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Durham University

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Staff Profile

Dr Natasha Shirshova

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Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42398
Room number: E332 (Floor 3.5 Christopherson)

(email at

Research Grants

  • 2016 – 2020 (PI) “Beyond structural: multifunctional composites that store electrical energy” (EPSRC: EP/P007546/1) (in collaboration with Imperial College London).
  • 2014 (PI) “Autonomous smart sensors for structural health monitoring of wind turbine blades”, DEI Small grant, Durham University.

Research Interests

  • Functional polymeric materials for energy applications, e.g. separators for batteries, electrolytes for supercapacitors;
  • Porous polymers, synthesis, including emulsion templating, precipitation polymerisation, reaction-induced phase separation, and characterisation;
  • Epoxy based materials, e.g. foams, electrolytes for structural supercapacitors;
  • Fibre/matrix composites, e.g. carbon fibres/epoxy; their manufacturing and characterisation;
  • Use of environmentally friendly and sustainable resources for polymer synthesis/manufacture, e.g. vegetable oils, and processes, e.g. printing, frothing;

Research Groups

Department of Engineering

Teaching Areas

  • L1 Thermodynamics (10 hours/year.)
  • L3 Materials 3 (18 hours/year.)

Selected Publications

Journal Article

  • Le Calvez, C., Zouboulaki, M., Petit, C., Peeva, L. & Shirshova, N. (2016). One step synthesis of MOF-polymer composites. RSC Advances 6(21): 17314-17317.
  • Greenhalgh, E. S., Ankersen, J., Asp, L. E., Bismarck, A., Fontana, Q. P. V., Houlle, M., Kalinka, G., Kucernak, A., Mistry, M., Nguyen, S., Qian, H., Shaffer, M. S. P., Shirshova, N., Steinke, J. H. G. & Wienrich, M. (2015). Mechanical, electrical and microstructural characterisation of multifunctional structural power composites. Journal of Composite Materials 49(15): 1823-1834.
  • Shirshova, Natasha, Bismarck, Alexander, Greenhalgh, Emile S., Johansson, Patrik, Kalinka, Gerhard, Marczewski, Maciej J., Shaffer, Milo S.P. & Wienrich, Malte (2014). Composition as a Means to Control Morphology and Properties of Epoxy Based Dual-Phase Structural Electrolytes. The Journal of Physical Chemistry C 118(49): 28377–28387.
  • Shirshova, N., Qian, H., Houlle, M., Steinke, J. H. G., Kucernak, A. R. J., Fontana, Q. P. V., Greenhalgh, E. S., Bismarck, A. & Shaffer, M. S. P. (2014). Multifunctional structural energy storage composite supercapacitors. Faraday Discussions 172: 81-103.
  • Kot, E., Shirshova, N., Bismarck, A. & Steinke, J. H. G. (2014). Non-aqueous high internal phase emulsion templates for synthesis of macroporous polymers in situ filled with cyclic carbonate electrolytes. RSC Advances 4(22): 11512-11519.
  • Qian, H., Diao, H., Shirshova, N., Greenhalgh, E. S., Steinke, J. G. H., Shaffer, M. S. P. & Bismarck, A. (2013). Activation of structural carbon fibres for potential applications in multifunctional structural supercapacitors. Journal of Colloid and Interface Science 395: 241-248.
  • Shirshova, N., Johansson, P., Marczewski, M. J., Kot, E., Ensling, D., Bismarck, A. & Steinke, J. H. G. (2013). Polymerised high internal phase ionic liquid-in-oil emulsions as potential separators for lithium ion batteries. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1(34): 9612-9619.
  • Shirshova, N., Qian, H., Shaffer, M. S. P., Steinke, J. H. G., Greenhalgh, E. S., Curtis, P. T., Kucernak, A. & Bismarck, A. (2013). Structural composite supercapacitors. Composites Part a-Applied Science and Manufacturing 46: 96-107.
  • Shirshova, N., Bismarck, A., Carreyette, S., Fontana, Q. P. V., Greenhalgh, E. S., Jacobsson, P., Johansson, P., Marczewski, M. J., Kalinka, G., Kucernak, A. R. J., Scheers, J., Shaffer, M. S. P., Steinke, J. H. G. & Wienrich, M. (2013). Structural supercapacitor electrolytes based on bicontinuous ionic liquid-epoxy resin systems. Journal of Materials Chemistry A 1(48): 15300-15309.
  • Krebs, H., Yang, L., Shirshova, N. & Steinke, J. H. G. (2012). A new series of cross-linked (meth)acrylate polymer electrolytes for energy storage. Reactive & Functional Polymers 72(12): 931-938.
  • Shirshova, N. & Bismarck, A. (2012). In-situ preparation of polymer scaffolds in retarded cement slurries: An emulsion templating approach for rapid, on-demand strength development. Cement & Concrete Composites 34(3): 337-341.
  • Shirshova, N., Bismarck, A. & Steinke, J. H. G. (2011). Ionic Liquids as Internal Phase for Non-Aqueous PolyHIPEs. Macromolecular Rapid Communications 32(23): 1899-1904.
  • Shirshova, N., Menner, A., Funkhouser, G. P. & Bismarck, A. (2011). Polymerised high internal phase emulsion cement hybrids: Macroporous polymer scaffolds for setting cements. Cement and Concrete Research 41(4): 443-450.
  • Cormack, P. A. G., Shirshova, N. & Steinke, J. H. G. (2005). Hyperbranched (Co)polymers via free radical polymerization of polymerizable Barton esters. Industrial & Engineering Chemistry Research 44(23): 8699-8706.
  • Tauer, K., Khrenov, V., Shirshova, N. & Nassif, N. (2005). Preparation and application of double hydrophilic block copolymer particles. Macromolecular Symposia 226: 187-201.
  • Nassif, N., Gehrke, N., Pinna, N., Shirshova, N., Tauer, K., Antonietti, M. & Colfen, H. (2005). Synthesis of stable aragonite superstructures by a biomimetic crystallization pathway. Angewandte Chemie-International Edition 44(37): 6004-6009.

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