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Dr Tom Swift

Associate Professor

Faculty/Dept/School School of Chemistry and Bioscience
(Faculty of Life Sciences)
Telephone +441274 235487


Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry

Dr Swift's research focuses on functional polymer materials; primarily stimuli responsive macromolecules which respond to their surroundings. He has an interest in developing new characterisation techniques to better understand these complex material systems.

He received a degree as a master of Chemistry (MChem Industry) from the University of York, having spent his fourth year at an industrial placement at AkzoNobel’s Decorative Paints division researching novel film functionality.

He began a PhD at the University of Sheffield where he specialised in stimuli responsive polymer synthesis and analysis, in a range of fields and applications including; fluorescence tagging, material characterisation, solution behavior of smart polymers and an understanding of water treatment processes. Practical experience with free radical, RAFT and ATRP methods of synthesising both linear polymers, branched polymers and hydrogels, extensive use of GPC techniques and time resolved fluorescence spectrometers.

He took up his post as Lecturer at the University of Bradford September 2016, originally as Lecturer in Polymer Characterisation before receiving a promotion to Lecturer in Polymer Chemistry in 2019. He was the Programme Lead for the BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship until January 2023, a level 6 training program for the Laboratory Scientist standard. He is also a co-investigator of the Project Cayman ERDF / Northern Powerhouse industrial collaboration funding designed to encourage access to academic expertise across the north of England.


Polymer Chemistry

Doctor Swift studied his PhD in polymer chemistry at the University of Sheffield. He has synthetic expertise in self condensing vinyl polymerisation, controlled polymerisation (RAFT, ATRP, Cationic ring opening polymerisation). Doctor Swift is particularly interested in controlling the size and architecture of functional polymer materials and this requires advanced techniques to control the rates and direction of polymerisation reactions.

Polymer Physics

I am particularly interested in polymers as stimuli responsive materials, and so do research into the complex physics that drive their solution or solid state behaviour. One recent research interest has been the discovery that the pH responsive solution behaviour of poly(acrylic acid) is driven by pH.

Materials Interactions

Polymers interact with a range of other materials and Dr Swift is interested in the way polymers interact with each other or other components in solution.

Date Role Title / Description Funder Award
01-SEP-19 - 01-SEP-21Primary InvestigatorTime-Resolved Fluorescence Investigation of Polymer-Quenched Pyrene Labelled Stimuli Responsive Polymer Solutions with use as a Light Harvesting Accelerator
02-SEP-18 - 01-SEP-19Primary InvestigatorExamining Fundamental Issues in Isopropyl Oxazoline Cationic Ring Opening Polymer Synthesis
07-MAY-17 - 01-SEP-19Primary InvestigatorSolution Properties of Poly(oxazoline) materials


Teaching interests

Research led teaching - I train students to gain new abilities, skills and insight to develop themselves as excellent researchers.

Teaching highlights

Programme Leader for BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship (2018 - 2023)

Co-ordinate and plan for our distance learning, industrially focused BSc Chemistry course.

In addition to this role I deliver on the following modules


CFS4026-D - Practical Chemistry 1 - Module leader (2016 - 2020, 2023 - )

CFS7018-B - Materials Characterisation (Module Leader, 50% module load)

CFS7028-B - Imaging (50% module load)

CFS7023-E - Research Project - Advanced Investigations (Module Leader 2016 - )


CFS5018-B - Physical Chemistry 2 (Colloids content - 2020 only)

And I have offered student research supervision for projects in the following modules:

CFS7005-E - Stage Four Research Project (MChem)

CFS7023-E - Research Project - Advanced Investigations 

BIS6026-D - Biomedical Science Research Project

BIS7005-E - Research Project (Biomedical Science)

ARC6025-D - Dissertation (Archaeology)

Year Module code Title Subject
CFS7023-EResearch Project - Advanced Investigations
CFS7018-BMaterials Characterisation

Professional activities

  • 01-JAN-10: University of York - MChem (Industry)
  • 01-JAN-14: University of Sheffield - PhD

