On the 9th of April, it was announced that our second year PhD student Seán Kavanagh has won an “Excellent Contributed Talk Award” for his presentation on the “Enhanced Optical ABsorption via Mixed-Valent Doping of Vacancy-Ordered Triple Perovskites from the 2020 Virtual MRS Spring/Fall Meeting. Congratulations Seán!
Maud Einhorn has become the sixth student from the SMTG to earn a PhD, after defending her thesis on the 15th of March. Her examiners were Professor Steve Parker from the University of Bath, and Professor Ben Slater, from the Department of Chemistry here in UCL. Again, due to COVID, the viva was done remotely, and so we have to wait to open a bottle of Champagne in person to toast Maud’s super achievement. Well done Maud!
Winnie Leung has become the fifth student from the SMTG to earn a PhD, after defending her thesis on the 28th of August. Her examiners were Dr Geoff Hyett from the University of Southampton, and Dr Yang Xu, from the Department of Chemistry here in UCL. Due to COVID, the viva was done remotely, and so we have to wait to open a bottle of Champagne in person to toast Winnie’s great achievement. Well done Winnie!
After arriving in Denver for the 2020 APS March meeting, we found out that the meeting had been cancelled. Instead of letting that get us down, we visited the Colorado School of Mines in Golden Colorado to discuss our latest results on understanding polymorphism in Bi2Sn2O7. Second year PhD student Warda Rahim gave an invited seminar on her work in this area. Well done Warda!
Continuing the popularity of Maud’s poster on the thermoelectrics properties of LaZnOP and LaZnOAs, Maud won the Journal of Materials Chemistry A poster prize at the 39th Royal Society of Chemistry Solid State Chemistry Group Xmas Meeting, hosted by the University of Liverpool. Well done Maud again! Killing it!!
Maud picking up her prize from the Chair of the SSCG Committee, Professor Jan Skakle (Aberdeen).
Maud with the other pize winners, posing with their certificates.
Our new PhD student Katarina Brlec, who did her MSci project in our group last year, has been notified that, due to her excellent performance in her final year (and her entire undergraduate career at UCL), she has been awarded the Neil Sharp Prize for best performance in Theoretical/Computational Chemistry and the Ronald Gillespie Prize for Best graduate beginning PhD in Inorganic or Materials Chemistry. Congratulations Katarina!!!
On the 5th of September, it was announced that SMTG has been awarded funding in two projects from the Faraday Institution Phase 2 projects. Firstly, David along with a team of collaborators from the University of Sheffield, Cambridge University, Oxford University and Lancaster University has been awarded funding for “Next generation lithium ion cathode materials”, in a project entitled FutureCat. The aim of the project is to take a coordinated approach to cathode chemistry design, development and discovery (including tailored protective coatings and designer interfaces) to deliver cathodes that hold more charge, that are better suited to withstand prolonged cycling and promote ion mobility (increasing battery durability and range and acceleration of the EV) while reducing the dependency of cell manufacturers on cobalt.
Secondly, in a project called NEXGENNA a team led by Professor John Irvine of the University of St Andrews, with contributions from Lancaster University, University of Cambridge, University College London, University of Sheffield and the Science and Technology Facilities Council will investigate next generation sodium ion batteries. The team aims to accelerate the development of sodium ion battery technology by taking a multi-disciplinary approach incorporating fundamental chemistry right through to considerations for scale-up and cell manufacturing. Its aim is to put on the path to commercialisation a safe sodium ion battery with high performance, low cost and a long cycle life. The relatively low cost of sodium ion batteries makes them an attractive next generation technology, particularly for static energy storage applications and low-cost vehicles.
In addition, Faraday will provide £1.3 million for the expansion of the MICHAEL supercomputer, the Faraday insttutions dedicated computing cluster. The expansion will cover the calculations envisaged for the FutureCat, NEXGENNA, and CatMat projects.
Our four MSci students, Katarina Brlec, Shareef Sbaiti, Adrien Richard and Sebastian Palmer all received their MSci results on the 2nd of July. All four worked really hard on their final year projects. Kat is staying on to do a PhD in the group, while Adrien will be joining Furio Cora’s group for a PhD. Sebastian is going to travel for a year, and do a ski season in Japan, and Shareef is taking some time to decide what the future holds. Wherever the future takes them, we know they will do fantastically. Well done team!
