Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren

BSc (Hons) PhD

Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Senior Lecturer in Energy Materials

Director of Postgraduate Taught Programmes

Facility Director - XRD Research Facility

Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren
Profile picture of Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren
+44 114 222 6013

Full contact details

Dr Nik Reeves-McLaren
Department of Materials Science and Engineering
Sir Robert Hadfield Building
Mappin Street
S1 3JD

Nik Reeves-McLaren obtained his BSc (Hons) in Chemistry with New Materials Technology from The University of Aberdeen in 1999, before moving to The University of Sheffield where he undertook a PhD on "Novel Cathode and Anode Materials for Rechargeable Lithium-ion Batteries”.

He was appointed as XRD Research Facility Manager in November 2003, and promoted to Research and Teaching Fellow in 2014 and then to Senior Lecturer in 2019.

Nik is one of the Principal Investigators of the new Energy Materials Research Group in the department, as well as part of the broader Functional Materials & Devices research group.

Research interests

Nik’s research programme focusses on energy storage materials, with projects ongoing studying electrode and solid electrolyte materials for lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery applications. Nik is lead supervisor for one PhD project and currently co-supervises three other projects.

The primary and secondary battery markets are hugely important both to consumers and to the economy, with lithium-ion batteries taking a ~37% share of a $74billion industry. Despite their successes and widespread application, there are still genuine concerns over the use of lithium-ion batteries with regards both to performance and safety, with reports that they can catch fire under certain circumstances. The hazards have several causes, but are due in part to the use of flammable organic electrolytes, the formation of solid-electrolyte interfaces and dendritic growth from electrodes causing short circuits. Smaller ‘coin cell’ designs bring risks through ingestion, particularly by children, which can cause severe, rapid, sometimes fatal, injuries to the oesophagus and stomach. Electrode materials also often contain high levels of toxic, environmentally hazardous materials, e.g. cobalt. 

Nik’s research focusses on the search for high performance materials that also address these very real safety concerns for the next generation of Lithium-ion batteries.



Journal articles


Conference proceedings papers


  • Wu H, Habgood M, Parker JE, Reeves-McLaren N, Cockcroft JK, Vickers M, West AR & Jones AG (2013) Crystal structure determination of a complex pharmaceutical compound using synchrotron powder X-ray diffraction RIS download Bibtex download
Teaching activities

Nik is responsible for training in the use of XRD equipment and data analysis, including offering workshops on structural refinements via the Rietveld method.

Nik is a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Authority, and has presented at the Technology Enhanced Learning Festival (2014, 2015) and the Sheffield Learning and Teaching Conference 2016 on aspects of flipped learning.