ECR Committee

Our thriving Faraday Institution Early Career Researcher (ECR) Committee leads on initiatives for early career researchers working on Faraday Institution projects, including the planning and execution of the ECR Conference 31 October – 1 November 2022. The committee gives members opportunities to gain valuable experience, build professional identity, be a role model and add to their CV.

University College London

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James Robinson (Chair)

WMG, University of Warwick

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Ferran Brosa-Planella

University of Oxford

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Nicola Courtier

University of Southampton

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Julian Holland

Diamond Light Source

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James Le Houx

Faraday Institution

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Fran Long

ISIS Neutron & Muon Science

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Emily Reynolds

University of Oxford

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Yige Sun

University of Sheffield

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Laura Wheatcroft

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James Robinson (Chair)

Project Leader - University College London - LiSTAR


James is the Project Lead on the LiSTAR project based at the Electrochemical Innovation Lab at UCL. Having undertaken his undergraduate studies at in Chemical Engineering at University College Dublin James completed his PhD in UCL after which he was awarded a Royal Academy of Engineering UKIC Research Fellowship and EPSRC Doctoral Research Prize Fellowship. James’ research interests include the development of advanced diagnostics for electrochemical technologies and the design of new battery systems.

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Ferran Brosa-Planella

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - WMG, University of Warwick - Multi-scale Modelling


Dr Ferran Brosa Planella is a Senior Research Fellow at WMG (University of Warwick) working on mathematical modelling of lithium-ion batteries. He obtained a double Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics and Industrial Engineering from Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya and holds a DPhil in Mathematics from the University of Oxford.

Ferran´s research focuses on derivation, reduction and parameterisation of physics-based models for lithium-ion batteries. He is also a strong supporter of open science and is a core develop of PyBaMM and member of the organising committee of the ReproducibiliTea journal club at Warwick. Besides his research, Ferran regularly engages in outreach activities to disseminate science to a wider audience.

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Nicola Courtier

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - University of Oxford - Multi-scale Modelling


Dr Nicola Courtier is a Faraday Institution Research Fellow in the Department of Engineering Science at the University of Oxford.

Having obtained an MMath from Oxford in 2014, Nicola moved to the University of Southampton to study for a PhD in Mathematical Sciences, supported by the CDT in New and Sustainable Photovoltaics. She was subsequently awarded an EPSRC Doctoral Prize to continue her research on charge transport models of perovskite solar cells.

Nicola developed her interest in lithium-ion batteries when she joined the Faraday Institution’s Nextrode project to study the manufacture of lithium-ion battery electrodes. She is currently working on the optimisation and analysis of battery models with Prof. David Howey as part of the Multi-scale Modelling project.

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Julian Holland

PhD Researcher - University of Southampton


Julian Holland is a CASE PhD Student working on the atomistic simulation of battery materials using linear scaling density functional theory in the Skylaris group at the University of Southampton, and is affiliated to the Faraday Institution Multi-scale Modelling project. He maintains an active twitter account (@Julian_Q_Chem) highlighting topics of interest in his field and adjacent fields (please feel free to follow him!) Julian is the member of the Early Career Researcher Committee responsible for communications and visibility of the upcoming Faraday Institute ECR 2022 conference.

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James Le Houx

Postdoctoral Researcher - Diamond Light Source


Dr James Le Houx is a postdoctoral researcher at the Diamond Light Source. His research focuses on using X-rays to study structures, through both X-ray computed tomography, and X-ray powder diffraction techniques, with a particular focus on electrochemical devices. He uses the datasets from these characterisation techniques as computational domains for physics-based models, improving understanding of processes and performance. He has applied these techniques to a wide-range of science cases, including lithium-ion battery electrodes, supercapacitors, flow battery electrodes and rock microstructures (geophysics).

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Fran Long

Head of training and development - Faraday Institution


Fran is the Head of Training and Talent Development at the Faraday Institution and is working to create a dynamic and diverse pool of talent for the fields of battery technology and energy storage. An innovative educator and award-winning primary science specialist, who has conducted research into raising STEM career aspirations, Fran is committed to boosting professional career development in the STEM sector through developing and leading programmes for early career researchers, PhDs, undergraduate students, young people (through STEM outreach) as well as a host of equality, diversity and inclusion initiatives that widen participation and foster inclusivity.

Fran holds a first-class honours degree in Primary Teacher Education, received a Primary Science Teacher Award (PSTA) endorsed by the Institute of Physics and she is also a Fellow of the Primary Science Teaching Trust (PSTT). Today, talent development for the battery sector is her key focus with leading a bespoke PhD training programme and the Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience (FUSE) internship programme, central to the role. Both aim to increase the knowledge, skills and aspirations of the next generation.

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Emily Reynolds

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - ISIS Neutron & Muon Science - NEXGENNA


Dr Emily Reynolds is a Faraday Institution Research Fellow at the ISIS neutron and muon source. She completed her PhD in 2016 at the University of Sydney, titled “Structure-property relationships in uranium and technetium oxides” under the supervision of Prof. Brendan Kennedy, during which she was awarded the AINSE gold medal for research excellence. Following this she joined the University of Oxford as a PDRA working on characterising disordered structure in framework materials with Prof. Andrew Goodwin. In May 2020 she began her current role at ISIS as a PDRA in the Faraday Institution NEXGENNA project, where she facilitates neutron experiments and develops in-situ cells to characterise structure and dynamics in Na-ion battery systems.

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Yige Sun

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - University of Oxford - Nextrode


Yige Sun is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Materials at the University of Oxford, a MPLS divisional enterprise and innovation fellow, and a mentor in careers support network led by the University’s People and Organisational Development unit. She obtained an MS degree from Tsinghua University and a PhD from the University of Tsukuba. She was a junior researcher in the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS), Japan.

Her previous work was focused on the fabrication and structural design of graphene-based electrode in energy storage (batteries, supercapacitors, hybrid-capacitors).

She is currently researching surface analysis techniques for lithium-ion batteries, and the advanced manufacturing of smart electrodes (as part of the Faraday Institution Nextrode project). She also serves as a robotic project leader in the Oxford Robotics & Additive Manufacturing Society, and a supervisor of a 3D printing lab for the Oxford Materials Characterisation Service.

Outside of work, Yige is a member of the Oxford Archers Club and recently started to go to the gym.

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Laura Wheatcroft

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - University of Sheffield - FutureCat


Dr Laura Wheatcroft is a Faraday Institution Researcher Fellow on the FutureCat project based at the University of Sheffield. She works as part of the electrode longevity work package looking at novel ways to characterise microstructural damage and mechanical properties of cathode materials and developing electrode manufacturing methods. She was awarded her PhD in 2020 from the University of Sheffield, working with Professor Beverley Inkson and Johnson Matthey to research novel electron/ion-beam microscopy methods to study Li-ion battery degradation mechanisms.

 

If you would like to contact the committee or are interested in joining, please email ecr@faraday.ac.uk

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