Faraday Institution Conference 2023 Poster Winners


Left to right: Poster winners Arthur Fordham and Rebecca Huang, poster judge Rowena Brugge from Nyobolt, poster winners Stephen Price and Sarah McKinney

Left to right: Poster winners Arthur Fordham and Rebecca Huang, poster judge Rowena Brugge from Nyobolt, poster winners Stephen Price and Sarah McKinney

The Faraday Institution 2023 Conference on the 11th-13th September 2023 brought together over 500 delegates with 150 organisations represented. One of the highlights of the event was the poster sessions and we are delighted to share the winners of the poster prizes.

We thank the judges for their time and insight:

The Winners and Judges Comments:

Research Progress and Findings – Dr Stephen Price, Finden

Poster title: “Probing the hierarchical structure of secondary LiNO2 cathode particles with nano-focussed XRD-CT”

This poster demonstrated strong collaborative research across academia, central facilities and industry with clear articulation of methods and results.

Scientific Content  – Sarah McKinney, PhD Researcher, Lancaster University

Poster title: “How do variations in calcination temperature and other synthetic parameters lead to different electrochemical performance in the disordered rocksalt (DRX) material Li1.2Ni0.2Ti0.6O2?”

The flow and structure of this poster was excellent. There was a good scientific explanation of the background with strong science through each step. It was good to see a clear explanation for observed differences in the performance of cathode materials.

Industrial Context – Arthur Fordham, PhD Researcher, UCL

Poster title: “Listening to Batteries: Using acoustic characterisation techniques to improve battery performance and safety”

The research motivation was clearly articulated and the research was aiming to solve a key safety challenge being experienced across the industry, with a potentially low-cost solution identified.

Communication and Engagement – Rebecca Huang, PhD Researcher, University of Sheffield

Poster title: “Tuning the phase fraction of multiphase Na0.9Fe0.5Mn0.5O2 cathode by biotemplating for Na-ion batteries”

A graphically engaging poster with creative construction. There was a good use of a battery icon to explain the process flow and QR codes for references.


Congratulations to our winners, and to everyone that presented a poster, or contributed to a vibrant discussion at the event.

Did you present a poster at the event? Please consider sharing on LinkedIn. Make sure to tag us and use #Faraday2023

Andrew Deadman – International R&D Partnerships Manager

A warm welcome to Andrew Deadman on his appointment to the role of International R&D Partnerships Manager

Andrew joined the Faraday Institution in July 2023 as the International R&D Partnerships Manager. His focus is on leading the Ayrton Challenge on Energy Storage which will convene, coordinate and collaborate with other government programmes. The challenge aims to create and commercialise innovative battery technologies and associated business models for fossil fuel generator displacement and mobility applications in developing countries, to expand and accelerate the clean energy transition. This includes leading the delivery of an RD&D programme to reduce the cost and improve the performance of battery energy storage system technologies for use in these regions.

Prior to joining the Faraday Institution, Andrew enjoyed a near 27-year career at the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), the UK’s national measurement institute. There he held a number of technical and managerial roles, most recently as the Group Leader for the Electrochemistry Group. Here he led a group of 20 scientists and engineers who apply world-leading measurement techniques to help improve the performance, safety and lifetime of materials and devices important for the energy transition, including batteries, fuel cells and electrolysers. In 2019 he was seconded to both the Faraday Institution and the Global Battery Alliance.

A physicist, who holds a BSc (Hons) degree in Applied Physics from the University of Portsmouth, Andrew’s technical expertise is in spectrometry, specifically the measurement of the transmittance, reflectance, and colour of materials.

Message from Professor Pam Thomas, CEO

An open letter from Professor, Pam Thomas, CEO, Faraday Institution to all members of our community:

I am writing to let you know that I am preparing to retire over next summer and will be stepping down from my position at the Faraday Institution at the end of April 2024. Leading this organisation has been an honour, and a highlight of the forty-plus years of my academic career. I take immense pride in the community we have cultivated. Our collective commitment to collaboration and dedication to research excellence remains a cornerstone of our success.

