Training and Diversity Panel
The Faraday Institution’s Training and Diversity Panel advises the organisation on how best to achieve its ambitious aims of creating a dynamic, diverse, driven pool of talent to work in the battery technology sector of the future. The panel brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise from academia, industry and the public sector.
In March 2022, multiple panel members came the end of their term, and following an open recruitment process, the Faraday Institution reformed a refreshed and diverse panel. The new panel brings new voices and perspectives from industry, academia, and organisations with shared values, combining to bring a wealth of expertise that will inform future planning.
Imperial College LondonView Profile
Dr Billy Wu (Chair)
University of SheffieldView Profile
Professor Solomon Brown
Windsor Fellowship, University College LondonView Profile
Jaguar Land RoverView Profile
Dr Serena Gallanti
The Faraday InstitutionView Profile
WMG, University of WarwickView Profile
Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE)View Profile
Harini Hewa Dewage
Faraday InstitutionView Profile
University of LiverpoolView Profile
Dr Saneeya Qureshi
Dr Billy Wu (Chair)
Senior Lecturer - Imperial College London
Dr Billy Wu is a Reader at Imperial College London. His research focuses at the interface between fundamental science and engineering application of electrochemical devices with cross cutting activities including energy materials, continuum modelling, thermal management and battery pack engineering. He is also a Fellow of The Higher Education Academy, with a post-graduate certificate in teaching and learning support.
Professor Solomon Brown
Senior Lecturer - University of Sheffield
Solomon Brown is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield and the Director of EPSRC’s CDT in Energy Storage and its Applications. He currently holds a Royal Academy of Engineering Industrial Fellowship focused on understanding the value of BioEnergy CCS to the UK and leads the University of Sheffield’s Energy Systems research Pillar, a part of Sheffield’s Energy Institute, and sits on the Grantham Centre for Sustainable Futures’ Strategic Board. He has published over peer-reviewed 95 papers on various aspects of modelling and optimisation of clean energy processes.
Chair of the Board of Trustees - Windsor Fellowship, University College London
Kevin is a Member of the Royal Society of Chemistry Diversity and Inclusion Committee, a Linnean Society Council member and is the Chair of the Board of Trustees for Windsor Fellowship.
Kevin is an equalities practitioner in higher education, currently working as Pro-Director for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion as the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. He is also the Chair of the Higher Education Race Action Group, a sector wide body that promotes race equality, an Athena SWAN and Race Equality Charter panellist for Advance HE and previous Co-Chair of the League of European Research Universities EDI Policy Group. He was UCL’s Athena SWAN and Gender Equality Policy Manager, Head of Equality and Diversity at the University of Oxford, an Equality and Diversity Consultant at the University of Cambridge and an HR Strategy and Policy Partner at Birkbeck, University of London.
Research & Development Programme Manager - Echion
Fiona is currently the Research & Development Programme Manager at Echion Technologies. She is responsible for guiding the development of the company’s battery anode materials. She manages the effectiveness of the Echion R&D team and is part of strategic decision making on future product advancement. She completed her MSci & MA(Cantab), in Natural Sciences (Chemistry) at Cambridge University and gained her doctorate in Materials Chemistry (Magnetic Materials) at the University of Edinburgh.
Throughout her career Fiona has demonstrated a strong commitment to training and development both in education, including teaching roles at Reading University and the supervision of PhD students, and in the commercial arena, with the support and mentoring of team members and colleagues. She was also part of a Global Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce when working for a major battery materials company.
Fiona has a successful track record in the battery industry. Most recently in the Product Innovation Team at Johnson Matthey Battery Materials, leading the team in the development of novel high nickelate cathode materials by surface modification and the advanced characterisation and physicochemical understanding of Johnson Matthey’s high nickel cathode material portfolio.
Dr Serena Gallanti
Lead Cell Engineer - Jaguar Land Rover
Serena is currently in charge of characterisation of battery materials at Jaguar Land Rover. She is also one of the primary stakeholders in the Catapult initiatives, as well as being active in student supervision.
Serena established significant abilities in electrodeposition and material characterisation during her PhD in physical and analytical chemistry and during her career. In 2014, she received the International Society of Electrochemistry's Poster Presentation Prize, and in 2015, she was a finalist in the Sorbonne University's selection for the CNRS contest "My PhD thesis in 180 seconds," which aims to bring technical material to a wider audience.
Serena gathered 10 years of experience in teaching both at Bachelor and Master degree levels during her PhD and her previous role as Assistant Professor. Serena volunteers for Zero Waste Europe and France in her spare time, where she gives scientific presentations to the wider public about domestic waste reduction.
Training Manager - The Faraday Institution
Dominic Grantley-Smith joined the Faraday Institution in October 2022 as the Training Manager and leads in the delivery of the PhD training and the Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience (FUSE) internship programmes. Dominic’s aim is to support the diversity and dynamic pool of talent going into the battery sector.
