ECR Committee

The thriving Early Career Researcher (ECR) Committee leads on initiatives for early career researchers working on Faraday Institution projects as well as other battery related research projects in the UK. They lead in-person conferences and online networking events. The committee gives members and their peers opportunities to gain valuable experience, build professional identity and networks, meet role models and present their science to a wide audience. Events have four key objectives and are designed to ensure early career researchers can:

  1. Network
  2. Learn
  3. Contribute
  4. Take action

The committee is chaired by James Robinson from University College London and supported by Francesca Long, Head of Training and Talent Development at the Faraday Institution.

University College London

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James Robinson (Chair)

University of Oxford

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Nicola Courtier

Dr. Juliane Fiates

Newcastle University

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Juliane Fiates

Francesca Long

Faraday Institution

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Francesca Long

Pooja Kumari

University of Sheffield

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Pooja Kumari

Yige Sun

University of Oxford

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Yige Sun

University of Birmingham

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Georgia Rowe

University of Leicester

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Sean Scott

University of Oxford

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Zoë Wright

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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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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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Juliane Fiates

Faraday Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Newcastle University


Dr. Juliane Fiates

Dr. Juliane Fiates is a Faraday Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the School of Natural and Environmental Sciences at Newcastle University. She completed her PhD in Chemical Engineering at the University of Campinas (Brazil) in 2020. During her PhD, she was awarded a fellowship to work as a visiting researcher in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Notre Dame (US). Her PhD research centered on developing theoretical models for atomistic simulations of electrolytes and interfaces for Li-air battery applications.

Juliane also worked as a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Center for Innovation on New Energies (CINE) in Brazil from 2021 to 2023, where she concentrated on simulating and developing force fields for studying new electrolytes for Na-ion battery applications. In August 2023, she joined the Faraday Degradation project to investigate the atomistic mechanisms of anode-free battery degradation. Currently, she is working on developing computational procedures to model the solid electrolyte interfaces (SEI) for Li-based anode-free batteries, under the supervision of Dr. James A. Dawson.

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Francesca Long

Head of training and development - Faraday Institution


Francesca Long

Francesca 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.

Francesca 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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Pooja Kumari

Postdoctoral Researcher - University of Sheffield - NEXGENNA


Pooja Kumari

Dr Pooja Kumari is a Faraday Institution Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at the University of Sheffield. She completed her PhD in Nov. 2019 at the Malaviya National Institute of Technology (MNIT) Jaipur, India (with close collaboration to Hiroshima University, Japan), titled “Bi and its chalcogenides for all solid state Li-ion batteries” under the supervision of Dr Manoj Kumar.

Following this she joined the University of Birmingham, as a Research Fellow on FI project focused on in-situ/operando battery characterisation techniques for Li-ion batteries with Dr Melanie Britton. In this role, she did develop in-situ NMR and operando MRI techniques for Li-ion battery (half and full cell). In Sep 2021, she began her current role at the University of Sheffield as a PDRA in the Faraday Institution NEXGENNA project, where she is developing novel synthesis route for titanates based material that she is using as an anode for Na-ion batteries.

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Yige Sun

Faraday Institution Research Fellow - University of Oxford - Nextrode


Yige Sun

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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Georgia Rowe

Faraday Institution PhD Researcher - University of Birmingham - LiSTAR


Georgia is a PhD researcher working on the improvement of lithium-sulfur batteries. Georgia’s project investigates how porous materials can prevent the degradation of lithium-sulfur batteries. She synthesises materials called metal-organic materials (MOFs) with different pore sizes and functional groups and employs them as a separator/interlayer to determine the best candidate for improving the cells.

It is her goal to have a career that helps to improve our impact on the environment; developing safer, greener, longer-lasting batteries is an excellent way to achieve this. Therefore, after her PhD, she plans to continue researching next-generation battery technologies in an industrial setting. Georgia also aims to advocate for positive change, which is why she is a member of the Research Student Liaison Committee at her university, representing postgraduate demonstrators, and a member of the Faraday Institution Student Committee, representing her cohort.

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Sean Scott

Faraday Institution PhD Researcher - University of Leicester - ReLiB


Sean Scott is a Research Associate at the University of Leicester. In June 2023, he started his current position focusing on designing lithium-ion batteries for disassembly plus the characterization and relithiation of end-of-life materials as part of the ReLiB project. Prior to this he did a PhD, which was also associated with the Faraday Institution at the University of Leicester entitled ‘Alternative binders for simplified battery recycling’ under the supervision of Prof. Karl Ryder and Prof. Andrew Abbott.

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Zoë Wright

Faraday Institution PhD Researcher - University of Oxford - NEXGENNA


Zoë completed an undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of Birmingham and is undertaking a PhD focusing on high power sodium-ion batteries, supervised by Professor Bill David, as part of the NEXGENNa project. Having undertaken a Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience (FUSE) Internship in 2021 creating interactive electrode manufacturing resources, she was inspired to continue her studies and research into batteries and the energy sector. Zoë has a real passion and drive for research into new sustainable battery technologies and developing commercially viable alternative battery materials.

 

If you would like to contact the committee or are interested in joining, please email [email protected].

Find out more about opportunities and events for early career researchers.

 

 

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