Co-Investigators


Professor Allan Walton

Professor of Critical & Magnetic Materials

University of Birmingham

Professor Allan Walton is a reader in the Processing of Magnetic Materials and is the head of the Magnetic Materials Research Group (MMG) at the University of Birmingham.

He has an extensive portfolio of interdisciplinary research projects aligned to the University of Birmingham strategies on advanced materials and related manufacturing processes and has received international recognition for his work on manufacturing and recycling of critical magnetic materials.

He has delivered influential briefings to audiences in the UK, Europe, Japan and the US, which have led to major funding and policy decisions in the areas of critical materials and their future availability for a range of industrial applications.

Professor Peter Slater

Professor of Chemistry

University of Birmingham

Professor Peter Slater has more than 25 years research experience in the area of solid state/materials chemistry, ranging from battery materials to fuel cells.

In these areas he has published more than 200 papers in scientific journals, and has written more than 15 invited review articles. His present research is focusing mainly on the development of novel ionic and mixed conductors for energy storage and conversion applications (e.g. Li/Na ion batteries and solid oxide fuel cells), including the use of novel doping strategies to stabilize new systems/improve materials performance.

Professor Rustam Stolkin

Professor of Robotics

University of Birmingham

Professor Rustam Stolkin obtained a MEng degree in engineering science from the University of Oxford, U.K., in 1998, and a Ph.D. in computer vision from University College London, U.K., in 2004. He is currently Director of the UK’s National Centre for Nuclear Robotics, Royal Society Industry Fellow, and Professor of Robotics at the University of Birmingham, where he is founder and director of the Extreme Robotics Lab (ERL).

He is also the Director of spinout company A.R.M Robotics Ltd. Professor Stolkin is highly inter-disciplinary, with research interests spanning: computer vision and image processing; machine learning and AI; robotic grasping and manipulation; human-robot interaction.

Professor Robert Elliott

Professor of Economics

University of Birmingham

Professor Robert Elliot is a Professor of Economics International and Environmental economics. His broad area of research is at the intersection of empirical environmental, energy, development and international economics.

He has published >60 journal articles including three papers in Journal of Environmental Economics and Management. He has also published a large number of papers in journals such as: Journal of Development Economics, Journal of Urban Economics, Ecological Economics; Environment and Resource Economics; World Economy; Review of Development Economics; China Economic Review; Energy Economics and the Energy Journal.

Professor Elliott is a co-editor of the journal Environment and Resource Economics and has supervised a large number of PhD students to completion.

Dr Phoebe Allan

Birmingham Fellow

University of Birmingham

Dr Phoebe Allan is a Birmingham Fellow and lecturer in the School of Chemistry. Her research focuses on materials chemistry for energy storage using synchrotron and lab-based characterisation methods.

Prior to joining the University of Birmingham in 2018, Dr Allan held a Junior Research Fellowship at Gonville and Caius College, and an Oppenheimer Fellowship from the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Cambridge.

From 2015 – 2017, she also worked as a beamline support scientist at Diamond Light Source - the UK’s synchrotron source. She completed her PhD at the University of St Andrews in 2012

Dr Timothy Overton

Lecturer in Chemical Engineering

University of Birmingham

Dr Timothy Overton is a Senior Lecturer in the School of Chemical Engineering. He has a background in biochemistry and microbiology and currently works at the interface of microbiology and process engineering.

His research focuses on using knowledge of microbial physiology to inform industrial practice. Research in his group investigates productive bioprocesses (for example generating protein therapeutics and polymers) as well as processes where the presence of bacteria is a problem (for example biofilm formation in manufacturing).

Dr Daniel Reed

Lecturer in Materials Chemistry

University of Birmingham


Professor Robert Lee

Professor of Law

University of Birmingham

Professor Robert Lee is Head of the Law School and the Director of the Centre for Legal Education and Research at the University of Birmingham.

He has acted as specialist adviser to the European Parliament, the European Commission, the House of Commons and the National Assembly for Wales and has worked for the Department for the Environment in Northern Ireland (drafting environmental legislation), the Irish Environment Protection Agency, the UN Environment Programme and the UN Development Programme.

In the UK, he has undertaken research projects on the regulation of technologies for both the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Professor Gary Leeke

University of Birmingham

Professor Gary Leeke has over 20 years expertise in resource efficiency and the development of processes to recover, upgrade and remanufacture materials and chemicals.He works at the interface of chemical engineering/chemistry/materials and has expertise in high pressure engineering and thermo-chemical processing, specifically in reaction engineering, separation technology, polymer/composite processing and remanufacture, waste materials and the circular economy. Professor Leeke led the EPSRC funded EXHUME project (EP/K026348/1), investigating the deconstruction of fibre reinforced composite. He currently heads the chemical engineering activities on the Faraday Institution funded Re-Lib project investigating the recycling of lithium ion batteries and three government funded projects (Innovate UK 74000-496338, BEIS Energy Entrepreneur Fund 5 and British Council Institutional Links, 279359364) dealing with the transformation of plastic waste into chemical products.