Today the Faraday Institution is well-positioned for future success. Over the past three years, we have bolstered our senior team and staff in the areas of programme management, early-stage commercialisation, education, and market analysis. We have reshaped our major programmes for maximum impact and expanded our industrial partnerships, solidifying the UK’s position as a prominent force in energy storage research and development. We have also established strategic relationships internationally, particularly in the US, and have extended our leadership and research efforts to develop batteries for emerging economies.

The Board of Trustees will initiate a comprehensive search to find the next leader of the Faraday Institution – a process in which members of the community will be invited to participate. The position holds great appeal in a field experiencing significant growth. I am confident that we will identify an exceptional individual who shares our vision and mission, who can drive the organisation towards important scientific breakthroughs in energy storage that will benefit the UK.

It will be “business as usual” to April 2024. Our primary focus remains on delivering impactful research addressing the challenges that currently impede the commercialisation of battery technology, and developing batteries suitable for diverse applications and sectors. Together with the team at FIHQ, I will finalise the restructuring of our major projects and craft a 5-year strategic plan to guide the organisation into the future. Beyond April 2024, I have agreed to serve as a senior advisor to the Faraday Institution, contributing where I can add the greatest value to the organisation.

I extend my heartfelt appreciation for your ongoing contributions to the Faraday Institution programmes and community. Should you have any questions regarding this announcement, please feel free to reach out to me or the team.

Professor Pam Thomas
CEO, The Faraday Institution
[email protected]

Faraday Pathways to Career Success

We are delighted to launch the Faraday Pathways campaign. #FaradayPathways showcases the career success of talented individuals throughout our community and how Faraday Institution training programmes, interventions, collaborative ways of working and community building initiatives are helping to deliver future skills need 

The Faraday Institution is developing a dynamic and diverse pool of talent at all career levels equipping people for future careers in academia, industry or policy making via:  

But what does this commitment to talent development mean for individuals working in the vibrant and growing area of battery energy storage research?  

How has being part of the Faraday Institution catalysed individual’s career successes?  

What interventions have made all the difference to enable researchers to get a foot on the next rung on the career ladder? 

#FaradayPathways aims to demonstrate the value of being part of the Faraday Institution community through a series of compelling personal narratives. It will also flag possible career pathways to researchers who want to use their skills in the UK battery sector.  

Share your Faraday Pathway 

Do you have an interesting career journey you’d like to share with others?  

Looking for a way to inspire the next generation of talent in the UK energy storage sector? 

What pointers can you offer to people following a similar path to you? What would you have liked to known when you were just starting out? 

Are you a training champion who runs an initiative that is making a difference to researchers’ career prospects? 

Are you based in an industry organisation and benefit from the skills of former Faraday Institution researchers? 

Are you a proud supervisor who wants to celebrate the success of your PhD researcher as they land their next position? 

Take a look at the resources we have developed to help you tell these stories.

Let’s get a chorus of voices singing the praises of #FaradayPathways.


Resources and ideas to help you share your Faraday Pathway

Model posts

Take a look at these model posts:

Launch meeting materials
Resources and guidance for sharing your career journey on social media 

Will Richardson – Research Project Manager

A warm welcome to Will Richardson on his appointment to the role of Research Project Manager.

Will Richardson joined the Faraday Institution as Research Project Manager in September 2022. He works closely with the Research Programme Director James Gaade, and two other Project Managers, Ben de Laune and Slywia Walus, who are collectively responsible for managing the Faraday Institution’s portfolio of research projects. Will supports the team with his previous experience in the UK battery industry in materials selection and cell design.

Prior to joining the Faraday Institution, Will worked at Nexeon developing and testing silicon anodes for use in high-energy pouch and cylindrical cells. At Dyson he was responsible for cathode materials selection and pouch cell testing for high-power applications. In 2017, Will developed improved production and characterisation methods for the microfabrication of solid-state batteries at Ilika Technologies. He completed his PhD in Electrochemistry at the University of Southampton.