On the 16th of April it was announced that our paper “Anharmonicity and Octahedral Tilting in Hybrid Vacancy-Ordered Double Perovskites”, which was the fourth paper in our excellent collaboration with Jamie Neilson’s group at Colorado State University, was the 2019 Chemistry of Materials Lectureship and Best Paper Award winner. Dr Annalise Maughan (first author, now a PDRA at NREL), and Jamie will represent the entire team when they present their research at a half-day symposium and award ceremony this August during the 2019 Fall ACS National Meeting in San Diego, CA.
On the 6th of March it was announced that Dr Alex Ganose and Dr Guanjie He (both from the UCL Chemistry Department) were joint winners of the 2018 MAPS Faculty Postgraduate Research Prize 2018 MAPS Faculty Postgraduate Research Prize. Alex, who will pick up his award at the graduation ceremony on the 4th of September said: “I am incredibly thankful to receive this award from the Faculty of Mathematical and Physical Sciences. Climate change is currently the most pressing challenge faced by society. Working on renewable energy sources, such as photovoltaics and thermoelectrics, at such a critical time has been a stimulating and rewarding experience. I feel fortunate to have studied at UCL and for the opportunity to work with so many talented scientists in the UK and abroad. I am particularly grateful to my supervisor, Professor David Scanlon, for his encouragement and advice throughout, and my colleagues in the Scanlon Materials Theory Group. I owe additional thanks to EPSRC and Diamond Light Source for cosponsoring my EngD, and to the Legion, Grace, and ARCHER high-performance computing facilities where my research was performed.” Well done Alex!
Alex Ganose wins the Scopus Early Career Researcher UK Award for 2018 in the area of Physical Sciences
On the 4th of October 2018, Dr Alex Ganose was awarded the Scopus Early Career Researcher UK Award for 2018 in the area of Physical Sciences. Elsevier describe the awards as “The Early Career Researcher Awards recognise and reward outstanding young research talent making a significant contribution to their field of research and thus having a positive effect on society. Elsevier believes in the vital importance of supporting researchers at an early stage in their career and wants to recognise the institutions that foster them.” Alex was unable to attend the awards ceremony which was held in the Royal Society, as he is currently living and working in the US as a PDRA at the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, so David accepted the award on his behalf. Alex won a grant of £1500 and a tropy for his efforts. The video below shows Alex describing his research.
After a year of many changes including Dr Alex Ganose leaving for a PDRA position at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, Dr James Pegg departing for a PDRA position at Imperial College London, Zhenyu Wang returning to Xian Jiaotong University, and Dr Katie Inzani returning to NTNU, the G19 office has started to fill up again. This year we have four new PhD students starting in the group! Arthur Youd is going to study battery materials, linked to the Faraday Institution, Warda Rahim is going to examine oxide thermoelectrics, Kieran Spooner is going to screen mixed anion systems for energy generation, and Joe Wills is doing an EngD project joint with Diamond Light Souce where he will be trying to understand dopant incorporation in transparent conducting oxides. In addition, Maham Karim is going to do a joint theory and experiment PhD focussed on thermoelectrics, jointly supervised by Dr Rob Palgrave and David. Welcome to the group guys!!
In a double whammy, Alex Ganose and Chris Savory both happened to have their PhD vivas on the 13th of August. Alex and Chris both passed with flying colours – Alex’s examiners were Professor Ben Slater from UCL Chemistry and Prof Nicholas Harrison from Imperial College London, and Chris was examined by Prof Andrew Wills from UCL Chemistry and Prof Neil Allan from the University of Bristol. Chris is staying on in the group as a Faraday Fellow, and Alex will be departing for pasture new in September – He is taking up a position at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in San Francisco, with Dr Anubhav Jain as part of the Materials Project.
It has been announced that on October 1st, David will become Chair of Computational Materials Design in the Department of Chemistry at UCL. It has also been announced that David’s joint appointment with Diamond Light Source will continue for another 3 years from September 2018.
