I am the COO of SUNRISE, a global challenges research fund project led by Swansea University, that will develop printed photovoltaic cells and new manufacturing processes, which can be used to construct solar energy products in India. These will then be integrated into buildings in five villages, allowing them to harness solar power to provide their own energy and run off grid. The villages will benefit from Swansea University expertise in creating buildings that work as power stations, generating, storing and releasing their own power. SUNRISE is a Swansea-led consortium of 12 UK and Indian universities, including Oxford, Cambridge, Brunel, and Imperial College London.
I joined the College of Science in 2016 at an exciting time as we worked to reintroduce Chemistry back into our undergraduate portfolio.
I had a particular interest in making this a success, having graduated with an MChem from Swansea prior to the closure of undergraduate teaching. My MChem included a year in industry at 3M where I developed a love of industrial coatings. After graduation I carried out an EngD in the corrosion and coatings group in the Materials Research Centre in the College of Engineering, sponsored by Corus and BASF, working with the coil coating industry on ultrafast curing of high performance coatings.
From there I went on to lead energy storage research at the Swansea led SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre and then I went on to manage the Materials and Manufacturing Academy. More recently, in addition to working in the field of functional coatings, I have been working on Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation funded research projects, collaborating globally with other grantees, to develop transformative technologies in the fields of water and sanitation for developing nations.
These roles have enabled me to develop partnerships, collaborations and research expertise in a number of fields that have real world applications and demonstrable impact for industrial partners.
I strongly believe in research led and practice driven teaching and now I hope to pass these experiences on to the next generation of chemists to be employed in these industries.
In my view the purpose of Universities is to create and disseminate knowledge and to prepare students for employment in their chosen fields, therefore we align curriculum with requirements for professional registration and cover topics of industrial relevance and with the highest potential to contribute to sustainable economic growth.
I am a member of the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), hold CChem and CSci registrations and represent academia on the Welsh steering group for the RSC.
I am also a member of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining (IOM3), holding CEng status and sit on the membership committee, assessing applications for professional registration in the form of chartership.
I am interested in innovation and engagement, scale up of technology and getting it to people with real world problems to solve. I engage in consultancy and I’m working on a number of projects with AgorIP around commercialisation of the outputs of scientific research and developing spin-outs to get solutions to market. I also collaborate with colleagues across the colleges in the University in many interesting interdisciplinary projects.
Public engagement and science communication are also activities of huge importance and relevance and as such I am a STEM ambassador, an active member of Swansea University’s public engagement forum, have run large outreach projects, featured at Cheltenham Science festival and written for a popular science magazine.
I’m a frequent speaker at pedagogical events and intend to not only apply current best practice to all my teaching in Chemistry at Swansea, but to develop it here. I have a Post Graduate Certificate in Teaching at Higher Education and am a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (FHEA).
Excellent learning and teaching, facilities and location combined with strong industry links for employability are the best recipe for an excellent student experience, something Swansea University already prides itself on. An example of where all these ingredients combine to add value is in our instrumentation lab. Here, Perkin Elmer have supplied excellent facilities and our students will benefit from access to the expertise of the manufacturers to understand how equipment works, but will also learn from their customer’s case studies about how the instruments are applied to the jobs professional chemists do after graduation. This has also enabled the building of research links with their customers and technical partners which also informs our teaching and expands our network of employers. One example is the Renault Sport Formula One team, with a mutual interest in materials characterisation and student placements available.
Prospective students are more than welcome to get in touch to find out more about what and how we will be teaching you to best prepare you for life after higher education.
Similarly, careers advisors and teachers, I’m happy to fill you in and consider how we can support you with events and activities.
Finally, I’m always looking for exciting new research avenues and collaborations with other academics and industry partners.