FUSE 2022

Interns in the lab

In the summer of 2022, the Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience (FUSE) internship programme provided internships for undergraduate students to undertake paid eight-week placements with battery researchers from partner universities. We were delighted to welcome 55 talented and enthusiastic interns to work with our research community. Thank you to the supervisors for their support.

A series of online cohort events were held to inform and inspire our interns. Many thanks to the speakers from the Faraday Institution community.

I have thoroughly enjoyed my summer as a FUSE intern and found it to provide a great insight to the research being conducted in the battery sector. I feel like I have grown as a scientist and massively improved my skill set.”

Tabitha Seymour, FUSE student, University of Birmingham, Chemistry

I really enjoyed the work, and it made me sure that I want to do a PhD in the battery technology field and after that, I want to pursue a research career. “

Reka Keresztes, FUSE student, University College London, Chemical Engineering

The interns have been a great addition to the lab, providing a fresh outlook and enthusiasm for their research projects.”

James Robinson, FUSE supervisor, University College London

Our Faraday Institution Summer Experience undergraduate summer interns produced a wealth of high-quality scientific posters at the end of their projects. Some of the posters were awarded ‘highly commended’ or a poster prize. View all the posters below.


Poster winners & judges’ comments

Scientific content and context – Maud Tregear, poster entitled: Towards High-Performance “Anode-Free” Solid-State Batteries, SOLBAT

Maud’s area of study is particularly timely as eliminating anodes is at the cutting edge of the next generation of battery technology.  It is especially difficult to study these materials due to their environmental sensitivity, making this project highly commendable.  Making such impressive progress, given the time constraints of a short internship, made this project stand out.  Maud has also successfully balanced creating highly engaging visuals, with very clear and concise scientific explanations.

Research progress and findings – Punit Jivan, poster entitled: Debondable adhesives for improved pack disassembly, ReLiB

Punit created a clear narrative, describing the impressive amount of work undertaken for this short internship.  The methods used were easy to comprehend due to the way they were effectively communicated, and the addition of a YouTube video was a nice extra touch.  The poster highlighted how the project was highly applicable to industry, especially with the comparative material costings and referencing international standards.  The conclusions of Punit’s work will be of interest to academia and industry alike.

Visual appeal – Zayd Islam, poster entitled: New pack and cell designs to simplify battery recycling, ReLiB

Zayd created a visually eye catching and colourful poster that entices the reader to explore the scientific content in full.  Key facts are displayed in creative and understandable ways.  The YouTube video is an excellent way to help visualise the methodology.  This poster contains the optimum amount of text and images, making it really easy to digest in one reading.  Clear headings throughout signpost content.  It skilfully demonstrates the real-world relevance of the project and is equally engaging for the expert or newcomer alike.

Student science communicator – Reka Keresztes, poster entitled: Environmental impact analysis of sodium-ion battery manufacturing, Multi-scale Modelling

Reka has successfully created a high-quality poster, as well as harnessed the training provided to confidently start to build a strong researcher identity online.  The judges were impressed by the quality of the graphics which effectively communicate the key facts and findings from the project (with her own illustration in Figure 2 especially standing out).  It is evident that a lot of time and effort was invested into this poster.  The written explanations demonstrate depth of knowledge but also display a clear enthusiasm for the subject.


