Current research funding in the Centre for Sustainable Engineering
£9,792,292

Centre for Sustainable Engineering

Funded Research Projects

The following are current funded research projects taking place within the research centre:

Harnessing Nanotechnology for Self-Powered Wireless Electronics


Principal Investigator:
Funding source: Royal Society / Royal Society
Start: 01-01-2023  /  End: 31-12-2027
Amount: £982,174

Exploring nanostructured light absorbers: from optoelectronics to innovative photovoltaics


Principal Investigator:
Funding source: Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
Start: 01-12-2022  /  End: 30-11-2027
Amount: £84,100

Multifunctional High Entropy Carbide and Boride Ceramic Composites: Compositional Space, Novel Synthesis, and Property Tailoring


Principal Investigator: Michael REECE
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-02-2024  /  End: 31-01-2027
Amount: £523,977

Utilisation of Synthetic Fuels for “Difficult-to-Decarbonise” Propulsion (EP/X019551/1)


Principal Investigator: Xi JIANG
Co-investigator(s): Nader KARIMI and Edo BOEK
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-08-2023  /  End: 31-07-2026
Amount: £436,930

This project is intended to obtain a thorough understanding on liquid synthetic fuel utilisation. The study will follow a combined modelling / simulation - experimentation approach, predicting the physicochemical properties including emission characteristics of the alternative fuels.

From 2D to 4D: correlative imaging and modelling for next-generation automotive


Principal Investigator: Xuekun LU
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-07-2023  /  End: 30-06-2026
Amount: £448,598

FENCES: FErroelectric NanoComposites for Enhanced Solar energy efficiency
FENCES: FErroelectric NanoComposites for Enhanced Solar energy efficiency


Principal Investigator: Joe BRISCOE
Funding source: EU Commission - Horizon 2020
Start: 01-06-2021  /  End: 31-05-2026
Amount: £1,599,992

FENCES will develop a new approach to solar energy conversion by incorporating nanostructured ferroelectric materials into solar energy devices for both solar-to-electric (photovoltaic) and solar-to-fuel (photocatalysis) conversion. By coupling the bulk photovoltaic effect in the ferroelectric with high efficiency solar absorbs materials, FENCES aims to demonstrate a new route to solar energy conversion with the potential to exceed established efficiency limits.

Prevention of phase-separation of corrosive aqueous acidic solution out of liquid carbon dioxide - SEMS Industry-supported PhD studentship


Principal Investigator: Radomir SLAVCHOV
Funding source: CHANCELLOR, MASTERS AND SCHOLARS OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CAMBRIDGE
Start: 02-04-2023  /  End: 01-04-2026
Amount: £79,541

(RECYCLENS) Enhancing Confidence in the Use of Recycled Polymers and Composites via Electrical Sensing


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-02-2024  /  End: 31-01-2026
Amount: £49,996

Sustainable Electrodes for Advanced Flow Batteries
Sustainable Electrodes for Advanced Flow Batteries


Principal Investigator: Ana JORGE SOBRIDO
Funding source: MRC Medical Research Council
Start: 01-02-2021  /  End: 31-01-2026
Amount: £1,163,370

The research programme proposed in this Fellowship application details a plan to develop alternative electrodes for RFBs using sustainable resources. RFBs often employ carbon felts as electrodes, prepared from non-sustainable polyacrylonitrile (PAN), and their activity towards the redox reactions is poor, leading to low efficiency systems. I propose to use electrospinning, a very versatile processing technique that allows for fine control of the features of the materials prepared, to produce a new generation of freestanding electrodes with unique tailored properties that will increase the power density and voltage efficiency of RFBs.

HIPES MSCA PF 2022


Principal Investigator: Haixue YAN
Funding source: EPSRC - EU Scheme
Start: 01-11-2023  /  End: 31-10-2025
Amount: £187,096

Material, process and development of a novel composite, layered, plastic-free leather alternative derived from waste brewery grain


Principal Investigator: Dimitrios PAPAGEORGIOU
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-10-2023  /  End: 30-09-2025
Amount: £184,150

Energy filtering for high Seebeck voltages in ordered nanocomposites


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Defence Science and Technology Lab.-GOV UK
Start: 01-10-2022  /  End: 30-09-2025
Amount: £99,985

Paragraf support fund 2


Principal Investigator: Colin HUMPHREYS
Funding source: Paragraf Paragraf Limited
Start: 01-08-2021  /  End: 31-07-2025
Amount: £33,540

