30 July 2020

Powering industry: Industry Fellowship awarded to foster relationship between University of Sheffield and industry

The Faraday Institution has awarded one of its first ever Industry Fellowships to the University of Sheffield in an innovative new programme aimed to strengthen ties between battery researchers working in industry and academia.

Icon showing a battery

The fellowship will enable academics and industrialists to undertake a mutually beneficial, electrochemical energy storage research project that aims to solve a critical industrial problem and that has the potential for near- and longer-term benefit to the wider UK battery industry.

Researchers from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering work with PV3 Technologies to develop processes to control particle morphology and size for next-generation high-nickel cathode materials in a continuous manufacturing process, as part of a long-term aim of maximising battery performance and reducing manufacturing costs.

Professor Serena Corr

It is imperative that academic research takes a lead role in boosting the circular economy alongside industry. This fellowship will be a key step in the development of the next generation of battery materials.

Professor Serena Corr

Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering 

The projects will begin at an appropriate time as laboratories reopen after the enforced lockdown period.  The project will enable early career academics to gain valuable career development experience in industry. The personal and corporate links established by the fellows are likely to seed longer-term collaborations between the two sectors. 

The funding provided by the Faraday Institution has been granted to six Universities including The University of Sheffield, Coventry University, Imperial College London, Cranfield University, The University of Sussex and the University of Strathclyde. This first round of awards totals £270,000, with the projects lasting between 6 and 24 months.

Dr David Hodgson, Chief Executive Officer of PV3 Technologies said:

“PV3 Technologies was established to take innovative electrochemical materials to market, focusing on customer requirements.  This exciting collaboration with Professor Serena Corr will provide a platform for companies like ours to make battery materials customers want, with a radically different scale-up approach that is much more efficient in capital than conventional approaches.”

Professor Serena Corr from the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering said: 

“It is imperative that academic research takes a lead role in boosting the circular economy alongside industry. The University of Sheffield will play a key role in growing energy storage capacity as the world transitions towards low carbon economies and aims to transition to renewable energy production methods.  This fellowship will be a key step in the development of the next generation of battery materials. Bringing expertise from academia and industry together to overcome the stability challenges associated with producing high performance materials at scale, and in an environmentally sustainable fashion.”

Powering Britain’s battery revolution, 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 and development 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) as part of UK Research and Innovation through the government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF). Headquartered at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, the Faraday Institution is a registered charity with an independent board of trustees.

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