All FUSE 2022 posters

InternPoster topic and link to posterAward
Christina SiakalliSpatially-resolved characterisation of Ni-rich cathodeHighly commended
Jade DoodyOutreach: Behind the Lab Specs
Abigail ParsonsStabilisation of Lithium Nickel Oxide for Lithium-ion battery cathodes
Esme BaileyInvestigating the surface reactivity of the high voltage cathode Li2MnO2F with different electrolytes in Li-ion batteries
Junpei ShiFirst principles study of degradation in NMC cathodesHighly commended
Jack GinnisMechanical Properties of Nickel-rich Cathode Materials
Zoe LacourCan Li-air batteries operate via moisture-resistant chemistry?Highly commended
Louis JonesTesting the Effect of Conditions on Lithium-Ion Battery Performance
Poppy MullinsCu and Al current collector corrosion in state-of-the-art Li-ion battery coin cells
Aiman ZaidiProcess Analysis for UK LFP Manufacturing - with Exawatt
Kenan Gnonhoue DokononChemical Imaging of Batteries - with FindenHighly commended
Ben DawsonFUSE Outreach – Electric Car resource for Secondary SchoolsHighly commended
Arun AtwalImpedance measurements of thin film cathodes
Peter Akinskin3D Current Collectors for Anodeless Li-S CellsHighly commended
Brendan GohInvestigating the Electrocatalytic Conversion of Polysulfides in Li-S BatteriesHighly commended
Swoyam PandaMachine Learning to Discover Lithium Sulfur Battery Models
Isobel OliverColloidal metal sulfide clusters as catalysts for the lithium-sulfur batteryHighly commended
Libby BrookeElectrochemical study of heterogenous catalysts for sulfur redoxHighly commended
Aran WellmanDeveloping an Understanding of the Costs of Manufacturing for Li-S Batteries (Co-Hosted with ExaWatt)Highly commended
Szymon KoscParametric studies via molecular dynamic simulations to investigate the effect of electrolyte in lithium-sulphur batteries
Multi-scale Modelling
Reka KeresztesEnvironmental imapct analysis of sodium-ion battery manufacturingWinner - Student science communicator
Amelia (Shengyi) HuDiscovery of superionic solid-state electrolytes using unsupervised machine learningHighly commended
Rachel GordonTaking battery chemistries to scale
Daria TurceletEvaluation of Carbon Tin Composites as Negative Electrodes in Sodium Ion Batteries
Hengyi ZhangRemediated ground waste as novel cathode material for sodium-ion batteries
Adam KavanaghOperando characterisation of Na-ion battery electrode materials
Rebecca WitteCathode development and optimization for high-power sodium-ion batteriesHighly commended
Tabitha SeymourOutreach: Behind the Lab SpecsHighly commended
Tian Jun GohImaging metrology for battery electrode coatings
Zhengyang LiTechnological distance mapping and analysis
Erin BudgeExtraction of lithium sales from geothermal waters
Veronica LaiModelling titanate special anodes
Victoria AliuOutreach: Behind Lab SpacesHighly commended
Zayd IslamNew pack and cell designs to simplify battery recyclingWinner - Visual appeal
Punit JivanDebondable adhesives for improved pack disassemblyWinner - Research progress and findings
Marco Tome FreireAcoustic Spectroscopy to Improve Battery Safety
Yuchen ZhaoUsing molecular dynamics to probe solvent-salt reactions within li-ion battery thermal runaway
Jacqueline LeeHopping through the interfaces: a multiscale chemo-mechanics model for solid-state battery energy materialsHighly commended
Maud TregearTowards High-Performance “Anode-Free” Solid-State BatteriesWinner - Scientific content and context
Keiziah ChangDevelopment of Positive Electrode Structures in Solid State Batteries
Other projects
Nicholas GerardEnvironmental impact analysis of lithium-sulphur battery manufacturingHighly commended
Yaashiene PukazhendiInvestigating battery pack balancing strategies
Alen MaguireElectrochemomechanics of the Li-solid electrolyte interphase
Aya RagehRest Easy: Efficient Extraction of a Battery Open Circuit Voltage
Emile El AzarNovel diagnostic and prognostic models for lithium-ion batteries
Anghelina EscovFlow battery design for energy storage
Courtney DyerApplication of a miniaturized fluxgate magnetometer to investigate battery charge/discharge cycles
Gagandeep NanderaDeveloping educational resources to explain high power battery materialsHighly commended
Ishan RajEscaping Temperature-Gridlock through Smart Battery Model Parameterisation
Ed HarrisonPreparation and characterization of advanced coatings on cathode materials
Ningyuan FuCellPod Tooling Design and Optimisation
Sigurd BjerkhaugCell Testing and Product Design


I have gained valuable insight into the working world of academia, developed my abilities as an independent worker, and met lots of interesting and brilliant scientists.”

