Faraday Institution Research Fellows


Dr Gavin Harper

University of Birmingham

Dr Gavin Harper is working across work packages, assisting in the techno-economic analysis and life cycle assessment of the processes investigated by ReLiB. Previously, he was Energy Development Manager for the Birmingham Energy Institute

Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah

Robotics

University of Birmingham

Dr Alireza Rastegarpanah is an interdisciplinary engineer with diverse research interests, although his research interest broadly centres on robotics, physical human-robot interaction and cooperation and robotic manipulation. After receiving his PhD in robotics, he pursued his research interests by joining the Extreme Robotics Laboratory (ERL), as Research Fellow, in 2016.

He worked on an EPSRC project called “Machine-learning of vision-guided bi-manual grasps, for adaptable autonomous manipulation in manufacturing environments”. Dr Rastegarpanah started his collaboration, as a research associate, with the Centre for Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology at UCL and Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital in 2017.

He re-joined ERL as a research fellow in 2018 and started working on another industrial project called “Recycling of Lithium-Ion Batteries (RELIB)”. He is currently doing research on using robotic systems to cut individual battery modules and disassemble at cell level.

Dr Laura Driscoll

Chemistry

University of Birmingham

Dr Laura Driscoll was awarded a 1st class degree in BSc Chemistry (with foundation year) from the University of Birmingham (2008-2012). She then went on to complete a PhD with Professor Peter Slater and Dr Adrian Wright in 2016. Thesis title: Synthesis, Characterisation and Modification of Materials for Na-ion Batteries.
The work conducted in this thesis was awarded the Dr SW Challinor prize (One of two prizes, one each to students from the Schools of Chemistry and Biosciences. This award is given to the highest quality PhD thesis).

Dr Driscoll briefly worked in Industry before returning to the University of Birmingham to initially research solid state electrolyte composites for fuel cells (July 2017-April 2018) before transferring to the Faraday ReLiB project (April 2018 till present).

Mr Viet Nguyen-Tien

Economics

University of Birmingham

Viet Nguyen-Tien is interested in the applications of economics in multidisciplinary issues including those related to energy, trade, politics and environment. His research combines the application of econometrics, geographic information system (GIS), and the simulations of natural and industrial processes.

Dr Rob Sommerville

Chemical Engineering

University of Birmingham

Dr Roberto Sommerville Studied his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees at School of Chemical Engineering under Professor Neil Rowson at the University of Birmingham.

His PhD focussed on the utilisation of coal fly ash in the manufacture of zeolites. Dr Sommerville later continued working in recycling and reuse at WMG, working under Emma Kendrick on the S.H.R.E.D. (Safe disposal of High Risk Energy Devices) Project funded by Innovate UK. This project investigated safe methods for shredding and separating lithium-ion battery materials from automotive applications.

Dr Zubera Iqbal

Chemical Engineering

University of Birmingham

Dr Zubera Iqbal is a Faraday Institution Research Fellow, within the School of Chemical Engineering at the University of Birmingham (UoB). Her specialism is in the recovery of lithium from waste material using bio-processing routes, she attained a PhD from UoB in 2015 (co-sponsored by Imerys Ltd).

The research successful found an economical bio-processing route for the recovery of lithium using Aspergillus Niger under specific conditions; it further won funding from Innovate UK to investigate pilot scale production. Previously, Dr Iqbal worked at the Ministry of Defence, in the Defence, Equipment and Safety (DE&S) department. She worked as a Vulnerability Scientist to ensure the safety of all personnel involved.

Dr Iqbal is a member of the Institute Of Chemical Engineering (ICheme) and a Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) Ambassador, trying to inspire young people into the world of STEM. Aside from work she enjoys swimming, travelling and exploring new cultures.

