PhD Title: Metal Oxide Materials for High Power Energy Storage
What was your background and why did you decide to study for a PhD at WMG?
I previously studied chemistry at bachelor’s level then a masters in analytical science, both here at the University of Warwick. When deciding to do a PhD there were lots of projects to choose from. I had studied energy storage previously and found it to be an exciting area, plus my research experience in solid state and analytical sciences suited the energy storage area. Yet, I chose WMG over other institutions and departments due to their vast array of facilities, expertise in energy storage and link to industry.
Tell us about your research project…
The official title of my project is “high power energy storage: new materials for large format supercapacitors”. What this really means is that I am looking into new materials which are suitable for high power energy storage. Some of the materials I am interested in have been worked on previously in literature but I look to nanostructure them in different ways as well as looking at improving their properties via doping and forming composites. I will be building these materials into battery and supercapacitor devices and then refining those with the best properties. By the end of my PhD I hope to have made some pouch cell devices out of my new materials to show their potential as grid storage devices.
What have you enjoyed most during your research degree?
I enjoy the lab work I do, every day is different and brings brand new challenges. The nature of the work means that I am also learning to use different instruments to try and solve my problems, but can often give me more questions to answer. Outside of my degree I do a lot of outreach work in the department with local schools, I really enjoy the contrast of this too my degree and the opportunity to inspire the next generation of scientists.
What are your plans after completing your research degree?
To be honest, I’m not really sure!! Being at WMG means that I have good access to jobs either in academia or industry. Although, I have a lot of passion for teaching through my outreach work so I may end up teaching science – watch this space!
What would you say to someone considering to do a research degree?
Make sure you do a project in an area you are really interested in. PhDs can be really tricky and you need something that will intrigue you enough to get out of bed on a bad day. I think the area of energy storage is changing so quickly that there is always something new to read or learn and that is what really drives me forward.