Dominic is passionate about sustainability and believes to solve the climate crisis we need to reduce barriers and provide opportunities for everyone wanting a STEM career. Dominic believes batteries and energy storage will play a key part in getting to net zero.
Before this role, Dominic led a botanic garden education team internationally, through public engagement and online training. He designed behaviour change activities to make the public more environmentally friendly. His work led him to speak at COP 26 and many global educational conferences. Before that Dominic worked in science communication in the museum sector and holds a degree in biology.
Assistant professor - WMG, University of Warwick
Ivana is Assistant Professor of Electrochemical Materials at the University of Warwick (WMG). Her research activities are directed toward the understanding of the processes governing the chemistry of the next generation sustainable battery technologies. Design of technically relevant materials and the investigation of their structure-property correlation and electrochemical behavior are the core of her research interest. At the Energy Innovation Centre, she is also working toward the development and scale up of new battery chemistries from concept to full proven cell prototypes.
Since 2012 her work on electrochemical energy storage systems developed among Sapienza University of Rome (Italy), Helmholtz Institute Ulm (Germany), Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (California, USA), and University of Warwick (UK) has led to several peer-reviewed publications, invited talks at international conferences, and a spot award in recognition of pioneering work performed at LBNL. Her recent work was highlighted in the themed collection “Emerging Investigators 2023” in the Journal of Materials Chemistry A.
Ivana is currently serving as Elected Technical Advisor of Working Group 1 “New Emerging Technologies” within the European Technology and Innovation Platform (ETIP) BatteRies Europe and is a member of the Early Career Advisory Board of Batteries & Supercaps. Ivana is also the academic lead for the WMG Battery School for Faraday Institution course that brings together fundamental and applied research into battery technology.
Senior Engineer - Advanced Battery Technologies - Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE)
Multi-disciplinary engineer with a background in physical chemistry, mechanical and motorsport engineering. As an undergraduate, she was actively involved in energy storage research, developing novel fuel cell materials and supporting battery material development. Melissa completed a research Master’s where she carried out an industry project with FCA US (now Stellantis), working on the battery management system for the Fiat 500e. After finishing a motorsport Master’s, she has been working at Williams Advanced Engineering (WAE) where Melissa has been involved in a wide variety of battery projects from micro mobility to motorsport to heavy duty vehicles.
CEO and co-founder - Gaussion
Dr Tom Heenan is the CEO and co-founder of Gaussion, a London-based start-up that develops magnetic systems to improve battery performance. He is the lead inventor of MagLiB technology, and a Faraday Entrepreneurial Fellow. Throughout his career he has accumulated numerous awards and published several high-impact publications; Nature (DOI:10.1038/s41586-023-05913-z). He is an internationally recognised engineer & entrepreneur, and has previously acted as: Visiting Foreign National at NASA; the co-creator of an open-source battery database (DoE, USA); a consultant for various companies; and has acted as an expert-witness on high-profile court-cases.
Harini Hewa Dewage
Energy and Power Systems Researcher - Hitatchi
Harini is currently an Energy & Power Systems Researcher in the Sustainability Lab at Hitachi Europe Research & Development. Her research focuses on potential energy-as-a-service products and solutions for the European electricity distribution market, as well as battery technology including the investigation of second-life opportunities. After gaining a PhD in Energy Storage from Imperial College, Harini acted as Battery Research Lead at M-KOPA Solar which provided solar home systems to people without energy access in sub-Saharan Africa. She oversaw the development of lifecycle management systems and processes including the development of lithium-ion battery manufacturing auditing tools for procurement, as well as leading energy storage research projects for the organisation. Subsequently she worked as a free-lance energy storage consultant working with businesses and non-profits globally before starting in her current role at Hitachi.’
Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering - UCL
Rhodri is an Associate Professor in Chemical Engineering at UCL whose research focuses on the characterisation of energy materials and devices using x-rays. Since 2018 he has been the project lead for the Faraday Institution battery Degradation programme and is involved in several other projects across the battery research space. At UCL, he is the Year in Industry Tutor and Careers liaison and is a chartered Scientist. He is a frequent user of large scale facilities and sits on the STFC Physical Sciences Advisory Board and Diamond review panel (spectroscopy). He is the academic lead for outreach group UCell who educate and inform a variety of audiences in electrochemical technologies and promote STEM access for all.
Head of Training and Talent 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.
Dr Saneeya Qureshi
Operational Lead - University of Liverpool
Saneeya leads a portfolio of UK and European research talent development activities that are lauded as gold standards for inclusivity and accessibility. She is the University of Liverpool’s operational lead for the Concordat to Support the Career Development of Researchers and a peer reviewer for the European HR Excellence in Research Award. As convener for the European Educational Research Association’s early career research enhancement activities, she also contributes to shaping European policy, creating and implementing effective research talent development frameworks.