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ERC funding to support pioneering battery research

Published on: 23 November 2023

A Newcastle University project led by Dr James Dawson has been successful in securing a Consolidator Grant from the European Research Council (ERC).

The grant will support Dr Dawson to research and help develop next-generation batteries to achieve the performance required for the electrification of transport and the grid-scale storage of energy from renewable resources. 

Building upon Dr Dawson’s expertise in the atomistic simulation of materials and connecting such simulations to the macroscale, the Amplifying Ion Transport at the Interfaces of Solid-State Batteries (AMPed) project aims to revolutionise the understanding and design of ion transport and interfaces within solid-state battery architectures. AMPed will use state-of-the-art classical, quantum mechanical, structure prediction and machine learning approaches to develop battery materials with improved performance, stability and sustainability by achieving the following four key objectives:

  • Establish a new time-domain paradigm for understanding ion transport in solid electrolytes
  • Explore nanostructured solid electrolytes for optimised performance
  • Mitigate resistance and instability at heterointerfaces in solid-state batteries
  • Drive transition to sustainable solid-state sodium batteries

Dr Dawson, Reader and NUAcT Fellow in Energy Materials at Newcastle University’s School of Natural and Environmental Sciences, said: “These novel and exploratory models will be experimentally validated in partnership with my close network of interdisciplinary experts in battery materials and devices.

“AMPed will provide transformative opportunities for the design of energy materials and push the boundaries of computational energy materials design, thereby advancing the excellence of energy research in Europe and further consolidating my research at the frontier of computational materials science.”

Out of 2,130 candidates, the ERC has selected 308 researchers for this year’s Consolidator Grants. The funding will support excellent scientists and scholars at the career stage where they may still be consolidating their own independent research teams to pursue their most promising scientific ideas. Worth in total €627 million, the grants are part of the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

The grants will support scientific projects spanning all disciplines of research from engineering to life sciences to humanities.

Iliana Ivanova, European Commissioner for Innovation, Research, Culture, Education and Youth, said: “I extend my heartfelt congratulations to all the brilliant researchers who have been selected for ERC Consolidator Grants. I'm especially thrilled to note the significant increase in the representation of women among the winners for the third consecutive year in this prestigious grant competition. This positive trend not only reflects the outstanding contributions of women researchers but also highlights the strides we are making towards a more inclusive and diverse scientific community.”

Selective focus hands in gloves of expert technicain electric car, EV car while opened A used Lithium-ion car battery before its repair

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