Dr Emily Giles

Chemistry

University of Birmingham

Dr Emily Giles read chemistry at St Hugh’s College at the University of Oxford (MChem 2:1) before completing a PhD in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Edinburgh. For the last 2 years of her PhD she was based in the UCL crystal growth laboratory at ISIS Neutron and Muon Source. Her PhD thesis is titled ‘An exploration of novel correlated electronic states in 5d transition metal oxides’. From 2015 – 2018 she returned to the Inorganic Chemistry department at the University of Oxford as a postdoctoral research associate under Professor Peter Battle, where she investigated the structural and magnetic properties of relaxor ferromagnetic materials.  She started as a Faraday Institute Research Fellow in the Chemistry department at the University of Birmingham in January 2019.

Dr Jyoti Ahuja

Law

University of Birmingham

Dr Jyoti Ahuja is a Faraday Research Fellow working with Professor Robert Lee at the Birmingham Law School. Her research focusses on the regulatory and other legal structures necessary to construct an effective circular economy in relation to the production and re-use, recycling and recovery of Lithium-ion batteries.

Dr Ahuja’s broader research interests focus on tort law, and on the relationship between science and the law. Her doctoral thesis examined the application of medical, epidemiological and scientific evidence in disease litigation. She also teaches Tort Law at the Birmingham Law School.

Prior to joining this project, Dr Ahuja worked as a Clinical Psychologist in the NHS for 19 years, and is keenly committed to interdisciplinary collaboration for the development of legal and regulatory frameworks that are better informed by scientific evidence.

Dr Mohamed Ahmeid

Battery Management Systems

Newcastle University

Dr Mohamed Ahmeid is Research Associate with experience in testing of lithium-based battery systems including modules, packs, and battery management systems (BMS).

His research interests include system identification, real-time digital control of power electronic converters, adaptive filtering, has over 5 years of experience in electric power industry.

Dr Wojciech Mrozik

Analytical Chemistry

Newcastle University

Dr Wojciech Mrozik is an expert in analytical chemistry with a solid background in analytical method development, challenging analysis and sample preparations.

He is interested in the transport and fate of emerging hazards (i.e. industrial chemicals) and their interactions with the natural environment or human health.

Dr Zoran Milojevic

Mechanical Engineering

Newcastle University

Dr Milojevic obtained an MSc in Mechanical Engineering and Automatic Control in 1995 at the Faculty of Technical Sciences, University of Novi Sad (Serbia), where he also finished his Magister and PhD studies in 2002 and 2008 respectively. In 1997 he started his employment at University of Novi Sad as a Teaching Assistant, became Assistant Professor in 2008, Associate Professor in 2013 and Full Professor in 2018. Dr Milojevic has been developing and delivering Engineering Graphic Communications, Descriptive Geometry and Engineering Drawing, Interactive Engineering Graphics and Design Methodology modules for many years and collaborated with colleagues on many projects funded by the State.

He is currently employed by Newcastle University where he works as a Senior Research Associate on the ReLib Project.
Dr Milojevic’s interests lie within fields of Computer graphics, GPGPU, haptic device implementation in virtual sculpting, CAD/CAM/CAE.

Dr Musbahu Muhammad

Power Electronics

Newcastle University

High Gain DC-DC Boost Converter Topologies, Modelling & control of converters, Battery Management system (BMS), Converters for battery Charging. High energy density batteries and their characterisation.

Dr Muez Shiref

Newcastle University

Dr Muez Shiref comes from a control and systems engineering background and is currently a member of the Electrical Power Research Group at Newcastle University. In this position, he is responsible for the development of the power electronics aspect of energy conversion and electric motor drives applications. Muez is a proficient programmer with  practical experience in developing high performance control boards.

Dr Jean-Paul Skeete

Automotive Innovation & Public Policy

Cardiff University

Dr Jean-Paul Skeete is a specialist in public policy and regulatory control of automotive innovation. His current research broadly aims to explain how governments are managing the rapid pace of innovation within the automotive industry of behalf of the public interest. In particular, he examines the evolving policies and regulations that support the increasing electrification and automation of new vehicles.

