After having gained his BSc and PhD degrees from Imperial College (London) and performing post-doctoral research at the University of Texas at Austin, from 1987 Barron spent eight years as a Professor of Chemistry at Harvard University before moving to Rice University in 1995 where he became the Charles W. Duncan, Jr. – Welch Chair of Chemistry and Professor of Materials Science and Nanoengineering. He founded, and is the current Director of the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University where he is the Sêr Cymru Chair of Low Carbon Energy and Environment.
He is the author of over 490 publications, 25 Patents, 5 books, and has graduated 40 PhD students. His work has been cited over 17400 times and he has an h-index of 70. His early research focused on the chemistry of aluminum and related elements and spanned catalysis, electronic materials and nanotechnology. His current research involves fundamental problems in energy and global environmental research. His research group has projects involving water purification, enhanced oil recovery, sustainable materials, and carbon dioxide capture utilization and sequestration.
Prof. Barron is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the recipient of several awards, including: Hümboldt Senior Scientist Research Award, the Corday Morgan Medal, the Meldola Medal, and the first Welch Foundation Norman Hackerman Award. In 2009 Barron was appointed as the Prince of Wales Visiting Innovator. In 2011 he won both the Lifetime Achievement Award in Nanotechnology and the World Technology Award (in Materials). This year he was awarded the Star of Asia International Award, for his work building collaborations in the Region.
In addition to teaching in chemistry and materials science, Prof. Barron created the first educational programs at Rice University to span the schools of Science, Engineering and Management.
As a serial entrepreneur Barron has founded several companies over a wide area of technology. His solar technology company was the first start-up from Rice University to be publically traded. His most recent ventures involve developing water treatment for developing regions and frack and produced water clean-up. Barron races cars, as both an amateur and semi-professional, on both sides of the Atlantic.