News, Events, Media

July 2021 – Professor Clare Grey awarded €1 million Körber Prize

Clare has pioneered the optimisation of batteries with the help of NMR (nuclear magnetic resonance) spectroscopy – similar to MRI technology – a method that allows non-invasive insights into the inner workings of batteries.

The Körber European Science Prize 2021 will be presented to Professor Clare Grey on 10 September 2021 in the Great Festival Hall of Hamburg City Hall. Since 1985, the Körber Foundation has honoured a breakthrough in the physical or life sciences in Europe with the Körber Prize. It is awarded for excellent and innovative research approaches with high application potential.

More information can be found here and here.

May 2021 – PhD studentship available

Prof Clare Grey has Faraday Institution funding for a PhD studentship in battery materials starting October 2021 or January 2022. The project will involve developing a range of artificial Solid Electrolyte Interface (SEI) strategies based on the coating of graphitic and Si electrodes with elastic and/or self-healing layers which inhibit electrolyte degradation. The strategy will be to:
(i) pre-coat the electrodes with polymeric materials that can adapt to volumetric changes, and
(ii) develop systems in which artificial SEI precursors combined with battery electrolytes produce self-healing SEIs.

This is now closed.

May 2021 – Oxford PDRA awarded fellowship

Dr Erik Björkland, University of Oxford, has been awarded a Marie Skłodowska Curie fellowship. This is awarded for performing research in a different country than where the person has previously lived, focusing on career development and learning of new skills.

The award was received in order to work with lithium ion batteries, where focus will be to improve the performance and sustainability through the use of in-situ measurements giving understanding about the side reactions that limit cycle life and how they can be mitigated. It will also be investigated why these reactions become more severe in higher capacity cathode materials and how it is possible to effectively recycle/regenerate the materials at their end-of-life without losing performance.

Congratulations Erik!

1 April 2021 – Phase 2 kicks off

As phase 1 draws to a close, phase 2 has kicked off in earnest. We have welcomed Louis Piper (Warwick Materials Group, University of Warwick) as our new cathode work package leader. Our new co-investigators include Vikram Deshpande, Norman Fleck, Akshay Rao (University of Cambridge), Beverley Inkson (University of Sheffield) and Andrew Morris (University of Birmingham).

16 March 2021 – The Naked Scientists – What’s the difference between batteries?

Gareth Hinds from the National Physical Laboratory, and David Hall and Didi Rinkel from Cambridge University appeared on The Naked Scientists podcast to explain why not all batteries are rechargeable. David is one of project leads, Didi is a PhD student affiliated to the Degradation project and Gareth works across many Faraday Institution projects supporting best practice in standards of measurements.

4 December 2020 – Industry Showcase

On Friday 4 December we hosted our industry showcase, demonstrating our cutting-edge, industry relevant work. We had presentations from seven PDRAs and five industry partners.
If you are from industry and have an opinion on specific stress conditions we could be testing or battery design we should be working with, please get in contact.

1 December 2020 – Centre for Science and Policy podcast

In November Prof Clare Grey was invited to speak on the University of Cambridge Centre for Science and Policy podcast. Along with cosmologist Professor Lord Martin Rees Clare discussed how the UK can take a leadership role in fostering innovation while building collaborations with other countries, and what we can learn from the example of the Faraday Institution’s work on energy storage.

Clare Grey, Centre for Science and Policy (CSaP) podcast – Energy Storage and Fostering Innovation, United Kingdom.

24 -26 November 2020 – Faraday Institution Annual Conference

Congratulations to Degradation consortium FUSE student, Miles Pemberton, who won best poster at the Faraday conference for scientific content and context for A computational investigation of organic redox flow battery electrolytes.
The judges said:
This poster does extremely well to condense some quite complex computational methods and a lot of data into something that is succinct and understandable. It does an excellent job of making the calculations understandable to the wider scientific audience whilst showing real world relevance. The results serve as a rational for the down selection of electrolytes for redox flow batteries and the poster does a good job of justifying this. The motivation for the project is outlined concisely and clearly roots the project in its wider context. The findings are then displayed in a manner that is both visually appealing and draws attention to key results. Miles shows a strong understanding of the significance of the work and what might be the next steps in this project.

3rd March 2020 – BBC Radio programme, The Naked Scientists (Live and as podcast)

David Hall was interviewed on the programme “Electric Cars: Worth the Charge?”. He explains in layperson’s terms how car batteries work and degrade over time and the current dependence on lithium ion batteries. Battery management systems that aim to regulate the potentially damaging effects of fast charging are also discussed.

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