Alex Ganose has won the Catlow Prize, which is awarded for best presentation by a final year PhD student in the Computational Chemistry section. Alex presented his computational work on novel solar cell materials. Unfortunately, Alex will not be able to represent the Computational Chemistry section in the Ramsay Medal final in September, as he will have stated his post doctoral research in Lawrence Berkeley National Lab in San Francisco. Its a pretty good excuse though! Well done Alex!
Our three MSci students, Puja Pramanik, Venus Cheung and Kieran Spooner all received their MSci results on the 15th of June. All three worked really hard on their final year projects and were rewarded with first class results for their projects, and first class degrees overall. Kieran is staying on to do a PhD in the group, but Puja and Venus are taking some time to decide what the future holds. Wherever the future takes them, we know they will do fantastically. Well done guys!
On the 5th of June, the UCL Student Union held its Student Choice Awards Ceremony, which recognises the hard work of both academic and support staff in UCL. David was shortlisted in the “Outstanding Research Supervision category, and was annouced as the winner! The criteria for the award included: (i) Demonstrating enthusiasm for their role, and being flexible and prepared to go the extra mile to support students, (ii) challenging students while encouraging them to contribute substantially to their specific discipline, (iii) being exceptionally supportive in the planning of assessments and the PhD viva, and (iv) offering constructive employment and career advice. David commented “it is easy to be seen as a good advisor when I have such an awesome group”.
James Pegg has become the second student from the SMTG to earn a PhD, after defending his thesis on the 25th of May. His examiners were Dr Ricardo Grau Crespo from the University of Reading, and Professor Dario Alfe, from the Department of Earth Sciences here in UCL. James is heading to the Department of Chemistry in Imperial College London to work as a PDRA in the group of Dr Kim Jelfs, and we wish him all the best. Well done James!
Dr James T. Pegg (left) pictured with his industrial supervisor from AWE Dr Mark Storr (right).
Ben Williamson has become the first student from the SMTG to earn a PhD, after defending his thesis on the 11th of April. His examiners were Professor Steve Parker from the University of Bath, and Dr Rob Bell, from the Department of Chemistry here in UCL. I was told that Ben put in a very good viva performance, and passed with no corrections! Ben will now commence as a PDRA in the group working on mixed anion systems funded by our ERC project. Well done Ben!
Alex Ganose, 3rd year EngD student on the Molecular Modelling and Materials Science (M3S) CDT whose studentship is co-sponsored by Diamond Light Souce Ltd has won a gold medal at the Graduate Student Awards at the 2018 MRS Spring Meeting, which was held in Phoenix, Arizona from the 2nd to the 6th of April 2018. The MRS Spring meeting is the world’s foremost international scientific gathering for materials research, and this year’s meeting featured 63 symposia running concurrently, and was attended by nearly 5000 attendees. The Graduate Student Awards final is extremely hard to get in, with the top 30 students from around the globe competing for either a Gold or Silver Medal. Alex was one of only 2 UK students and 3 Europeans who reached the final. All finalists were guaranteed at least a silver medal, so Alex was already a winner going into the final, but Alex clearly impressed in the special session of oral presentations and took home a Gold medal for UCL. His presentation was entitled “Beyond CH3NH3PbI3: Prospects for Emergent Solar Absorbers”. For his win, Alex received a certificate and a $400 dollar prize for his efforts. Well done Alex!!
David, along with a team of collaborators from Imperial College London, University of Warwick, University of Southampton, Lancaster University and the University of Bath has been awarded funding for “battery system modelling” from the Faraday Institution. The aim of the project is to equip industry and academia with new software tools to understand and predict battery performance, by connecting understanding of battery materials at the atomic level all the way up to an assembled battery pack. The goal is to create accurate models for use by the automotive industry to extend lifetime and performance, especially at low temperatures. We are looking forward to starting the grant early in 2018, and to collaborating with old friends Professor Aron Walsh at Imperial and Dr Ben Morgan at the University of Bath.
Adam Jackson has been awarded an 18-month fellowship by the Software Sustainability Institute (SSI), starting in 2018: https://www.software.ac.uk/blog/2017-12-08-welcome-software-sustainability-institute-fellows-2018. Academic software plays a vital role in modern research, and the SSI exists to support the quality and sustainability of this resource in the UK. As well as promoting “research software engineers” as a distinct professional group (“Supporting people who write code, not papers”), the SSI is involved in training and outreach, working heavily with researchers who do write papers. Adam’s Fellowship goals involve outreach as a researcher in the Materials Chemistry community, as well as work on accessibility issues in research software. The network of SSI Fellows covers a wide range of career stages and research areas; Adam hope’s to learn good practices from other areas and feed them into SMTG’s own software development. Well done Adam!