Maximising Efficiency of Liquid Phase Oligo Synthesis


Principal Investigator: Andrew LIVINGSTON
Funding source: Innovate UK
Start: 01-06-2023  /  End: 31-05-2025
Amount: £636,789

Transforming synthetic drug manufacturing: novel processes, methods and tools


Principal Investigator: Andrew LIVINGSTON
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council / EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-07-2021  /  End: 31-03-2025
Amount: £584,126

Transforming synthetic drug manufacturing: novel processes, methods and tools

Single crystal perovskite fibre


Principal Investigator: Lei SU
Co-investigator(s): Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: EPSRC IAA; HEIF
Start: 01-09-2023  /  End: 31-03-2025
Amount: £100,000

In this project, we will explore the application of single-crystal perovskite fibres.

High Performance Thermoelectric Film with Organic-Inorganic Van der Waals Heterostructures


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2023  /  End: 30-03-2025
Amount: £12,000

Exploring the utility of transfer learning for describing material properties


Principal Investigator:
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2023  /  End: 30-03-2025
Amount: £12,000

Molecular separations membranes for high boiling green solvents


Principal Investigator: Andrew LIVINGSTON
Funding source: SIGMA-ALDRICH CORPORATION
Start: 01-02-2024  /  End: 31-01-2025
Amount: £199,242

Example of tyres that are not easily recycled currently
Circular economy elastomer products


Principal Investigator: James BUSFIELD
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-02-2022  /  End: 31-01-2025
Amount: £395,434

The sustainability of elastomer industry is under huge scrutiny as many polymers are derived from fossil fuels and a large amount of rubber waste generated annually is not recycled. This research programme will develop novel circular economy elastomer products from renewable biobased feedstocks, with zero waste and high resource efficiency.

Zero-emission vehicles. Credit: EduardHarkonen/iStock.com
CELLCOMP: Data-driven Mechanistic Modelling of Scalable Cellular Composites for Crash Energy Absorption


Principal Investigator: Wei TAN
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-01-2022  /  End: 31-12-2024
Amount: £392,388

The project funded by EPSRC will create an intelligent data-driven virtual testing tool to assess an emerging type of lightweight materials, known as synthetic cellular composites (CCs).

1D perovskite structure
Royal Society University Research Fellowship Renewal : Oliver Fenwick


Principal Investigator: Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 19-10-2020  /  End: 18-10-2024
Amount: £389,434

This project will develop crystalline materials comprising well-defined nano-objects arranged on a regular lattice. These nano-objects will be either two-dimensional (ultrathin layers within the material), one-dimensional (linear structures within the material), or zero-dimensional (quantum dots within the material), with unusual electronic properties in all cases. These bulk materials, which are straightforward to process, will retain low-dimensional characteristics. These unusual characteristics will be used to boost the efficiency of energy devices. In particular, this project will investigate their use for thermoelectrics (conversion of waste heat into electricity), and photovoltaics, delivering in both cases new materials for improved energy devices.

ESTEEM - Sustainable manufacturing for future composites
ESTEEM - Sustainable manufacturing for future composites


Principal Investigator: Han ZHANG
Funding source: EPSRC
Start: 01-10-2021  /  End: 30-09-2024
Amount: £395,947

With only 1% of energy consumption compared to current manufacturing methods, high performance composites with integrated new functions like deformation and damage sensing as well as de-icing will be manufactured without needs of even an oven. This new method will be tuned to fully comply with the processing requirements of existing high performance composite systems, reducing costs in capital investment, operational, and maintenance aspects. The new functions will also provide real-time health monitoring of components' structural integrity to enable condition based maintenance with high reliability.

MAXIM-Mitigating the Ecotoxicological Impact of Perovskite Solar Cells


Principal Investigator: Zhe LI
Funding source: AXA
Start: 01-06-2022  /  End: 31-05-2024
Amount: £100,000

This project aims to develop low Pb leaching rate perovskite materials for use in high performance and eco-friendly perovskite solar cells, building upon knowledge framework on the relationships between perovskite semiconductors’ materials structure and their ecotoxicity.

BFTT campaign
Creative Clusters Fashion in Smart Textile


Principal Investigator: James BUSFIELD
Co-investigator(s): and Haixue YAN
Funding source: AHRC Arts and Humanities Research Council
Start: 31-10-2018  /  End: 31-05-2024
Amount: £345,900

The Business of Fashion, Textiles and Technology (BFTT) is a five-year industry-led project, which focusses on delivering sustainable innovation within the entire fashion and textile supply chain. The aim is to foster a new, creative business culture in which fashion, textiles and technology businesses can use R&D as a mechanism for growth.

