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Durham University

Durham Energy Institute

Rutherford Fellows Activities and Research

The RSFs will engage in a collaborative and interdisciplinary ‘discovery-to-device’ approach to materials research.

Between them, the RSFs will

  1. synthesise electronically active molecules and materials (Chemistry),
  2. characterise their properties using advanced spectroscopies, crystallography, and microscopy (Chemistry & Physics), and
  3. evaluate promising materials ex-device and within bench-scale energy storage prototypes (Engineering).

Each of the Fellow’s research activities will be guided by one of four expert hosts – Dr Alyssa-Jennifer Avestro (Chemistry), Dr Paul McGonigal (Chemistry), Prof Andy Monkman (Physics), and Dr Chris Groves (Engineering) – and they will also take part in a series of interdisciplinary DEI training activities.

The Rutherford Funding will enhance and build upon Durham’s already successful existing partnerships with Mexico (CONACYT and the Institute for Renewable Energy at the National Autonomous University of Mexico), India (Council of Scientific & Industrial Research and Indian Association for the Cultivation of Science) and Malaysia (University of Malaya).

Durham University Energy Materials Research

The RSF programme is part of Durham’s wider commitment to fostering an international/intercultural environment and ensuring excellence in interdisciplinary research. It sets out to meet Durham’s 2017–2027 University Strategy internationalisation objectives: “(i) Delivering a step-change in Durham’s international reputation; (ii) Developing and sustaining a range of strategic partnerships with peer institutions; (iii) Attracting the best staff from around the world to work at or with Durham; (iv) Ensuring that more than a third of our students come from outside the UK.”

Our University prides itself on being a world leader in Research Excellence, with our Rutherford host Departments ranking as top 10 in the UK for Research Impact in the last Research Excellence Framework (REF) assessment: Chemistry (#1), Engineering (#4), and Physics (#10).

Durham University produces world leading research in energy materials across multiple departments in the sciences and social sciences. These activities target a range of applications, including photovoltaics, fuel cells and batteries, and materials for nuclear fusion technologies. The organic photovoltaics research at Durham University is a shining example of inter-disciplinary collaboration with the group including modellers and experimentalists who work together to produce cutting-edge research. RSFs will join this vibrant multidisciplinary community of researchers who are supported by the Durham Energy Institute.

The Institute believes that it is only by unlocking research synergies between different disciplines and sectors, that major breakthroughs in our understanding of how to best meet the energy demands of the future will be achieved.

Professor Danny Donoghue Dean for Internationalisation at Durham University said:

“Durham University is delighted to be part of the first group of universities to benefit from this wonderful new scheme. Developing international research links is becoming increasingly important and internationalization is a key part of our University strategy. We thank the UUKi and Rutherford fund for supporting us to enhance our partnerships in energy research with India, Malaysia and Mexico. We look forward to welcoming the fellows through this scheme, exchanging learning and developing new world class research in the area of organic energy materials.”

Find out about the 2018 Rutherford Fellows.