The Faraday Institution Announces Inaugural Board of Trustees


Distinguished leaders in scientific research, public service, and business will help set agenda for UK programmes in energy storage research

HARWELL, UK (February 26, 2018) – Ten notable leaders with deep expertise in research and development, energy storage, the energy sector and auto industry, have formed the inaugural Board of Trustees of the Faraday Institution.

The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent battery research institute, and its goal is to make the UK a world leader in this vital technology. Faraday also has a clear mission to ensure the UK is well placed to take advantage of the future economic opportunities from this emerging technology.

The inaugural board members bring multifaceted perspectives and experiences from academia, industry, and public service to the role of advising the Faraday Institution. Board members serve as ambassadors and advisers in support of the Faraday Institution’s aims.

The members of the Faraday board include:

    Peter Littlewood, Chair
    Stephen Heidari-Robinson, Vice-Chair
    Stefan Berger
    Jeff Chamberlain
    Johney Green Jr.
    Julie Maxton
    Alan E. Nelson
    Jorge Pikunic Pam Thomas
    Mark Spearing

In addition, the Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin MP will serve as a senior adviser to the Faraday Institution Board of Trustees.

Announcing the appointments, board chair and founding executive director Peter B. Littlewood said:

“This is a pivotal moment for energy storage research in the UK. Our board of trustees will provide essential guidance for the Faraday Institution as it confronts key battery challenges facing our automotive and renewables industries. We are delighted to welcome these distinguished and widely respected individuals, who will benefit us in seizing new opportunities to make a difference through discovery and innovation.”

“Advanced battery technology will bring real benefits to people, like being able to drive from London to Glasgow on a single charge of a battery. It will also help bring us the manufacturing jobs of the future; further cement the UK as a world leader in science and innovation; and help secure a cleaner, greener environment for future generations.”

More on the inaugural board’s members:

Peter B. Littlewood, Chair

Peter B. Littlewood is Professor of Physics at the University of Chicago. He served as the 13th Director of the US Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory, after having served as the associate laboratory director of its Physical Sciences and Engineering directorate. He spent the previous 14 years at the University of Cambridge, where he last served as the head of the Cavendish Laboratory and the Department of Physics. Littlewood is internationally recognized for his research in a number of areas, including superconductivity, semiconductor optics, and magnetic materials. Littlewood holds a bachelor’s degree in natural sciences (physics) and a doctorate in physics, both from the University of Cambridge.

Stephen Heidari-Robinson, Vice-Chair

Stephen Heidari-Robinson is co-founder and managing director of Quartz Associates, and senior adviser for Covalis Capital. He served as former UK Prime Minister David Cameron’s energy and environment adviser and was one of the architects of the UK’s generation strategy and decarbonisation plan. Heidari-Robinson spent nine years as a leader in McKinsey and Company’s energy practice and was a vice president of Schlumberger. Heidari-Robinson read history at the University of Oxford, holds an MA in architectural history from the Courtauld Institute, London University, and studied Farsi at the School of Oriental and African Studies.

Stefan Berger

Stefan Berger joined Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) as Director, Electrification, in October 2017. He plays a vital role in JLR’s electrification journey, leading and coordinating both the electrification of the product portfolio and related activities like charging infrastructure development and the creation of new business models around electrification. Stefan holds a PhD in Information Systems from the University of Regensburg, Germany, and a Diploma in Business Administration of the University of Passau, Germany. More…

Jeff Chamberlain

Jeff Chamberlain is CEO of Volta Energy Technologies, a company that identifies and invests in battery and energy storage technology after performing deep diligence with the support of unparalleled global research institutions. In service both to its strategic corporate investors and to entrepreneurs, Volta identifies and invests in the most promising energy-storage innovations. Chamberlain holds a PhD in physical chemistry from the Georgia Institute of Technology and a BS in Chemistry from Wake Forest University. More…

Johney Green

Dr Johney Green Jr. serves as the Associate Laboratory Director for the Mechanical and Thermal Engineering Sciences directorate at the US Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Green oversees early-stage and applied research and development in NREL’s advanced manufacturing, buildings efficiency, concentrating solar power, geothermal energy, sustainable transportation, water power, and wind energy programs. Green holds a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Memphis and a master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology. More…

Julie Maxton

Dr Julie Maxton CBE is the Executive Director of the Royal Society, the first woman in 350 years to hold the post. Before taking up her position at the Royal Society in 2011 Maxton was Registrar at the University of Oxford, the first woman in 550 years in the role. Maxton combined a career as a practising lawyer with that of an academic, holding a number of senior academic positions, including those of Deputy Vice Chancellor, Professor and Dean of the Faculty of Law at the University of Auckland, New Zealand. More…

