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School of Computing Science and Engineering

Dr John Proctor

Senior Lecturer


I have spent virtually my entire academic career working in the field of high pressure research.  I studied for my Ph.D. (high-pressure Raman spectroscopy of single-walled carbon nanotubes) at the University of Manchester from 2004 – 2007, then spent 4 years working as a postdoctoral research fellow at the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions at the University of Edinburgh.  Here, I focussed primarily on the synthesis of novel hydrides, on producing the first ever study of graphene at high pressure, and on performing phase diagram studies at multimegabar pressures.  I was appointed to my first permanent academic position at the University of Hull in 2011 and moved to my present position at the University of Salford in 2013.

Since my appointment at the University of Hull in 2011 I have established an independent research program and a high national and international profile in the field.  I have obtained external research grant and contract income to the value of over £60k from a variety of sources, and have been awarded a number of beamtimes at synchrotron light sources such as the Diamond Light Source and ESRF.


3rd year Nuclear Physics (part of nuclear and particle physics module)

3rd year Graphene, Fullerenes and Nanotubes (part of photonics and nanotechnology module)

Supervision of B.Sc. and M.Phys. projects.  Please contact me if you are interested in doing your B.Sc. or M.Phys. project under my supervision.  As well as the specific projects which I offer, I am prepared to consider supervising students who would like to design their own project.

Research Interests

My research focusses on the behaviour of materials at high pressure and temperature, and the use of high pressure and temperature to synthesize new materials.  High pressure research has a diverse range of scientific applications: Using high pressure and high/low temperature it is possible to test the mechanical properties of industrially important materials, recreate the conditions found in planetary interiors, recreate the conditions found in explosions and impacts, test key concepts in condensed matter physics and synthesize new materials.

In my own work, I focus on studying nanomaterials, superhard materials and simple molecular materials, and on synthesizing novel hydrides. Experimentally, I use a variety of techniques to study materials both in-situ at high pressure and following recovery from pressure-treatment but focus primarily on Raman spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction.  Raman spectroscopy is performed in-house here in Salford, and I regularly travel to synchrotron light sources to perform X-ray diffraction.

I have a substantial track record of publications, international conference presentations and research grant income in the field, maintain a number of active collaborations with other institutes both in the UK and internationally, and am also secretary of the recently formed Shock Waves and Extreme Conditions (SWEC) Institute of Physics group

Qualifications and Memberships