Benjamin Dawson, FUSE student, University of Edinburgh, Chemical Physics

It is a growing industry which is instrumental for a greener future, so definitely a potential career. For me it was a varied internship experience, which exposed me to both the battery industry and a start-up environment.”

Sigurd Bjerkhaug, FUSE student, Imperial College London, Materials Science & Engineering

US UK Battery Workshop First in an Ongoing Collaboration

Leading energy storage researchers from the UK Faraday Institution and the US Department of Energy and its National Laboratories met in July to share research findings and identify areas for collaboration at a workshop held at the Royal Institution. The focus of this workshop, the first in a planned series to be hosted alternately in the US and the UK, was on pathways to accelerate R&D for 1) alternative recycling routes for lithium-ion batteries and 2) high-capacity cathode materials with enhanced properties, whilst reducing reliance on critical minerals.

The 40 leading US- and UK- researchers that gathered at a recently held workshop at the Royal Institution that explored ways for US and UK researchers to work more closely together to reduce reliance on critical minerals in cathode materials and to ensure recyclability of batteries. The event follows on from a virtual US UK battery summit held in February 2022, which attracted 800+ registrants. Photo by Adam Gasson / Faraday Institution.

Delegates attending the workshop also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) by Professor Pam Thomas, CEO of the Faraday Institution, and Dr Peter F Green, Deputy Laboratory Director for Science and Technology and Chief Research Officer of the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). The MOU sets out to establish a cooperative relationship in support of joint US UK research to develop and improve high-capacity batteries as well as new methods for battery materials recycling for their future usage in electric vehicles for a more sustainable world. The MOU builds upon the 2021 Atlantic Charter and Joint Statement, whereby the US President and UK Prime Minister committed to strengthen S&T collaboration, including on batteries.

Peter F Green, NREL, and Pam Thomas, Faraday Institution shaking hands

Peter F Green, NREL, and Pam Thomas, Faraday Institution. Photo by Adam Gasson / Faraday Institution.

UK Business Minister Lord Callanan said: “The signing of this memorandum signals the UK’s continued commitment to international research collaboration in areas of strategic importance, such as energy storage. It is vital the UK continues to make efficient use of critical minerals through partnerships like this one and embed their re-use, recycling and recovery in the supply chain, as laid out in our new Critical Minerals Strategy.”

Professor Pam Thomas opened the workshop and, with Dr Peter Faguy, set the scene for UK and US battery research in the context of increasing demand for critical minerals and its impact on supply chains for future battery manufacture, providing a common framework for discussion. Through a series of presentations, the workshop provided a forum for delegates to share current research challenges and promising results, whilst highlighting the highest-impact areas on which to focus joint efforts. Breakout sessions, facilitated by Venkat Srinivasan (Argonne National Laboratory), Matt Keyser (NREL), and James Gaade and Ian Ellerington (Faraday Institution), focused the discussion to prioritize questions in recycling and cathode materials research which might be taken up through collaboration.

Photo collage. Left to right: Sofia Diaz-Moreno, Diamond Light Source; Jagjit Nanda, ORNL and Paul Shearing, UCL; Jie Xiao, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Tony Harper, Faraday Battery Challenge

Left to right: Sofia Diaz-Moreno, Diamond Light Source; Jagjit Nanda, ORNL and Paul Shearing, UCL; Jie Xiao, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Tony Harper, Faraday Battery Challenge

During the week, US delegates also visited the impressive battery research laboratories and facilities at UCL, Imperial College London, and the United Kingdom’s Battery Industrialisation Centre – hearing talks on cutting-edge R&D and manufacturing


US UK Workshop Series in Electrochemical Energy Storage Research

Workshop 1: Cathode Materials and Recycling

27 – 28 July 2022

Day One

Welcome, Pam Thomas CEO, The Faraday Institution

Introduction, Peter Faguy, on behalf of David Howell, Vehicle Technologies Programme US Department of Energy

Cathode Materials


Day Two

The workshop was organised by Tony Burrell, Chief Technologist for Energy Storage at NREL, and Matt Howard, Chief Strategy Officer for the Faraday Institution.