Alan E. Nelson

Alan E. Nelson is the Chief Technology Officer and Chief Executive of New Markets for Johnson Matthey plc. Nelson is responsible for leading the company’s innovation portfolio, and new business development in emerging markets including lithium ion batteries. Prior to joining Johnson Matthey, Nelson led R&D for several market facing businesses at The Dow Chemical Company, and prior to Dow was an Associate Professor and Associate Department Chair in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at University of Alberta. He received his doctorate in chemical engineering from Michigan Technological University and his bachelor’s degree from University of Minnesota Duluth. More…

Jorge Pikunic

Jorge Pikunic is Managing Director of Centrica’s global Distributed Energy & Power business, established to deliver distributed energy solutions for large energy users as part of a more flexible energy landscape. Born in Venezuela, Pikunic is an engineer and holds a MSc and PhD in Chemical Engineering. He was a research fellow at the University of Oxford before joining McKinsey & Company, where he advised a number of institutions in energy and other sectors. More…

Mark Spearing

Professor Mark Spearing is the Vice-President, Research and Enterprise at the University of Southampton. Previously he was the Pro Vice-Chancellor (International) and Head of the School of Engineering Sciences, having been appointed as the Professor of Engineering Materials in 2004. He was a faculty member at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology from 1994-2004. His personal research focuses on structural and functional materials. He holds a BA and PhD in Engineering from the University of Cambridge. More…

Pam Thomas

Professor Pam A. Thomas FInst P, CPhys, is currently the Pro Vice Chancellor for Research at the University of Warwick with responsibility for academic leadership of the research portfolio. In her personal research, she leads the Ferroelectric Crystallography group in the Department of Physics. She was educated at the University of Oxford, where she took a BA (Hons) in Physics and a DPhil on the subject of Optical Activity in Crystals in the Crystallography Group of the Clarendon Laboratory. More…

Rt Hon Sir Oliver Letwin, MP, Senior Advisor

Sir Oliver has been the Member of Parliament for West Dorset since 1997. From 2010, he was the Minister for Government Policy in David Cameron’s coalition government and coordinated the push to make the UK a world leader in electric vehicles. He continued to serve as Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Cabinet Minister in overall charge of the Cabinet Office until July 2016. He was educated at the University of Cambridge, Princeton University, and London Business School. In a varied career, Sir Oliver has been a research fellow at Cambridge University, a civil servant, and a bank director. He lives in West Dorset and London. More…

For more information on the Faraday Institution, visit


The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage science and technology, supporting research, training, and analysis. Bringing together expertise from universities and industry, the Faraday Institution endeavours to make the UK the go-to place for the research, development, manufacture and production of new electrical storage technologies for both the automotive and wider relevant sectors.

The first phase of the Faraday Institution is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is registered charity with an independent board of trustees.

To learn more, visit and follow @FaradayInst on Twitter.

The Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) builds on the UK’s world-class research base and delivers the science that business needs to transform existing industries, and create new ones. It accelerates commercial exploitation of the most exciting technologies the UK has to offer the world, in order to ensure that scientific investment truly delivers economic impact, jobs and growth right across the country. The ISCF is delivered by InnovateUK and Research Councils UK (RCUK), and eventually UK Research and Innovation, the single voice for the UK’s research and innovation landscape.

The ‘Faraday Battery Challenge’ is to develop and manufacture batteries for the electrification of vehicles – £246 million over four years – to help UK businesses seize the opportunities presented by the move to a low carbon economy. The challenge will be split into three elements: research, innovation, and scale-up. It is among the first of six investment areas announced by the government to be funded through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). As the main funding agency for engineering and physical sciences research, their vision is for the UK to be the best place in the world to Research, Discover and Innovate.

By investing £800 million a year in research and postgraduate training, the EPSRC is building the knowledge and skills base needed to address the scientific and technological challenges facing the nation. Their portfolio covers a vast range of fields from healthcare technologies to structural engineering, manufacturing to mathematics, advanced materials to chemistry. The research they fund has impact across all sectors. It provides a platform for future economic development in the UK and improvements for everyone’s health, lifestyle and culture.

The EPSRC works collectively with their partners and other Research Councils on issues of common concern via Research Councils UK.

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is keeping the UK at the forefront of international science and tackling some of the most significant challenges facing society such as meeting our future energy needs, monitoring and understanding climate change, and global security. The Council has a broad science portfolio and works with the academic and industrial communities to share its expertise in materials science, space and ground-based astronomy technologies, laser science, microelectronics, wafer scale manufacturing, particle and nuclear physics, alternative energy production, radio communications and radar.

STFC operates or hosts world class experimental facilities including in the UK the ISIS pulsed neutron source, the Central Laser Facility, and LOFAR, and is also the majority shareholder in Diamond Light Source Ltd.

STFC enables UK researchers to access leading international science facilities by funding membership of international bodies including European Laboratory for Particle Physics (CERN), the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), European Synchrotron Radiation Facility (ESRF) and the European Southern Observatory (ESO). STFC is one of seven publicly-funded research councils. It is an independent, non-departmental public body of the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

Posted on February 28, 2018 in Press Release

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Matthew Howard is Chief Strategy Officer at the Faraday Institution.

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