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Dr Eleanor Crabb

Professional biography

I obtained a BSc. in Chemistry at The University of Reading where I stayed to complete a PhD with Professor Robbie Burch in Heterogenous Catalysis. After a brief spell at Reading as a postdoc,  I moved to the Laboratoire de Chimie Organique Physique et Cinetique Chimique Appliquees in Montpellier, France to work with Bernard Coq and Francois Figueras as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow. I then returned to the UK to The Open University, where I have worked in a number of different roles, taking up my current position as a Senior Lecturer in Materials Chemistry in October 2009.

Research interests

My main research interests are in the field of heterogeneous catalysts, in particular catalyst preparation.

Recent projects include:

  • Preparation of mixed oxides as oxygen storage components
  • Development of anode electrocatalysts for direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC)
  • Design of reformate tolerant anode catalysts for the PEMFC
  • CPreparation of supported alloy catalysts for oxygen reduction (cathode) for the PEMFC
  • Preparation of oxide promoted Pt/alumina catalysts for the preferential oxidation of carbon monoxide in a hydrogen rich stream (PROX)
  • Ceria modification of Pt catalysts for the water gas shift reaction
  • Preparation of bimetallic catalysts for selective hydrogenation

Catalysts have been characterised using a number of different techniques including EXAFS studies with Professor Andrea Russell at The University of Southampton.

I am also interested in educational research, particularly in the use of eLearning to support students and in delivering online practical experience.

Recent publications

  1. A. Rose, E.M. Crabb, Y. Qian, M.K. Ravikumar, P. Wells, R.J.K. Wiltshire, J. Yao, R. Bilsborrow, F. Mosslemans and A.E. Russell, "Potential dependence of segregation and surface alloy formation of a Ru modified carbon supported Pt catalyst", Electrochimica Acta, 52 (18) (2007) 5556.
  2. I. Ayub, F.J. Berry, E. Crabb and O. Helgason,  "Titanium-doped gamma-Fe2O3: Reduction and oxidation properties", J. Materials Science, 39 (23) (2004) 6921.
  3. E.M. Crabb, M.K. Ravikumar, D. Thompsett, M. Hurford, A. Rose, A.E. Russell, “Effect of Ru surface composition on the CO tolerance of Ru modified carbon supported Pt catalysts”, Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 6 (2004) 1792.
  4. E.M. Crabb, M.K. Ravikumar, Y. Qian, A.E. Russell, S. Maniguet, J. Yao, D. Thompsett, M. Hurford, S.C. Ball, “Controlled modification of carbon supported platinum electrocatalysts by Mo” , Electrochem. Solid State Letts., 5 (2002) A5.
  5. E.M. Crabb and R. Marshall, "Properties of alumina supported Pd-Fe and Pt-Fe catalysts prepared using surface organometallic chemistry", Appl. Catalysis A: Gen., 217 (1-2) (2001) 41.
  6. E.M. Crabb and M.K. Ravikumar, "Synthesis and characterisation of carbon-supported PtGe electrocatalysts for CO oxidation", Electrochim. Acta, 46 (7) (2001) 1033.
  7. E.M. Crabb, R. Marshall and D. Thompsett, "Carbon monoxide electro-oxidation properties of carbon-supported PtSn catalysts prepared using surface organometallic chemistry", J. Electrochem. Soc., 147 (12) (2000) 4440.

Please see visit Open Research Online for further information.




Teaching interests

As the Associate Programme Director for chemistry and analytical science I oversee the Chemistry and analytical sciences pathway of the BSc Natural Science.

I have been involved in the production of a number of our modules, most recently as the production chair for S315, Chemistry: further concepts and applications - our new 60 credit chemistry module at level 3. This module will be presented for the first time in October 2015, covering all three traditional areas of chemistry and will be delivered entirely online.

Prior to this I was the production team chair for S347 Metals and Life, one of the predecessor modules for S315. I was also oversaw the production of many of the online investigations in SXC288 Practical Science: Chemistry and analytical science.  Previously I was a member of the production team on the physical chemistry course and author of a case study on  "The Three-way Catalytic convertor" can be found on OpenLearn).

I have particular interests in online learning including:

  • module materials
  • delivering practical work online
  • online classrooms
  • quizzes
  • accessibility issues

and have eSTEeM projects in some of these areas.



Research Activity

Research groups

NameTypeParent Unit
Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research (CEPSAR)CentreFaculty of Science