  • 01-JAN-09: AkzoNobel - Research Scientist

  • Royal Society of Chemistry, Member

  • 01-DEC-17: Equality, Diversity and Opportunities Committee (EDOC),
  • 30-SEP-20: Recent Appointees in Polymer Science,

  • Bradford: Fellowship Mentor

  • General Administration: Co-covener of School Athena SWAN application.
  • Programme Leader: BSc Chemistry Apprenticeship


TitleMaDDOSY (Mass Determination Diffusion Ordered Spectroscopy) using an 80 MHz Bench Top NMR for the Rapid Determination of Polymer, Macromolecular Molecular Weight (2024)
AuthorsOwen Tooley, William Pointer, Rowan Radmall, Mia Hall, Valentin Beyer, Kieran Stakem, Thomas Swift, James Town, Tanja Junkers, Paul Wilson, Daniel Lester, David Haddleton
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
TitleStabilisation of acrylic latexes containing silica nanoparticles for dirt repellent coating applications (2023)
AuthorsThomas Swift
TitleEvaluating the Irritant Factors of Silicone and Hydrocolloid Skin Contact Adhesives Using Trans-Epidermal Water Loss, Protein Stripping, Erythema, and Ease of Removal (2023)
AuthorsEdward Dyson, Stephen Sikkink, Davide Nocita, Peter Twigg, Gill Westgate, and Thomas Swift*
JournalACS Applied Biomaterials
TitleSupramolecular chemistry enables vat photopolymerization 3D printing of novel water-soluble tablets (2023)
AuthorsJun Jie Ong, Yee Lam Chow, Simon Gaisford, Michael T Cook, Thomas Swift, Richard Telford, Stephen Rimmer, Yujia Qin, Yang Mai, Alvaro Goyanes, Abdul W Basit
JournalInternational Journal of Pharmaceutics
TitleChain-Extendable Crosslinked Hydrogels Using Branching RAFT Modification (2023)
AuthorsStephen Rimmer, Paul Spencer, Davide Nocita, John Sweeney, Marcus Harrison and Thomas Swift
JournalGels (Basel, Switzerland)
TitlePeristomal Skin Complications: New Materials Needed to Ease the Ostomy Care Market (2023)
AuthorsThomas Swift
JournalBritish Journal of Dermatology
TitleInvestigation into the development of novel lanthanide-based luminescent colorants for application to textiles and paper materials (2023)
AuthorsD M Lewis, P J Broadbent, M L A Rigout, C M Carr*, C C Seaton, and T Swift
JournalColoration Technology
TitleFluorescence spectroscopy analysis of fly ash removal from aqueous systems: adsorption of alginate to silica and alumina (2022)
AuthorsFateh Eltaboni, Sehaj Singh, Linda Swanson, Thomas Swift, Abdulraheem SA Almaki
JournalRSC Soft Matter
TitleEvaluation of ligand modified poly (N-Isopropyl acrylamide) hydrogel for etiological diagnosis of corneal infection (2022)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Sheila MacNeil, Stephen Rimmer, David Pownall, C. W. Ian Douglas, Prashant Garg, Nagaveni Shivshetty, Abigail Pinnock
JournalExperimental Eye Research
TitleInterfacial Cocrystallization Using Oily Phase via Liquid−Liquid Phase Separation (2022)
AuthorsM. Asim Sajid Al-Hanafi, Mhd Bashir Alsirawan, Colin C. Seaton, Thomas Swift, Sudhir Pagire, Venu R. Vangala, Adrian L. Kelly, and Anant Paradkar
TitleGeneration and Use of Functional Hydrogels That Can Rapidly Sample Infected Surfaces (2022)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Abigail Pinnock, Nagaveni Shivshetty, David Pownall, Sheila MacNeil, Ian Douglas, Prashant Garg, Stephen Rimmer
TitleDevelopment of a novel micro-bead force spectroscopy approach to measure the ability of a thermo-active polymer to remove bacteria from a corneal model (2021)
AuthorsJ. Pattem, T. Swift, S. Rimmer, T. Holmes, S. MacNeil & J. Shepherd
JournalScientific Reports
TitleBranched amphotericin functional poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide): an antifungal polymer (2021)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Emily Caseley, Abbigail Pinnock, Joanna Shepherd, Nagaveni Shivshetty, Prashant Garg, C. W. Ian Douglas, Sheila MacNeil and Stephen Rimmer
JournalRoyal Society Open Science