This year, seven very talented masters students have chosen to join the group to do their research projects! We welcome Venus Cheung (MSci Chemistry), Puja Pramanik (MSci Chemistry with Maths), Kieran Spooner (MSci Natural Sciences), Teng “Daisy” Wang (MSc Materials for Energy and the Environment), Arthur Youd (MSc in Molecular Modelling), Kevin Wohlhauser (MSc in Molecular Modelling) and Gaoxiang “Molly” Di (MSc in Molecular Modelling). Looking forward to a great year of novel science.
Alex Ganose has been selected as a finalist for the Graduate Student Awards at the 2017 MRS Fall Meeting, which will be held in Boston from the 26th of November to the 1st of December 2017. The MRS Fall meeting is the world’s foremost international scientific gathering for materials research, and this year’s meeting will feature 54 symposia running concurrently, with up to 6000 atendees expected. The Graduate Student Awards final is extremely hard to get in, with the top 30 students from around the globe competing for either a Gold or Silver Medal. Alex is the only UK student in the final, and one of only 3 Europeans who have reached the final. All finalists are guaranteed at least a silver Medal, so Alex is already a winner, but the final decisions will be based on a special session of oral presentations that all of the finalists present at. Adam and I will be there to cheer Alex on as he goes for gold.
On the 26th of September Zongda Xing and Ethan Rubinstein joined the group as new PhD students. Both will be doing projects in the area of earth abundant photovoltaics! Welcome to the team!
On the 6th of September it was announced that David has been awarded a prestigious ERC Starting Grant worth €1,500,000. The project entitled “Design of Mixed Anion Inorganic Semiconductors for Energy Conversion” (DISCOVER) will commence in February 2018.
The group has welcomed two new visiting members this August. Dr Katie Inzani who is a visiting PDRA from the Ceramics Group at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim. Katie will be staying with us for 12 months until the end of August. Kieran Spooner, a third year Natural Sciences student has joined us for 8 weeks to study Sn-based solar cell materials.
Group member James Pegg won the M3S Industry Day prize for best oral presentation by a final year EngD student. Jame’s work is focused on understanding the magnetic structure and surface chemistry of PuO2, and is sponsored by AWE . James is pictured receiving his prize from Professor Ivan Parkin, Dean of the MAPS faculty in UCL.
Alex Ganose won the M3S Industry Day prize for best poster presentation by a second year EngD student. Alex’s research is based on the discovery of new solar cell materials. His EngD is co-sponsored by Diamond Light Souce Ltd. Alex is pictured receiving his prize from Professor Ivan Parkin, Dean of the MAPS faculty in UCL.
Alex Ganose won the annual Computational Chemistry poster presentation prize in the Chemistry Department. Alex’s research is based on the discovery of new solar cell materials. His EngD is co-sponsored by Diamond Light Souce Ltd.
Chris Savory has won the Catlow Prize, which is awarded for best presentation by a final year PhD student in the Computational Chemistry section. Chris presented his computational work on novel solar cell materials. Chis will now go forward to represent the Computational Chemistry section in the Ramsay Medal final in October. Well done Chris!
Alex Ganose won the “Best Use of ARCHER” competition, which was sponsored by EPCC. Alex’s application was based on his use of ARCHER, the UK’s national supercomputer, to investigate the electronic structure and defect chemistry of Cs2SnI6 in collaboration with Prof Jamie Neilson from Colorado State University (CSU). Alex will use the £3,000 prize money to fund a trip to present his work at the MRS Sping 2018 meeting in Phoenix, and to visit Prof Neilson’s group at CSU.
Winnie Leung, who is in the first year of her PhD has won a poster prize at the eMRS Spring meeting in Strasbourg. Winnie presented a poster on NaSbS2, a promising new solar absorber which she has synthesized in the lab. Winnie is jointly supervised by Dr Rob Palgrave .