CBE Seminar Series: Dr Qiong Cai

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Event details

Friday 12 May 2023


Currently being re-scheduled

Materials for zero-carbon energy conversion and storage: Linking atoms and microstructures for developing better technologies



Materials are at the heart of the enabling technologies for zero-carbon energy conversion and storage. In this talk I will discuss why we need to design materials at both the atomic scale and the microstructure scale for developing better technologies. I will first introduce our work on materials design (using density functional theory and molecular dynamics simulations) and discovery (using experimental materials synthesis) at the atomic scale for batteries and hydrogen electrolysers. I will then introduce our effort in designing the 3D electrode microstructures for batteries and fuel cells, using a 3D pore-scale lattice Boltzmann model developed at the University of Surrey, in combination with experimental approaches including 3D tomography and electrochemical testing. I also hope to introduce our ongoing/future activities in (1) Li metal-electrolyte interfaces for Li-S batteries (with Faraday Institution), (2) multiscale materials design for anode-free solid-state batteries (with Horizon Europe), (3) development of catalysts for zero-emission hydrogen and ammonia combustion (with UK Hydrogen Research Hub), and discuss potential collaboration opportunities with colleagues at Sheffield.


Dr Cai is a Reader in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering, with research interest in multiscale materials design using both experimental and computational approaches for energy storage and conversion applications including fuel cells, batteries, electrolysers, and catalytic conversion of chemicals. She has worked across disciplines and collaborates widely with colleagues from physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and computer science within Surrey and from different national and international institutions. Her group work at nano-scale materials synthesis and design, meso-scale electrode engineering and 3D microstructure modelling, and system-level modelling and optimization.

Prior to joining Surrey, she was a research associate at Imperial College London (2007-2012), working on fuel cells and electrolysers. She obtained her PhD degree in Chemical Engineering (2007) from University of Edinburgh (UK) with the support of an Overseas Research Scholarship from the Universities UK, where she worked on fundamental understanding of porous materials. Her MEng training (2003) was in Materials Science and Engineering from Tsinghua University (China), where she started her research on experimental materials synthesis.


The Seminar will be taking place 2pm - 3pm, in LT02 Pam Liversidge Building. Tea, coffee & cake will be available outside the Lecture Theatre, after the seminar, with an opportunity to network with colleagues from the wider university.

Seminar: 2pm, Lecture Theatre 02, Pam Liversidge Building, A Floor

Refreshments: 3pm, outside LT02 Pam Liversidge Building, A Floor

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