Emeritus Professor, University of Bedfordshire, UK
Professor Birch joined the Sensor Research Group in 1995. He became the New Business Manager and made innovative contributions to on-going contract research projects. New projects were begun involving several new partners including: Jenway, Kodak, Leatherhead Food RA, LifeScan, Unilever and Unipath - as well as gaining funding from EPSRC and i10.
Prof Birch joined the University following a career of 28 years with Unilever Research. The first 18 years were spent at the Port Sunlight Laboratory, where he worked on the fundamental physical chemistry of surfactant solutions, metal-ligand speciation and analytical polarography. Novel sensing systems were developed (in collaboration with Emeritus Professor J D R Thomas) for surfactant and calcium ions. In 1984, he transferred to Unilever's Colworth Laboratory to lead the electrochemistry team in their biosensor initiative. Using strip technology and constant volume devices he invented and developed blood glucose and medical diagnostic biosensors as well as sensor systems for species in water, effluents and foods. Work was also done on microfluidic based devices. During this time, collaborative projects were initiated with major industrial partners, e.g. Siemens, Yorkshire Water, EcoChemie, Oxley Developments, Gwent Electronic Materials and WRc.
Brian Birch is author/co-author of approx. 70 published papers and around 30 granted patents. He has consultancies with major medical device and sensor fabrication companies.