Cohort four (2018–19)


Donovan Aguilar Dominguez

Background: BSc Mechanical Engineering, University of Azcapotzalco Mexico (2016)

Supervisors: Dr Alan Dunbar, Dr Solomon Brown

Sponsor: Conacyt Mexico

Project: The value of V2G as a grid balancing mechanism. The aim of this project is to find the value for V2G grid balance services that can make significant economic impact in the current grid network, considering the reliability and availability of this technology in the UK.

Jon Allen

Background: MEng Mechanical Engineering, University of Southampton (2017)

Supervisors: Professor Andrew L Hector, Dr Nuria Garcia-Araez

Project: Improved lifetime performance and safety of electrochemical energy stores through functionalisation of passive materials and components. Improving lifetime and performance of electrochemical energy stores. Targeted specifically at lithium batteries and polymers used as binder or separator materials to exploit a positive temperature coefficient of resistivity.

Ben Craig

Background: MEng Mech Engineering with Advanced Materials, University of Southampton (2013)

Sponsor: International Consortium in Nanotechnologies (ICON) funded by the Lloyd's Register Foundation

Project: Computational modelling of a PEDOT cathode for non-aqueous aluminium batteries. Conducted molecular modelling (density functional theory, molecular orbital modelling etc) to investigate the doping of PEDOT with chloroaluminate ions, as has been demonstrated experimentally. Results informed further system research.

Nick Hillier

Background: MPhys Physics, University of Southampton (2013)

Supervisors: Professor Steve Beeby, Professor Andy Cruden

Project: Integrated energy storage for smart textile applications. For the realisation of truly autonomous smart textiles (capable of self-powering and interaction between the user and the environment) energy storage must be developed to supply power upon request. Currently, energy harvesting offers an intermittent power supply and traditional energy storage is too bulky to be practical. This project looks to develop single-layer electrochemical energy storage devices that can be seamlessly integrated into smart textiles for use in the commercial, defence and health sectors.

Tim Hutty

Background: MMath Mathematics, University of Oxford (2012)

Supervisors: Dr Solomon Brown, Dr Rachel Rothman

Sponsor: Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI)

Project: Can a reversible solid oxide fuel cell aid a future renewable electricity economy? This project seeks to assess the efficacy and cost of reversible solid oxide fuel cells (ReSOFC) as a tool for implementing a small scale, low-carbon distributed energy generation/storage system when interacting with a larger grid. To this end a microgrid simulation will be constructed using AnyLogic software.

Ben Rowden

Background: MSci Natural Sciences, University of Lancaster (2017)

Supervisors: Dr Nuria Garcia-Araez, Professor John Owen

Sponsor: HMGCC (Her Majesty’s Government Communications Centre)

Project: In-operando detection and quantification of gas evolution for the development of safer Li-ion batteries. In-operando detection and quantification of gas evolved during the cycling of lithium-ion batteries will be carried out through the use of pressure measurements and differential electrochemical mass spectrometry. These techniques will be used to test various electrode materials and cell configurations to help develop safer methods for producing lithium ion batteries.

George Wilson

Background: MSci Chemistry, University of Nottingham (2017)

Supervisors: Dr Becky Boston, Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren

Project: Discovering next-generation sodium-ion battery cathode materials synthesised via biotemplating. Sodium-ion batteries are a promising alternative to lithium, owning to the greater abundance and lower cost of sodium. Synthesis via biotemplating is both faster and cheaper than conventional solid state methods, and could allow us to access new materials with greater performance.

Maximillian Yan

Background: MEng Chemical Engineering, University of Sheffield (2017)

Supervisors: Professor Siddharth Patwardhan, Dr Solomon Brown

Project: Development and techno-economic analysis of silicon anodes for lithium ion batteries. Silicon anodes show great promise in improving the specific energy of lithium-ion batteries however the durability of this material needs to be improved drastically by altering the synthesis procedure and therefore the micro and nano scale properties. A techno-economic analysis will be carried out on the refined synthesis procedure of silicon anodes and their potential end-user applications (electric vehicle, grid storage, mobile technology).

Silvija Zilinskaite

Background: MEng Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield (2017)

Supervisors: Dr Rebecca Boston, Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren

Sponsor: Lloyds Register

Project: Biotemplating synthesis of sodium-ion cathodes. Biotemplating is less energy intensive because it utilises lower temperatures and shorter reaction times. This method has been used to synthesis cathode materials, however there is no real understanding of the growth mechanisms during biotemplating synthesis. This project aims to explore the effects biotemplating has on crystal growth on certain structures and why certain particle morphologies appear.



Biotemplating: a sustainable synthetic methodology for Na-ion battery materials. Silvija Zilinskaite, Anthony J R Rennie, Rebecca Boston, Nik Reeves-McLaren, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Sheffield. Journal of Materials Chemistry A, 6, 5346–5355. doi: 10.1039/C7TA09260A

Energy Storage Challenge videos

UKRI logo
TUoS logo
University of Southampton logo