Professor Rachel Evans

Fellow, Director of Studies in Natural Sciences (Materials Science Parts IB, II and III)
University Positions
Professor of Materials Chemistry
Specialising in
Materials Science, Materials Chemistry.

Rachel’s main research area is the design of functional materials which absorb, produce or respond to light.

Academic interests

Rachel’s academic interests include: 

  • Light-emitting materials
  • Luminescent spectral converters and solar devices
  • Optical sensors
  • Polymers, surfactants and colloids
  • Stimuli-responsive materials
  • Small angle neutron and X-ray scattering.

Degrees obtained

  • MChem, Swansea (2002).
  • PhD, Swansea (2007).

Awards and prizes

  • ERC Consolidator Grant (ERC-CoG-2018) - SPECTRACON: Materials Engineering of Integrated Hybrid Spectral Converters for Next Generation Luminescent Solar Devices.
  • Fellow, Royal Society of Chemistry, 2018.
  • Fellow, Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy, 2018.
  • RSC/SCI Macro Group UK Young Researchers Medal 2017.
  • Dillwyn Medal for STEMM, awarded by the Learned Society of Wales, 2017.
  • Young Leader of the Year, Irish Lab Awards, 2014.
  • Harry Hallam prize for Physical/Inorganic Chemistry, 2008.
  • Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Ronald Belcher Memorial Lectureship, 2007.


Rachel undertook her undergraduate studies in Chemistry in Swansea University. She then worked in the chemical industry in Switzerland for a year, before returning to Swansea to undertake her PhD studies in the photophysics of light-emitting materials for displays and sensors. During her PhD, she spent one year at the University of Aveiro, Portugal, as a Marie Curie training fellow.

In 2007, Rachel moved to France to undertake a brief Marie Curie postdoctoral at the Université Paris-Sud, France, using fluorescence and scattering methods to study soft materials. She returned to Portugal in 2008 with an independent FCT postdoctoral fellowship jointly between the Universities of Coimbra and Aveiro.

In 2009, she cut this fellowship short to take up a contract lectureship at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland. She was appointed the Ussher Assistant Professor of Device Fabrication in 2011, elected to Fellowship in 2015 and promoted to Associate Professor in 2016. She moved to the Department of Materials Science and Metallurgy at the University of Cambridge in 2017.

Rachel is the Chair of the Royal Society of Chemistry Photophysics and Photochemistry group and sits on the Eastern regional and Member Networks committees. She serves as an Editorial Board member of Materials Chemistry Today. She co-founded and is Chief Scientific Officer of Senoptica Technologies Ltd, which was launched in 2018 to commercialise an optical sensor technology developed in her laboratory.

Other interests

Surfing, standup paddleboarding, urban gardening and cooking.

Publications, links and resources

A full list of Rachel’s publications can be found on Google Scholar or ResearchGate.

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