We’re delighted to announce the winners of our first annual Faraday Institution Community Awards. Join us in celebrating community successes as we reward Faraday Institution researchers who demonstrate excellence and behaviours in line with our mission and values – and who go above and beyond what would normally be expected in doing so.
There is huge strength and depth in our research community, and we are so pleased to highlight just a few of them here.
This award recognises outstanding examples of innovation and progress through teamwork and multi-university, multi-disciplinary and/or academic-industry collaboration.
This year the collaboration award goes to the PyBaMM Contributing Community led by Robert Timms, Ferran Brosa Planella and Tom Tranter of the Multi-scale Modelling project as well as Valentin Sulzer with a significant contribution from Simon O’Kane and Toby Kirk.
The PyBaMM collaboration has developed an enormously valuable tool that has already gained a global userbase and will benefit researchers across academia and industry – strengthening the link between the two. PyBaMM is building a collaborative community of researchers who will continue to drive the development of the program – for the benefit of the global battery community – not just the Faraday Institution. The development of PyBaMM highlights the world-leading nature of the Faraday Institution’s work to a global audience and was only possible through wide-reaching collaboration involving 38 contributors, including around 14 from the Multi-scale Modelling project.
Many congratulations to this community for their achievements.
Public Engagement / STEM Outreach Award
This award is given in recognition of an individual’s or team’s outstanding contribution to the local or national community in relation to science communication or the promotion of STEM careers.
The winner of this award is Elizabeth Driscoll of the University of Birmingham, a PhD researcher working on the CATMAT project.
Lizzie is recognised for a consistently outstanding contribution to STEM outreach via involvement in a variety of events, developing YouTube resources and podcasts, and working with a variety of partners, including the Royal Society of Chemistry, to reach a wide audience. By investing time to educate teachers about batteries and providing valuable support for FUSE interns, she is helping to inspire the next generation of battery researchers. Lizzie clearly embodies the values of the Faraday Institution; her work as a STEM ambassador is creative, energetic and determined. She is highly deserving of the public engagement/STEM outreach award.
Researcher Development Champion
This is awarded to an individual who goes the extra mile in the role of supervisor, mentor or training champion (in a formal or informal capacity) to guide early career researchers and inform career paths.
We’re delighted to announce that the winner is Professor Emma Kendrick, University of Birmingham.
We recognise Emma for her outstanding mentorship and commitment to progressing the prospects of early career researchers, both in her group and beyond. Her work in this area clearly goes above and beyond what is expected and is especially impressive as it is balanced alongside managing a large research programme and demonstrating scientific excellence, spanning many projects within the Faraday Institution and beyond. Emma sets an example within academia as an outstanding scientist, role model and advocate for early career researchers, and exemplifies the qualities of a Researcher Development Champion and is highly deserving of the award.
Please join us in congratulating Emma for her achievements
We would also like to recognise the huge achievements of a second nominee in each category.
We are delighted to recognise the team based in the ReLiB project that developed a pioneering method for delaminating electrodes as part of a faster, greener recycling process using high-powered, focussed ultrasound, and the associated patenting, paper publication and publicity. The success of the project was due to very strong collaboration involving several universities and a range of researchers at different career stages, coordinated under testing circumstances during the Covid pandemic by excellent leadership from PDRA Dr Chunhong Lei at the University of Leicester. The researchers across Birmingham, Leicester and Swansea are very worthy recipients of a highly commended as they demonstrated excellence in collaborative working resulting in some truly innovative technology with clear scope for commercial traction.
Many congratulations to all these researchers – Chunhong Lei, Dana Thompson, Jason Terreblanche, Rob Sommerville, Anton Zorin, Iain Aldous, Rowan Hansen, Sean Scott, Gavin Harper, Jack Allen, and Jennifer Hartley – for a fruitful collaboration.
Public Engagement/STEM Outreach Award
We’re delighted to recognise the efforts of Dr Gavin Harper of the University of Birmingham.
Gavin has conducted outstanding public engagement work for the ReLiB project, with 70 media engagements over a two-year period, that has gone a long way to position the project as an authority on battery recycling. His work has clearly progressed public understanding of battery science. A cornerstone of this success has been Gavin’s excellence in science communication and skilled use of networking and social media. His committed effort to publicise the work of ReLiB and the Faraday Institution therefore receives a high commendation.
Researcher Development Champion
We highly commend the FutureCat Training Committee led by Dr John Griffin of Lancaster University for their innovative and supportive activities for FutureCAT PDRAs to network during the pandemic.
The FutureCat Training Committee has demonstrated an impressive commitment to researcher training, organising a range of events and working hard to make events accessible during the Covid pandemic. The Committee has been highly successful, achieving excellent levels of engagement and empowering PDRAs to deliver the training themselves, resulting in lasting impact.
FutureCat Training Steering Group members also include Sam Booth, Anita Blakeston, Elinor Noble, Abby Haworth, and we also recognise the impactful contributions of Kirstie McCombie, Beth Johnston, Laura Wheatcroft, Gabriel Perez and Alisyn Nedoma.
The achievements and the initiative demonstrated provide a model for other projects within the Faraday Institution to follow and implement, and thus the work is highly commended.
Please join us in extending congratulations to all the individuals and teams that we have recognised with these awards. Thank you to all those that nominated these groups and individuals.
We intend to work with the three winners over the coming months to produce short videos to highlight each of their achievements and the importance of the types of activities they excel at in delivering cutting edge battery science and developing a dynamic pool of battery talent for the future.
Our thanks to chair of the panel Mel Loveridge, and Greg Offer, Andrew Wang, Gabriel Perez Garcia of our researcher community, Jennifer Channell of EPSRC and Fran Long of FIHQ for their service in selecting winners. The panel was ably facilitated by Kit McColl.
Who do you value in our community? Whose contribution should be recognised? Which other successes should we celebrate?
We intend to build on this year’s awards, so look out for details of next year’s programme.