Rapidly Disintegrating Transient Electronics


Principal Investigator: Dimitrios PAPAGEORGIOU
Co-investigator(s): Oliver FENWICK
Funding source: Dstl
Start: 01-05-2023  /  End: 01-05-2024
Amount: £159,851

This project provides a solution for high-performance transient electronics using bespoke electronic and structural materials at critical locations such that triggering degradation of these materials results in destruction of the system as a whole. The project maximises the use of bio-derived materials to minimise toxicity of breakdown products ensuring user and environmental safety.

Transient Electronics


Principal Investigator: Dimitrios PAPAGEORGIOU
Funding source: Defence Science and Technology Lab.-GOV UK
Start: 02-05-2023  /  End: 01-05-2024
Amount: £134,831

QMUL-HUST Partnership: Wide-Bandgap, Thermally-Evaporated Perovskite Solar Cells
QMUL-HUST Partnership: Wide-Bandgap, Thermally-Evaporated Perovskite Solar Cells


Principal Investigator: Zhe LI
Funding source:
Start: 01-04-2022  /  End: 01-04-2024
Amount: £5,000

The project aims to systematically investigate wide band gap (1.7 eV) perovskite solar cells prepared via the thermal evaporation method from the perspectives of defect formation mechanism and crystallisation kinetics. We will target wide bandgap CsPbI3 single-junction perovskite solar cells with a PCE of over 20%, which will pave the way for development of high performance and large area perovskite-silicon tandem solar cells.

Feasibility of biomass-waste derived porous electrodes in advanced redox flow batteries - (The Royal Society International Exchanges, in collaboration with MIT)


Principal Investigator: Ana JORGE SOBRIDO
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 31-03-2022  /  End: 30-03-2024
Amount: £12,000

Escalating greenhouse gas emissions and associated climate volatility represents an existential threat to humanity. Deep and rapid decarbonization of the global energy systems requires the wholesale replacement of fossil fuels with renewable resources (e.g., wind, solar). However, these resources are intermittent and unpredictable challenging the existing grid infrastructure which is based on the just-in-time dispatchable generation enabled by combustion of fossil fuels. As such, flexible energy management systems, including electrochemical energy storage technologies, are urgently required to enable reliable electricity delivery from the variable assets. Among them, redox flow batteries (RFBs) are excellent candidates for large-scale, long duration energy storage due to their flexible design, long service life, high reliability, and environmental friendliness. Nevertheless, this technology is still in its infancy in terms of optimisation of materials and battery design that can lead to improvement in performance and cost. This proposal seeks to improve upon one of their performance-determining components: the electrodes. We will use electrospinning to synthesise sustainable new materials, replacing current fossil-fuel-derived carbon electrodes with electrodes generated from biomass-waste. Electrospinning is a versatile technique that allows the production of freestanding fibrous materials. An additional part of the project will focus on the analysis of viability and economic aspects of using biomass-waste to produce RFB electrodes, while also enabling a finer control of their property sets, through a combination of modelling and experiment, to enhance technical performance and durability.

Environmental impacts of lead leakage from perovskite photovoltaic integrated greenhouse


Principal Investigator: Zhe LI
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 14-03-2022  /  End: 13-03-2024
Amount: £11,900

This project aims to build international collaboration networks to develop perovskite photovoltaic technologies for agrivoltaics applications, focusing - focusing on understanding the potential environmental impact of perovskite solar cells in agricultural production, food safety and agricultural plants.

Resolving the biomass pyrolysis kinetics via combined synchrotron-based measurements and modelling analysis School of Engineering and Materials Science, QMUL Department of Mechanical Engineering, MIT


Principal Investigator: Roberto VOLPE
Funding source: Royal Society
Start: 11-03-2022  /  End: 10-03-2024
Amount: £12,000

This project aims at bridging the gap between cutting-edge modelling and synchrotron-based experiments to resolve the complex kinetics of biomass pyrolysis and contribute to the development of environmental technologies based on naturally-functionalised, porous, carbonaceous materials produced via pyrolysis of biomass.

Fukushima ALPS water A modelling framework for predicting tritium dispersion released within the marine environment


Principal Investigator: Andrew BUCHAN
Funding source: EPSRC Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council
Start: 01-10-2023  /  End: 29-02-2024
Amount: £20,000