Structure evolution in poly(ethylene terephthalate) (PET) - Multi-walled carbon nanotube (MWCNT) composite films during in-situ uniaxial deformation (2016-06-01)
Heeley, Ellen L.; Hughes, Darren J.; Crabb, Eleanor; Kershaw, Matthew; Shebanova, Olga; Leung, Sandy and McNally, Tony
Polymer, 92 (pp. 239-249)
Confirmation of a Nanohybrid Shish-Kebab (NHSK) Structure in Composites of PET and MWCNTs (2016)
Heeley, Ellen L.; Hughes, Darren J.; Crabb, Eleanor M.; Bowen, James; Bikondoa, Oier; Mayoral, Beatriz and McNally, Tony
Journal of Polymer Science. Part B: Polymer Physics
Practical science at a distance (2015-07-03)
Crabb, Eleanor
Education in Chemistry, July 2015
Reduction properties of Ce in CeOx/Pt/Al2O3 catalysts (2015-05)
Wells, P. P.; Crabb, E. M.; King, C. R.; Fiddy, S.; Amieiro-Fonseca, A.; Thompsett, D. and Russell, A. E.
Catalysis, Structure & Reactivity, 1(2) (pp. 88-94)
In Situ XAS Studies of Core-Shell PEM Fuel Cell Catalysts: The Opportunities and Challenges (2011-10)
Russell, Andrea E.; Tessier, Beatrice; Wise, Anna; Rose, Abigail; Price, Stephen W.; Richardson, P. W.; Ball, Sarah; Theobald, Brian; Thompsett, David and Crabb, Eleanor M.
ECS transactions, 41(1) (pp. 55-67)
Preparation, structure and stability of Pt and Pd monolayer modified Pd and Pt electrocatalysts (2009)
Wells, P. P.; Crabb, E. M.; King, C. R.; Wiltshire, R.; Bilsborrow, B.; Thompsett, D. and Russell, A. E.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 11(27) (pp. 5773-5781)
Controlled modification of Pt/Al2O3 for the preferential oxidation of CO in hydrogen: a comparative study of modifying element (2009)
Jain, Shailesh K.; Crabb, Eleanor M.; Smart, Lesley E.; Thompsett, David and Steele, Andrew M.
Applied Catalysis B: Environmental, 89(3-4) (pp. 349-355)
In situ Ru K-edge EXAFS of CO adsorption on a Ru modified Pt/C fuel cell catalyst (2009)
Rose, Abigail; Bilsborrow, Robert; King, Colin R.; Ravikumar, M. K.; Qian, Yangdong; Wiltshire, Richard J. K.; Crabb, Eleanor M. and Russell, Andrea E.
Electrochimica Acta, 54(22) (pp. 5262-5266)
Impact of PtRu anode catalyst degradation on DMFC MEA performance (2008)
Cabello-Moreno, N.; Crabb, E.; Fisher, J.; Russell, A. E. and Thompsett, D.
ECS Transactions, 16(2) (pp. 483-496)
To alloy or not to alloy? Cr modified Pt/C catalysts for PEM fuel cells (2008)
Wells, P. P; Qian, Y; King, C. R; Wiltshire, R. J. K.; Crabb, E. M.; Smart, L. E.; Thompsett, D and Russell, A. E.
Faraday Discussions, 138 (pp. 273-285)
Potential dependence of segregation and surface alloy formation of a Ru modified carbon supported Pt catalyst (2007-02-16)
Rose, A.; Crabb, E.M.; Qian, Y.; Ravikumar, M.K.; Wells, P.; Wiltshire, R.J.K.; Yao, J.; Bilsborrow, R.; Mosselmans, F. and Russell, A.E.
Electrochimica Acta, 52(18) (pp. 5556-5564)
Titanium-doped γ-Fe2O3: Reduction and oxidation properties (2004-12-01)
Ayub, I.; Berry, Frank; Crabb, E. and Helgason, O.
Journal of Materials Science, 39(23) (pp. 6921-6927)
Effect of Ru surface composition on the CO tolerance of Ru modified carbon supported Pt catalysts (2004-04)
Crabb, E.M.; Ravikumar, M.K.; Thompsett, D.; Hurford, M.; Rose, A. and Russell, A.E.
Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics, 6(8) (pp. 1792-1798)
Phase transitions of ruthenium-doped iron oxide studied by Fe-57 Mossbauer spectroscopy at elevated temperatures (2002-06)
Helgason, Orn; Ayub, Ibrar; Berry, Frank J. and Crabb, Eleanor
Hyperfine Interactions, 141-142(1-4) (pp. 291-295)
Controlled modification of carbon supported platinum electrocatalysts by Mo (2002-01)
Crabb, E.M.; Ravikumar, M.K.; Qian, Y.; Russell, A.E.; Maniquet, S.; Yao, J.; Thompsett, D.; Hurford, M. and Ball, S.C.
Electrochemical and Solid-State Letters, 5(1) (A5-A9)
Properties of alumina supported Pd-Fe and Pt-Fe catalysts prepared using surface organometallic chemistry (2001-09-03)
Crabb, Eleanor M. and Marshall, Robert
Applied Catalysis A: General, 217(1-2) (pp. 41-53)
Synthesis and characterisation of carbon-supported PtGe electrocatalysts for CO oxidation (2001-01-15)
Crabb, Eleanor M. and Ravikumar, M.K.
Electrochimica Acta, 46(7) (pp. 1033-1041)
Selective cancer cell toxicity and radiosensitization using different high atomic number nanoparticles (2016-06-02)
Grellet, S.; Kaas, S.; Crabb, E.; Allman, S. and Golding, J.
In : Nanotech France 2016 (1-3 June 2016, Paris, France)

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