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Meet the team



University of Oxford

Prof. David Armstrong

David's research group work on understanding the behaviour of materials under extreme environments, such as radiation damage, high temperatures or high stresses. By developing an understanding of the mechanical behaviour and defects which control materials behaviour we then try and develop materials better able to operate under extreme conditions. We are now working to take technqiues we have developed for traditional engineering materials and apply them to questions in other areas such as solid state batteries for energy storage and geological materials.


Univesity of Oxfords

Prof. Martin Castell

Martin is interested in the atomic structure of the surfaces of materials, in particular the surfaces of oxide crystals, atomically thin films of oxides on metal substrates, and the networks that form when molecules self-assemble on surfaces. This research is directed at solving problems relevant to catalytic processes and nanotechnology. I am also involved in the development of a sensor for the detection of low concentrations of gas-phase analytes.


University of Liverpool

Dr. John Claridge

John's research interests cover a broad range inorganic materials chemistry including multiferroics, materials for solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC), materials for energy applications, superconductors and lead free ferroelectrics, high-pressure phases. In addition to conventional Bragg powder diffraction he is also interested in the application of higher dimensional crystallography, maximum entropy and total scattering techniques to understanding structure property relationships in functional materials.

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University of Sheffield

Prof. Serena Corr

Research in the Corr group focuses on the design, synthesis and full characterisation of functional nanomaterials whose applications include insertion electrodes for energy storage, biomedical diagnostics and therapeutics and electronically responsive materials.  Using a variety of synthetic approaches and a range of characterisation techniques spanning electron microscopy, X-ray diffraction, physical property measurements and local structure probes, we are particularly interested in understanding the intimate structure-property interplay in functional nanomaterials.

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University of Sheffield

Dr. Edmund Cussen

Edmund's research examines the structural and bonding arrangements that underpin a diverse range of properties of complex crystalline solids.  Currently active projects include:

  • synthesis of new electronic materials the show metal/insulator transitions and magnetoresistance

  • examination of the gas sorption properties of coordination polymers

  • synthesis and characterisation of new ceramic compounds that contain highly mobile ions for use as solid-state electrolytes

  • development of new low-temperature syntheses to give functional materials that are inaccessible by conventional high temperature preparative routes

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University of Liverpool

Dr. Matthew Dyer

Matthew's current research is centered on the simulation and understanding of scanning tunnelling microscopy (STM) images, scanning tunnelling spectroscopy (STS) and inelastic tunnelling spectroscopy (IETS).

Matthew is particularly interested in the behaviour of fairly large organic molecules (e.g. porphyrins, PTCDA, pentacene) adsorbed on metal surfaces and on insulating thin films. These materials are felt to be promising candidates for various applications in nanotechnology, including memory storage, nanoelectronics and nanomechanics.


University of Cambridge

Prof. Norman Fleck

Norman's research interests include; The mechanics of materials, including the role of microstructural evolution during processing and use upon material performance. Sintering of thermal barrier coatings,and the dependence of toughness and erosion resistance upon the morphology of microstructure. The mechanics of failure of lattice materials under extreme environments.


University of Oxford

Prof. Chris Grovenor

Chris Grovenor has interests in the application of advanced analytical techniques to understanding the relationship between chemistry and microstructure and the properties of functional materials.

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University of St. Andrews

Prof. John Irvine

John's research interests are in the study of inorganic materials, at the interface between solid state chemistry, condensed matter physics and ceramics. The major themes of this research are as follows:

  1. Synthesis and development of new inorganic solids with useful and important electrochemical, electrical and magnetic properties.

  2. Study of the relationships between stoichiometry, structure and electronic and ionic transport properties.

  3. Optimisation of properties by control of composition and microstructure and development of improved materials for important applications in energy technology.


University of Oxford

Prof. Peter Nellist

Peter's research centres on the applications and development of high-resolution electron microscope techniques, in particular scanning transmission electron microscopy (STEM), including atomic resolution Z-contrast imaging, electron energy-loss spectroscopy and applications of spherical aberration correctors. Our technique development work includes methods for the three-dimensional imaging and spectroscopy of materials, and methods to allow high resolution imaging and spectroscopy of radiation sensitive materials.  Always we aim to use microscopy data in a quantitative way to make measurements of the atomic and electronic structure of materials.


University College London

Prof. Paul Shearing

Prof Paul Shearing is the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Battery Technologies for Next Generation Energy Storage, based in Dept. Chemical Engineering at University College London. He is a co-director of the Electrochemical Innovation Lab and from 2012-16 he was a holder of a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellowship.


His research interests cover a broad range of electrochemical engineering themes with a particular interest in the relationship between performance and microstructure for energy materials: an area in which he has published more than 190 papers.


He is a pioneer of ‘4-D Tomography’ and has used most of the world's major synchrotron light sources; at UCL he has established a leading facility for multi-scale X-ray imaging.


He leads the UK’s STFC Global Challenge Network in Batteries and Electrochemical Devices, which brings together leading international researchers from industry and academia. 


In 2006 he graduated from Birmingham with the top first in Chemical Engineering, and in 2009 he took a PhD from Imperial College. He is the recipient of the Salter’s Graduate Prize and the Janet Watson memorial prize for research excellence. In 2014 he was named the Institute of Chemical Engineers, Young Chemical Engineer of the Year in Academia and in 2016 the RAEng Engineers Trust Young Engineer of the Year.

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University of Oxford

Prof. Charlotte Williams

Charlotte's research interests include the study of metal complexes for use as homogeneous catalysts to make polymers, fuels and materials.  Charlotte is motivated to discover how to use and recycle renewable resources, such as plants or carbon dioxide, to make useful products such as polymers.  In the area of inorganic chemistry, research in Charlotte's group includes the preparation of new metal complexes, their use in homogeneous catalysis, uses of in situ spectroscopy for catalyst characterization and analysis of the reaction kinetics.