Royal Academy Post Doctoral Fellowship for EEE researcherRob Richards

Congratulations to Dr Robert Richards, one of the department’s researchers who has been awarded a five year, post doctoral fellowship by the Royal Academy of Engineering. The fellowship will allow him to pursue his own research into the development of new semiconductor materials for electronic device applications and develop a team in this area.

Semiconductors are the building blocks of many of the electronic systems and devices that we use on a daily basis, including mobile phones, computers, digital watches and the Internet. Robert’s research focuses on introducing new elements, specifically bismuth, to existing semiconductors, to create new materials with different electronic properties.

These new semiconductor materials can perform more efficiently, avoid problems which have held back semiconductor technology in the past, and reduce financial and environmental costs.

Robert said, ‘I’ve always wanted to have a positive environmental impact and by developing these materials, new candidates for efficient energy production and usage can be discovered and the energy impact of electronics improved.’

For example, the lasers that are currently used to transfer data around the world via the internet are very inefficient. The development of new semiconductor materials can dramatically increase the efficiency of these lasers. In turn, this would reduce both monetary and energy costs, and have a hugely positive impact on the global carbon footprint.