About the FI:

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research, skills development, market analysis, and early-stage commercialisation. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research and development of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors. It is a key delivery partner for the Faraday Battery Challenge at UK Research & Innovation.

About the U.S. Department of Energy’s Applied Energy Storage Programmes:

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) directs research designed to reduce the cost of batteries. It is involved in all aspects of battery development from addressing fundamental issues of materials and electrochemical interactions at interfaces. This research includes materials discovery, advanced cholerization, theory and modelling, advanced characterization, and diagnostic tools. The Vehicles Technologies Office (VTO) also has an emphasis on optimizing next generation, high-energy lithium ion electrochemistries, such as high energy cathode and anode, full cell systems, and the complex chemical interactions in these cells.

39 delegates participated in the two-day workshop, representing 18 organisations from the US and UK. Argonne National Laboratory
Dr Venkat Srinivasan
Dr Jason R Croy
Dr Krzysztof (Kris) Z. Pupek
Mr Jeff Spangenberger
Dr Albert L Lipson Cambridge University
Professor Dame Clare P. Grey Diamond Light Source
Dr Sofia Diaz-Moreno The Faraday Institution 
Professor Pam Thomas
Mr James Gaade
Mr Ian Ellerington
Dr Sylwia Waluś
Mr Matt Howard Idaho National Laboratory
Dr Tanvir R. Tanim Innovate UK and the Faraday Battery Challenge
Mr Tony Harper Jaguar Land Rover
Dr Valentina Gentili Lancaster University
Dr Nuria Tapia Ruiz Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Dr Gerd Ceder
Dr Robert Kostescki National Renewable Energy Laboratory
Dr Peter F. Green
Dr Bill Tumas
Dr Tony Burrell
Mr Matthew Keyser
Ms Kae Fink Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Dr Ilias Belharouak
Dr Mahalingam Balasubramanian
Dr Jagjit Nanda Pacific Northwest National Laboratory 
Dr Jud Virden
Dr Jie Xiao University College London
Professor Paul Shearing University of Bath
Dr Benjamin Morgan University of Birmingham
Professor Paul Anderson
Professor Emma Kendrick
Professor Peter R Slater University of Leicester
Professor Andrew Abbott University of Warwick
Professor Louis Piper The University of Sheffield 
Dr Denis Cumming
Professor Beverley J Inkson University of St Andrews
Professor John Irvine The US Department of Energy
Peter Faguy

Jon Leong – Business Intelligence Manger

A warm welcome to Jon Leong on his appointment to the role of Business Intelligence Manger. 

Jonathan joined the Faraday Institution in May 2022 as a Business Intelligence Manger. He works closely with the Commercialisation Director to help identify and develop commercialisation opportunities and owns the TSCAN process. TSCAN is the Faraday Institution’s methodology to prioritise and direct the activities of its internal commercialisation team to the research areas that are likely to have the most substantive impact on the UK economy.

Prior to joining the Faraday Institution, he worked in Dyson’s battery research programme and was responsible for process development and industrialising lab-based research activities into manufacturing-scale concepts. Prior to that, he worked on novel technologies for Dyson’s personal care products and was also seconded to the office of the CEO. Jonathan has also worked for IBM and has experience in a law firm.

In 2018, Jonathan obtained a 1st Class Meng in Material Science and Engineering from Imperial College London. His Master’s project focused on characterising the degradation of garnet-type solid state batteries.

Powering our sustainable future

The Royal Institution and the Faraday Institution bring you a quality video resource to inspire young people about battery careers, as we look to power our sustainable future. Please share. 

