Project Title: Multiscale Characterisation of Polymer Electrolyte Fuel Cells
My project used advanced imaging techniques to gain a deepened understanding of the operation and degradation of polymer electrolyte fuel cells. My supervisor gave me the freedom to explore my own research interests, but was always around to help if I needed direction. During my PhD, I carried out a placement at an energy consultancy company for two months, and it really helped me to put my research into a wider context.
I am currently an EPSRC Doctoral Prize Fellow, working in the Chemical Engineering department at UCL (where I also carried out my PhD). The fellowship is a two-year position and I was eligible because I had been funded by the CDT-ACM. Unlike a conventional post-doc, the fellowship allowed me to apply for my own research project and I hope the fellowship can act as a stepping stone to an academic career. My research now focusses on trying to improve materials in zinc-air batteries, using a wide range of characterisation techniques. Zinc-air batteries are not widely researched, but hold promise as alternatives to lithium-ion.
What differentiates the CDT ACM is the increased familiarity with facilities, techniques, and academic groups gained from working between the two partner universities.