TitleSemi-interpenetrating Polyurethane Network Foams Containing Highly Branched Poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) with Vancomycin Functionality (2021)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Richard Hoskins, John Hicks, Edward Dyson, Marc Daignault, Dorothy Buckle, C. W. Ian Douglas, Sheila MacNeil, and Stephen Rimmer
JournalACS Applied Biomaterials
TitleDevelopments in silicone technology for use in stoma care (2020)
AuthorsSwift T.;Westgate G.;Van Onselen J.;Lee S.
JournalBritish Journal of Nursing
TitleEffect of polymerisation by microwave on the physical properties of molecularly imprinted polymers (MIPs) specific for caffeine (2020)
AuthorsHeli A. Brahmbhatt, Alexander Surtees, Cavan Tierney, Oluwabukunmi A. Ige, Elena V. Piletska, Thomas Swift and Nicholas W. Turner
JournalPolymer Chemistry
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
TitleFluorescence Spectroscopy Analysis of Bacteria Mineral Interface Adsorption of Lipopolysaccharides to Silica and Alumina (2020)
AuthorsFateh El-Taboni, Emily Caseley, Maria Katsikogianni, Linda Swanson, Thomas Swift,* 4andMariaE.Romero-Gonzaĺez*
PublisherAmerican chemical society
TitleFörster resonance energy transfer in fluorophore labeled poly(2-ethyl-2-oxazoline)s† (2020)
AuthorsRonald Merck Thomas Swift, Ryan Rees, Joachim F. R. Van Guyse, Ella Schoolaert, Karen De Clerck, Heidi Ottevaere, Hugo Thienpont, Valentin Victor Jerca and Richard Hoogenboom
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry C
PublisherRoyal Society of Chemistry
TitleHighly-branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) functionalised with pendant Nile red and chain end vancomycin for the detection of Gram-positive bacteria (2019)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Hoskins, Richard; Teratarantorn, P.; Douglas, I.; MacNeil, S.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalActa Biomaterialia
TitleHighly branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) functionalized with an inducer molecule suppresses quorum sensing in Chromobacterium violaceum (2019)
AuthorsShepherd, J.; Swift, Thomas; Chang, Chien-Yi; Boyne, J.R.; Rimmer, Stephen; Martin, William H.C.
JournalChemical Communications
TitleShort phosphate glass fiber - PLLA composite to promote bone mineralization (2019)
AuthorsPriscila Melo, Emma Tarrant, Thomas Swift, Anthony Townshend, Matthew German, Ana-Marina Ferreira, Piergiorgio Gentile, Kenneth Dalgarno
JournalMaterials Science and Engineering C
TitleOsteoinduction of 3D printed particulate and short-fibre reinforced composites produced using PLLA and apatite-wollastonite (2019)
AuthorsMelo P.;Ferreira A.;Waldron K.;Swift T.;Gentile P.;Magallanes M.;Marshall M.;Dalgarno K.
JournalComposites Science and Technology
TitleA muscle mimetic polyelectrolyte–nanoclay organic–inorganic hybrid hydrogel: its self-healing, shape-memory and actuation properties (2019)
AuthorsBanerjee, S.L.; Swift, Thomas; Hoskins, Richard; Rimmer, Stephen; Singha, N.K.
JournalJournal of Materials Chemistry B
TitleA self-healable fluorescence active hydrogel based on ionic block copolymers prepared via ring opening polymerization and xanthate mediated RAFT polymerization (2018)
AuthorsBanerjee, S.L.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen; Singha, N.K.
JournalPolymer Chemistry
TitleHighly-ordered onion micelles made from amphiphilic highly-branched copolymers (2018)
AuthorsCanning, S.L.; Ferner, J.M.F.; Mangham, N.M.; Wear, T.J.; Reynolds, S.W.; Morgan, J.; Fairclough, J.P.A.; King, S.M.; Swift, Thomas; Geoghegan, M.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalPolymer Chemistry
TitleAntibiotic functionalised polymers reduce bacterial biofilm and bioburden in a simulated infection of the cornea (2018)
AuthorsDoroshenko, N.; Rimmer, Stephen; Hoskins, Richard; Garg, P.; Swift, Thomas; Spencer, H.L.M.; Lord, Rianne M.; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Pownall, D.; MacNeil, S.; Douglas, C.W.I.; Shepherd, J.