Can you imagine a world without batteries?

On Friday 18 March 2022 the Faraday Institution partnered with the Royal Institution to host an interactive careers event aimed at young people aged 13 – 17, to showcase the array of skills needed, and wealth of exciting careers available in the battery sector, that can positively contribute to the green revolution as we seek to go fully electric. Chemistry, physics, biology, engineering, robotics, mathematics, law, computing and electronics, all play a part in seeking to find pioneering solutions to the challenges faced in making batteries cheaper, lighter, safer, more powerful, longer lasting and more recyclable.

The event featured talks in the Royal Institution theatre by Fran Long, Head of Training and Talent Development, Faraday Institution, Dr Billy Wu, Senior Lecturer, Imperial College London and a Q&A with four talented Faraday Institution PhD Researchers as they shared experiences of their research, what inspires them, and the rewards of working in this sector:


Enjoyed the video? Please share widely with local schools, young people you know, teachers, and organisations active in STEM outreach. We’re aiming to increase the impact of the event further.

We’re aiming for 2,000 views by the end of May. Can you help us achieve that?

The lecture theatre talk was followed by an engaging science fair with interactive exhibits from companies and research groups working in the sector:

A huge thank you to our speakers, exhibiting organisations, and to the Royal Institution for making the event the success that it was. It is a pleasure and a privilege to continue our public outreach partnership.

Want to find out more?

Coventry University brings new capability to Faraday Institution LiSTAR project

We are delighted to announce that Coventry University has joined LiSTAR — the Faraday Institution’s research project developing lithium-sulfur technology, bringing a new capability to the consortium and removing a bottleneck in cell manufacturing.

The LiSTAR consortium is led by UCL with existing contributions from Imperial, Birmingham, Cambridge, Nottingham, Oxford, Southampton and Surrey. The project is leading the UK’s effort to enable rapid improvements in Li-S technology by generating new knowledge, materials and engineering solutions, thanks to its dual focus on fundamental research at materials and cell level, and an improved approach to system engineering.

Significant research progress has been made by LiSTAR since its inception in September 2019 and the team now has the need to scale up their research and verify promising results shown in coin cells to pouch cell scale. The Coventry team, led by Professor Alex Roberts, brings a cell fabrication capability available to all the consortium’s universities. He and his team will fabricate around 100 benchmark pouch cells with capacities beyond 2Ah, in a 5×7 cm pouch cell format.

Dr James Robinson, Project Leader of LiSTAR, UCL, commented, “Coventry’s flexible capabilities, agile approach, and ability to work with sulfur, is just what the project needs at this stage to demonstrate the capabilities of Li-S technology the project has developed so far at larger scales, and so move research quickly to its next stage.”

The pouch cells fabricated in Coventry will be used by:

The project will also benefit from Coventry’s reel-to-reel coating capability that will manufacture cathodes to be used by project teams across the consortium. In addition to providing an improved benchmark cathode, the new project capability will allow the most promising cathode materials developed within the project to be tested at a larger scale. By doing so the consortium will be able to more robustly demonstrate the commercial and industrial impact the research is achieving.

Professor Pam Thomas, CEO Faraday Institution, comments, “Coventry joining the thriving LiSTAR team part way through the on-going project is a prime illustration of the active management approach used by the Faraday Institution across its portfolio to direct effort towards promising areas and to bring in new capabilities as the projects advance. We welcome Coventry University, with its growing battery prototyping capability and expertise, into the community of our large collaborative research projects.”

Faraday Institution Industry Fellowships have previously been awarded to Professor Roberts and Dr Agata Greszta, who are have been making excellent progress in the development and demonstration of niobium tungsten oxide anode materials in prototype lithium-ion batteries. Their advances have helped Nyobolt attract investment. In a third Industry Fellowship involving a Coventry University researcher, Dr Tazdin Amietszajew is collaborating with Breathe Battery Technologies to advance battery management systems and cell behaviour tracking capabilities.