Dr Iain Aldous

Spectroelectrochemistry

University of Leicester

Dr Iain Aldous is a specialist in characterising fundamental electrochemical processes at battery electrode interfaces. This includes unravelling mechanistic detail using in situ electrochemical, spectroscopic (SERS, FTIR, UV/Vis, X-Ray), and microscopic (AFM) techniques.

His research interests have led to his involvement in projects including metal ion batteries (Li and Na), metal oxygen batteries (Li, Na, K and Ca), supercapacitors, fuel cells, and CO2 reduction. His current project under ReLib is allowing him to develop expertise in mechanical characterisation techniques of Li-ion batteries in developing the separation, extraction and processes necessary to recycle battery electrode materials.

Dr Jennifer Hartley

Electrochemistry

University of Leicester

Dr Hartley studied for her MChem (2.1) at the University of Leicester from 2005-2009, and then did her PhD with Prof. Abbott from Jan2010-April2013 on the topic of ‘Ionometallurgy: The Processing of Metals Using Ionic Liquids’. She has worked as a PostDoc in the group of Prof. Gero Frisch from September 2013-September 2018 in the Technical University of Freiberg, Germany on a DfG-funded project ‘Designed Redox Properties of Strategically Important Metals Through Ionometallurgy’. Dr Hartley is currently working on the ReLiB project supporting Professor Andy Abbott’s team. Her interests are how redox behaviour in ionic liquids is affected by metal speciation and electrode surface effects.

Dr Virginia Echavarri-Bravo

Microbiology & Bionanotechnology

University of Edinburgh

Dr Virginia Echavarri-Bravo is a postdoctoral research associate in the Horsfall’s lab.
She has been researching the biological recycling of metals from waste and the synthesis of biogenic metallic nanoparticles with enhanced properties since 2015.

Dr Houari Amari

Electron Microscopy & Materials Enigneering

University of Liverpool

Dr Houari Amari is a scientist with background in materials engineering, physics and chemistry. He has always been motivated by the desire to work on interdisciplinary projects.

Since his PhD at the University of Sheffield, he has been working in different institutions in the UK, USA and Germany where he was interested in the development and characterization of new nanoscale materials with particular emphasis on nanocomposites, catalysis-based materials, thin films, semiconductors, surfaces and interfaces to understand how these materials grow by investigating their local microstructure, crystallography, chemistry and optical properties.

Dr Amari’s scientific research interests also centre on the development of advanced electron microscopy and associated analytical techniques and their application to the characterisation of this wide range of nano-structured materials.

Dr Marco Raugei

Energy & Environmental Assessment

Oxford Brookes University

Dr Marco Raugei’s original research expertise was developed on photovoltaic systems in Italy and he later became an expert in life cycle assessment. He is a Visiting Scientist at the Center for Life Cycle Analysis, Columbia University, New York, he is a Member of Photovoltaic Power Systems (PVPS) Programme (International Energy Agency) and a Member of Global Warming Task force (UNEP – SETAC Life Cycle Initiative).

Previously, he was Head of research line, UNESCO Chair in Life Cycle and Climate Change (Pompeu Fabra University, Barcelona, Spain). Dr Raugei has comprehensive expertise in LCA, energy analysis and material flow analysis with applications to renewable energy systems upon which are based >100 publications. Recent research projects include vehicle lightweighting (TARF) and traction batteries (MARS-EV).

The primary focus of MARS-EV was to assess the feasibility of developing a circular economy for vehicle traction batteries, with our role being to provide a LCA model of new Li-ion battery cells to allow cost and environmental optimization, and to develop specific and optimized recycling and/or reuse processes for Li-ion battery cell manufacture and end of first life scenarios.

Pierrot Attidekou

Newcastle University


Ruisheng Li

Gateway Testing and BMS

Newcastle University

Ruisheng Li is experienced in modelling, system identification and digital control of power electronics.

He is now working on hierarchical testing methodology and BMS for second life lithium-ion batteries.