Professor Peter Wells

Director of the Centre for Automotive Instustry Research

Cardiff University

Professor Peter Wells is Director of the Centre for Automotive Industry Research. His domain expertise is on the global automotive industry, mobility studies including electric bicycles and car-sharing.

His academic work focuses on spatial industrial development, economics, organisational theory, industrial ecology, technological change, socio-technical transitions theory, business model innovation and sustainability in the circular economy.

Dr Louise Horsfall

Senior Lecturer in Biotechnology

University of Edinburgh

Dr Louise Horsfall is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Edinburgh Biotechnology and Associate Director of the Centre for Science at Extreme Conditions. She is a synthetic biologist, working at the interface of biology, chemistry, engineering and social science, and regularly collaborates with industry from new start-ups to large multinationals.

Her research involves the engineering of biological parts, systems and devices to recover metals from contaminated waste, water and land. She uses biology to add value to the recovered metal and to provide a route for its reuse.

Dr Horsfall is a member of the Executive Board of the European Federation of Biotechnology, co-chair of the EFB’s section on Bioengineering and Bioprocessing, the RSE’s Young Academy of Scotland’s theme lead for sustainability and an editor for the Microbiology journal.

Professor Andrew Abbott

Professor of Physical Chemistry

University of Leicester

Professor Andrew Abbott is a Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Leicester. Professor Abbott specialises in research areas surrounding green chemistry, with a particular emphasis on electrochemical processes. He is actively developing novel solvent systems with industrial applications, such as metal deposition and dissolution. Much of his work to date has been in the development of novel processes using ionic liquids.

Professor Karl Ryder

Professor of Physical Chemistry

University of Leicester

Professor Karl Ryder is a Professor of Physical Chemistry at the University of Leicester. Professor Ryder specialises in the applied study of electrodynamics and nucleation/growth processes at electrified interfaces of metals and other polymer based materials in novel ionic liquid solvents.

His research interests include electrochemical deposition and dissolution processes, surfaces and interfacial structure.

Professor Paul Christensen

Professor of Pure & Applied Electrochemistry

Newcastle University

Professor Paul Christensen has published over 170 papers and 1 book to date, with 4 book chapters and over 70 papers since 2004. He has a Google Scholar H-index of 46.

His research has been in collaboration with a wide range of excellent scientists and engineers across a variety of disciplines and was largely focussed on applied electrochemistry (water treatment, fuel cells, lithium ion batteries, electrochemical ozone generation) although many papers have also been published on the fundamental study of the electrode/electrolyte interface using in-situ FTIR spectroscopy. Professor Christensen has spun out two companies from Newcastle University (one in collaboration with Hong Kong University) and was brought into a third created to commercialize his intellectual property.

He has provided extensive consultancy expertise to a range of companies including Nissan. Recently, he begun exploring in-situ FTIR studies of the plasma/catalyst interface, with some success. Professor Christensen is a published amateur historian (four papers in History Scotland).

Dr Neal Wade

Lecturer in Power Systems

Newcastle University

Dr Neal Wade has worked on grid connected energy storage systems since 2008, when he provided academic support to the first network connected energy storage trials in the UK, using a 200 kWh battery system installed on an 11kV distribution network.

He works across academic and industrial projects on to develop the innovative methods and tools needed to plan, design and operate electricity networks to enable a low carbon energy system. He uses modelling, simulation, laboratory scale testing and real-world demonstration trials to increase understanding of the integration of low carbon generators and the electrification of heat and transport.

Dr Simon Lambert

Lecturer in Electrical & Electronic Engineering

Newcastle University

Dr Simon Lambert is a member of academic staff in the Electrical Power research group of the School of Engineering at Newcastle University (UK). For over ten years he has worked on the characterisation of electrochemical energy storage systems and electrical integration technologies such as battery management and charger systems.

He has managed research programmes in collaboration with EV OEMs such as Renault, Daimler and Nissan resulting in having developed and fully industrialised, non-destructive testing techniques for quality control and detecting aging mechanisms of Li-ion batteries.

He is currently one of the lead investigators in the Recycling of Lithium-ion batteries project (ReLiB) which is one of four flagship Faraday Institution research programmes in the UK.

Dr Prodip Das

Lecturer Mechanical Engineering

Newcastle University

Dr Prodip Das is a Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Mechanical Engineering at Newcastle University. His primary research interests span the broad area of electrochemical energy conversion and storage with a particular focus on the thermo-fluid aspects of Li-ion batteries, fuel cells, flow batteries and solar-fuel generators.

He has about 20 years of experience in the areas of multiphysics modelling and simulation, convective heat transfer, infrared thermography and electrochemical energy devices. Dr Das has authored over 90 scientific papers, including 34 journal articles (h-index: 18) and a book chapter.

