Peter Hugh Middleton, born Nottingham, UK in 1956, called by middle name “Hugh”
I became interested in Science around the age of 15 when I had my own lab in my grandfather’s outhouse- in those days you got chemical from the local Apotek – for free! Set up my own coal distillation plant and made the usual things!
I naturally went on to study Chemistry at Newcastle University (UK), graduating Bachelor (BSc) in 1978. Back in those day Newcastle had one of the largest chemical faculties in the country-serving the enormous chemical industry in the North East of England, such as ICI, BP, Glaxo, etc.
I then continued with a PhD at Newcastle in the field of Electrochemistry, studying organic electrode processes – graduation with PhD in 1983. Working with mercury pool electrodes and liquid ammonia at -40 °C– in the same apparatus was quite a challenge – anyone else seen frozen mercury? –forms beautiful crystals!
Then I became a Postdoc at Manchester University (UK), in the “Corrosion and Protection Centre”, developing high pressure corrosion test apparatus- tested the first “Solartron 1286 electrochemical Impedance amplifier “- Lived next to Man City so got front row seats!
Afterward in 1984, I moved to London to start a long career at Imperial College as a Research Fellow. Initially in the Chemistry Department, then in the Materials Department and also the Chemical Engineering Department. I also held a visiting academic position at UCL. While at Imperial, I started in the field of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC) and electrochemical reactors. We did a lot of ground-breaking stuff in those days- all taken for granted now.
In addition to academic work, I also held consultancy positions is several companies including BNFL (British Nuclear Fuels Ltd), where I was working on the alternative uses of uranium oxide for fuel cells. Yes, I handled nuke materials!
I wrote software for Matelect Ltd, an SME based in London making high-end electronic instrumentation for materials testing. This was a wonderful time – learning to program from scratch and still a skill I use today. It has to be said that DOS was so much better that Windows!
In 2003, I worked for a while in Japan forTrekion Co Ltd (Kyoto, Japan), who make Lithium Ion batteries. Great to handle Lithium metal with all the kit on.
In 2004, I moved to Norway as a Professor at HiA which became the University of Agder in 2007. My mission was to build up competence in fuel cells and hydrogen technologies, within the Renewable Energy Group and the newly created Energy Materials Group. This has expanded a huge amount in recent years and we are providing a much-needed service in the south of Norway.
One area that is gathering momentum now is the application of thermoelectric generators for harvesting waste heat in the process industry - with strong links with ELKEM and other local companies in the area close to UiA.
I have held an honorary visiting academic position at EPFL (École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne),Switzerland for many years and am currently on sabbatical at EPFL in Sion where I am working with Prof. Jan Van herle in his group on energy materials (GEM)
Bachelor course in Fuel Cell Technology
Masters courses in Renewable Energy and Fuel cells
PhD course in Materials Testing
Bachelor course in Thermoelectric Materials
Occasional course in Corrosion to support local industry
Main method of teaching-
Project based teaching with hands-on lab experience
Stralsund Spring School, at the Hochschule, Stralsund, Germany
Associated partner in TeachHY an EU sponsored program on Hydrogen Technologies
Hobbies and Interests
Guitar playing and music, drawing and painting, pottery and ceramics, house restoration and brick laying, car mechanics, snowboarding and ice skating…oh and of course homemade beer and cats.
Publications: 50 or so articles, 2 patents
Most cited paper –
Ammonia as a Fuel in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells – Journal of Power Sources, volume 118, p 342-348, May 25 (2003)
Comprehensive Renewable Energy – volume 4, chapter 2, Alkaline Fuel Cells – Theory and Application, Elsevier, May 2012, ISBN: 9780080878720
This 8-volume work received the PROSE Award 2012 from the American Association of Publishers
Most significant discoveries–
Electrochemical control of stearic reactions with acyclic vicinal dibromides
Use of Lanthanum Chromite as a catalytic anode in fuel cells
Ammonia as a fuel in Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFC)
Platinum replacement catalysts based on conducting ceramic composites
Novel Direct Ethanol Fuel Cell with near theoretical EMF and operating voltage
Other significant achievements -
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell stack concept
Alkaline Fuel Cell stack development
Start of a new research group in the field of Thermoelectric materials. This has resulted in 1 PhD project completed, 5 peer reviewed articles, and 1 Postdoc position. This is now a major part of the UiA Faculty Research Strategy and is expanding into waste heat recovery with collaboration from local industry partners including ELKEM and GLENCORE. We currently have a new PhD project to continue the work.
Novel method for making Titanium metal, resulting in a high-profile contract with the European Space agency (ESA)– called the LEKKER process.
Novel apparatus for testing materials properties with 1-micron positional accuracy.
Recently completed PhD Fellows
1) Fabrice Bidault – graduated ICL, 2010
2) Zhonglin Jiang – graduated UiO, 2011
3) Espen Dahl – Graduated Aarhus, 2012
4) Trine Tønnessen – Graduated UiO, 2012
5) Gunstein Skømedal- Graduated UiA 2016
Current Research Fellow
Antoine de Padoue Shyikira
Research Funds and Projects successfully completed
2004 - 2005 Elkem Research – 50% contracted research time for 1 year for Hugh Middleton at HiA
2005 - 2009 BIP funded PhD project with Elkem Research and HiA, Total funding to HiA - 3 M NOK over 3 years
2007 - 2010 NODE-ART project – 600 hours contracted time used by Hugh Middleton at HiA/UiA
2010 - 2013 Norsk Titanium Technology (NTiT) BIA funded project – 1.2 M NOK to UiA
2012 - 2013 TEGma – thermoelectric project – NFR funded Energi-X pre-project – 300 k NOK to UiA
2012 - 2015 RoxSolidCell – EUROSTARS, EU initiated, funded by NFR – 453,469 euro over 3 years
2013 - 2016 European Space Agency (ESA) THERMOMAG project -90,000 euro over 3 years
2014 - 2017 Thermomat 2 project NFR funded Energi-X full project -1,3 M NOK over 3 years
2015 - 2018 European Space Agency –LEKKER project 2M NOK over 3 years- senior researcher
Currently active projects
2014 - 2018 THELMA project – 100% funding by NFR - 2.4 M NOK over 2 years – postdoc
2017 - 2019 TESIL project – 100% funded by NFR with ELKEM as coordinator and lead partner
Last changed: 20.02.2019 12:02