects the shift in his research interests from studies of human impact on exposed microbial communities, in the environment, to exploiting them for solving key global problems such as provision of sustainable energy, clean water and resource recycling. A particular focus of his current research is exploiting nanomaterial-microbial cell interactions in the context of killing and controlling problematic microbial populations and water purification. His research is very cross-disciplinary in nature and he has close collaborative links with colleagues in Departments of Materials, Chemistry and Plant Sciences. He sits on various Research Council committees and the editorial board of several international peer reviewed journals. He has very close links with the commercial sector including a spin-out company he co-founded which specialises in treatment of engineering workshop waste waters and resource recovery.