He has also been the recipient of a number of prestigious awards including the Dr VG Desa Gold Medal, Dr Chandrashekar Memorial Award in Sustainable Energy and the ASME 2018 Emerging Investigators in Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage.

Dr Oliver Heidrich

Lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Newcastle University

Dr Oliver Heidrich is a lecturer in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Newcastle University. His vision is that central and Local Government, companies and society at large understand and appreciate the environmental and resource consequences of their actions up and down the supply and value chain in a changing world. This is supported by his research on resource management, climate change adaptation and mitigation, environmental management, urban planning, life cycle assessment and standardised management systems. Dr Heidrich has initiated and conducted internationally leading research in environmental engineering and management. He has also co-developed patents e.g. recycling technology (Patent number WO2004082912), green infrastructure (WO2000073593) and products from waste (WO2006123111). He develops and applies social, engineering and management methodologies to increase the profitability and understanding of industrial and urban processes.

Dr Heidrich’s projects have been assessed independently and received highest possible ratings for the transfer of technical and management knowledge. He has designed and delivered training courses and consulted with local and multinational companies from the construction to the banking sector. His work enhances the research and training of science, engineering and managerial knowledge as they are directly relevant to businesses and governmental organisations. Dr Heidrich models climate change adaptation, mitigation, natural resources and material flows using e.g. life cycle assessment, industrial ecology and standardised systems e.g. 9001, 18001 and 14001 in urban environments. He aims to provide researchers and decision makers with a system-scale understanding of the inter-relationships between resource mapping and resource use in cities. For this he considers climate change mitigation and adaptation strategies and technologies in the built environment.

Professor Nigel Browning

Professor of Mechanical, Materials & Aerospace Engineering

University of Liverpool

Professor Nigel Browning is currently the Chair of Electron Microscopy in the School of Engineering and the School of Physical Sciences at the University of Liverpool. He received his undergraduate degree in Physics from the University of Reading, U. K. and his Ph. D. in Physics from the University of Cambridge, U. K. After completing his Ph. D. in 1992, he joined the Solid State Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) as a postdoctoral research associate before taking a faculty position in the Department of Physics at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) in 1995.

In 2002, he moved to the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of California-Davis (UCD) and also held a joint appointment in the National Center for Electron Microscopy (NCEM) at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL). In 2005 he moved the joint appointment from LBNL to Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) to become project leader for the Dynamic Transmission Electron Microscope (DTEM).

In 2009, he also joined the Department of Molecular and Cellular Biology at UCD to focus on the development of the DTEM to study live biological structures. In 2011 he joined the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) to lead the 6-year $42M Chemical Imaging Initiative (CII). He has over 25 years of experience in the development of new methods in electron microscopy for high spatial, temporal and spectroscopic resolution analysis of engineering and biological structures. His research has been supported by DOE, NSF, NIH, DOD and by industry, leading to research projects for over 30 graduate students and 35 postdoctoral research fellows.

He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and the Microscopy Society of America (MSA). He received the Burton Award from the Microscopy Society of America in 2002 and the Coble Award from the American Ceramic Society in 2003 for the development of atomic resolution methods in scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM). With his collaborators at LLNL he also received R&D 100 and Nano 50 Awards in 2008, and a Microscopy Today Innovation Award in 2010 for the development of the dynamic transmission electron microscope (DTEM).

He has over 350 publications (h-index=67) and has given over 300 invited presentations on the development and application of advanced TEM methods.

Professor Allan Hutchinson

Professor of Mechanical Engineering

Oxford Brookes University

Professor Allan Hutchinson’s original research expertise was developed on structural adhesive bonding in Dundee. He later became Head of the Joining Technology Research Centre at Oxford Brookes with a strong engineering materials focus.

In 2008 he set up the Sustainable Vehicle Engineering Centre to address the low carbon vehicle agenda. His teaching and research interests include all aspects of design, materials engineering, joining technology, automotive engineering and sustainability. He has been the investigator/co-investigator for about £10m of research and consultancy at Oxford Brookes and has >130 publications.

Recent research projects include MINI E, E-Mobility, Lightweight vehicles, Recycled Carbon Fibre, Life Cycle Analysis. Professor Hutchinson is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of the Institution of Materials, Minerals and Mining and a Fellow of the Institute of the Motor Industry. He served on the Board of Directors of the Low Carbon Vehicle Partnership 2014-16.

Dr Philip Chater

Diamond Light Source

Dr Philip Chater is the Senior Beamline Scientist responsible for the X-ray Pair Distribution Function beamline at Diamond Light Source. His work is centred on understanding structure–property relationships in energy materials with an emphasis on local-structure determination using total scattering methods.

Professor Emma Kendrick

Professor of Materials Chemistry

University of Birmingham

Emma is a materials chemist whose research focuses on new battery materials and technologies. Prior to joining us, she was Chief Technologist in energy storage at Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd (SLE) where she established the energy storage research and development program in sodium ion batteries and then she moved to WMG where she focused on developing new lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery technologies, that can be manufactured and tested at a scale that is industrially meaningful.