JournalBiomaterials Science
TitleSegmental mobility studies of poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) interactions with gold nanoparticles and its use as a thermally driven trapping system (2018)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Rehman, K.; Surtees, Alexander P.H.; Hoskins, Richard; Hickey, Stephen G.
JournalMacromolecular Rapid Communications
TitleCore (Polystyrene)−Shell [Poly(glycerol monomethacrylate)] Particles (2017)
AuthorsMckenzie, A.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Grant, Colin A.; Rimmer, Stephen
TitleAnalysis Using Size Exclusion Chromatography of poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide) using Methanol as an Eluent (2017)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Hoskins, Richard; Telford, Richard; Plenderleith, R.A.; Pownall, David; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalJournal of Chromatography A
TitlePoly(acrylic acid) interpolymer complexes (2017)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Seaton, Colin C.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalRSC Soft Matter
TitlePseudo electron-deficient organometallics: limited reactivity towards electron-donating ligands (2017)
AuthorsPitto-Barry, Anaïs; Lupan, A.; Zegke, Markus; Swift, Thomas; Attia, A.A.A.; Lord, Rianne M.; Barry, Nicolas P.E.
JournalDalton Transactions
TitleBinding of bacteria to poly (N-isopropylacrylamide) modified with vancomycin: Comparison of behavior of linear and highly branched polymers (2017)
AuthorsTeratanatorn, P.; Hoskins, Richard; Swift, Thomas; Douglas, C.W.I.; Shepherd, J.; Rimmer, Stephen
TitleFörster Resonance Energy Transfer across interpolymer complexes of poly(acrylic acid) and poly(acrylamide) (2017)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Paul, N.; Swanson, L.; Katsikogianni, Maria G.; Rimmer, Stephen
TitleThe effect of hyperbranched poly(acrylic acid)s on the morphology and size of precipitated nanoscale (fluor)hydroxyapatite (2017)
AuthorsShallcross, L.; Roche, K.; Wilcock, C.J.; Stanton, K.T.; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen; Hatton, P.V.; Spain, S.G.
TitlepH Responsive Highly Branched Poly(N-isopropylacrylamide) with Trihistidine or Acid Chain Ends (2016)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Lapworth, J.; Swindells, K.; Swanson, L.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalRSC Advances
TitleThe pH-responsive behaviour of poly(acrylic acid) in aqueous solution is dependent on molar mass (2016)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Geoghegan, M.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalRSC Soft Matter
TitleMeasuring poly(acrylamide) flocculants in fresh water using inter-polymer complex formation (2015)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Bretherick, A.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalEnvironmental Science: Water Research And Technology
TitleHighly-branched poly(N-isopropyl acrylamide)s with core-shell morphology below the lower critical solution temperature (2014)
AuthorsPlenderleith, R.A.; Swift, Thomas; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalRSC Advances
TitlePoly(acrylic acid) interpolymer complexation: use of a fluorescence time resolved anisotropy as a poly(acrylamide) probe (2014)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas; Swanson, L.; Rimmer, Stephen
JournalRSC Advances

TitlepH Dependence of Acrylate-Derivative Polyelectrolyte Properties (2019)
AuthorsThomas Swift
JournalAcrylate Polymers for Advanced Applications

Publication Name7th EuCheMS Chemistry Congress (2018)
AuthorsThomas Swift
Publication NameACS National Meeting (2017)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Richard Hoskins, Stephen Rimmer
Publication NameMACRO 2015: 13th Conference (2015)
AuthorsThomas Swift, Linda Swanson, Stephen Rimmer
Publication NameACS National Meeting (2014)
AuthorsSwift, Thomas, Stephen Rimmer, Linda Swanson