David R Leal-Ayala

David Leal-Ayala



David Leal studied a BSc in Mechatronics Engineering (2005) at the Tecnológico de Monterrey in Mexico. After his studies he spent two and a half years working first as an Automation Engineer for a Mexican automotive parts manufacturer, NEMAK, and later as a Project Manager/ Engineer in the building materials industry with CEMEX. He then moved to the UK where he completed an MSc in Advanced Manufacturing Technology and Systems Management at the University of Manchester.

David joined the Low Carbon Materials Processing group in January 2009 and completed his PhD on non-destructive recycling of paper in May 2012. He currently holds a Research Associate position, where he has performed the following tasks:

  • Developed an evidence-based methodology for studying and addressing non-fuel raw minerals criticality through a whole-systems approach.
  • Mapped non-fuel critical minerals flows and associated resource use (e.g. energy and water), to identify key physical and sustainability constraints and recognise scientific options for change.
  • Identified priority areas in which to focus future criticality mitigation strategies and research efforts for specific critical minerals.
  • Contributed to and reviewed policy reports for UK government and international bodies.
  • Contributed to the preparation of funding applications submitted to UK research bodies.


Key publications:

  • Leal-Ayala, D.R., Allwood, J.M., Schmidt, M. & Alexeev, I. (2012). Toner-print removal from paper by long and ultrashort pulsed lasers. Proceedings of the Royal Society A. (doi:10.1098/rspa.2011.0601).
  • Leal-Ayala, D.R., Allwood, J.M. & Counsell, T.A.M. (2011). Paper un-printing: using lasers to remove toner-print in order to reuse office paper. Applied Physics A, Vol. 105, 801–818. (doi:10.1007/s00339-011-6654-z).
  • Leal-Ayala, D.R. & Allwood, J.M. (2010). Paper Re-Use: Toner-Print Removal by Laser Ablation. NIP26: International Conference on Digital Printing Technologies and Digital Fabrication 2010, Austin, Texas, September 2010, p. 6-9.


Related news reports:

Updated March 2012