News from the Faraday Institution, including working through covid uncertainties, CEO recruitment, the Faraday Institution Code of Conduct, and press coverage
Update on CEO Recruitment
As communicated in November 2019, Neil Morris will step down as CEO of the Faraday Institution on 3rd April 2020.
The search for a new permanent CEO is ongoing who will take the Faraday Institution and the community we have built forward. The appointment of the right person for the permanent role is a priority for the organisation, though we recognise that the situation with the coronavirus makes for a challenging environment in which to conduct the search, selection and appointment.
Susan Robertson, CFO and Matt Howard, Head of Engagement and Education will serve as Joint Interim CEO in addition to their usual responsibilities until a permanent CEO is appointed. Neil Morris will serve part time as an advisor to the Faraday Institution during this interim period, particularly to work to support the case for future funding and to accelerate routes to commercialisation for discoveries from our research programme.
Working Through Covid Uncertainties
We hope you are staying well. Further to our previous communication about the coronavirus we are hearing and fully recognise the concerns raised by researchers around job security, visas and mental wellbeing. We recognise that the Faraday Institution has an important role in positively influencing the welfare of our research community through this challenging time.
To this end we are in ongoing discussions with Faraday Battery Challenge leadership, UKRI as our funder, and members of our Board who are Pro-VCs of universities to influence decisions that could be made at this level that would ease researchers’ legitimate concerns. It is clear that there needs to be a fair and consistent approach to support UK grant funded research, most likely through costed extensions to grants and we are making this case strongly to our funders. We are also working to secure Faraday Institution bridge funding past March 2021.
In the meantime, please be assured that we fully intend to continue to fund researcher staff costs where contracts are in place.
If you haven’t already done so we would urge researchers to connect with their supervisors and project leadership to understand how their time during lockdown can be best used to advance project goals as well as to benefit personal development. We have been working hard to develop ways in which our community can stay connected during this period and are pleased to announce the launch of our Faraday Masterclasses, an interactive webinar series to be held every Wednesday at 2pm.
Above all, please stay connected through this difficult time. Look for ways to support each other, ask for help where needed, and continue to elevate issues and difficulties you are facing. Let’s work together to adapt and find creative, innovative new approaches that have an impact.
Susan Robertson and Matt Howard, Joint Interim CEO, The Faraday Institution
Code of Conduct
The Faraday Institution wants all researchers involved in our research projects to feel that they work in a safe and positive environment at all times. We are committed to developing the Faraday community as one that is built on collaboration, respect for others, recognising achievement, and where members proactively offer a helping hand to colleagues and strive for equality and inclusion. More diverse teams, where all members feel able to contribute, will ultimately deliver better science and create a stronger community.
To that end, we have developed a Code of Conduct: standards of behaviour that we expect all our researchers to adhere to while undertaking Faraday Institution research, be it in a lab setting, connecting with group or project members and when interacting with other projects, with members of FIHQ, and externally, in person or in an on-line environment.
We also ask that you also make yourself aware of our checklist to organise and run inclusive meetings.
News coverage of the Faraday Institution
- UK Manufacturing Review 2019/20, February 2020, Opinion piece by Tony Harper, Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge.
- Daily Mail, 5 February, Will banning new hybrids as well as petrol and diesel cars from 2035 help or hinder Britain's drive to go electric?
- The editors at Nature Communications put together an Editors’ highlights webpage of recent research on energy materials and featured 4D imaging of lithium-batteries using correlative neutron and X-ray tomography with a virtual unrolling technique authored by Faraday Institution researchers at UCL and their research partners. News coverage following the issuing of a news release about the paper:
- GreenCar Congress, 10 February, Researchers virtually ‘unwind’ lithium battery; strategies for improving design of cylindrical cells
- IMechE, 10 February, Team uses manuscript inspection method to ‘unroll’ battery and reveal secrets for better vehicles
- PV Magazine, 12 February, The inner workings of a lithium battery
- PV Magazine, 10 February, Zero-waste batteries
- IEEE Spectrum, 14 February, The slog continues for lithium-air batteries
- Financial Review, 18 February, Angry about Holden? Blame Elon Musk, GM and Trump
- AM Online, 18 February, 2040, 2035, 2032… Government's petrol and diesel ban: policy on the hoof
- Chem@Cam (alumni magazine of the University of Cambridge Chemistry Department), Winter 2020, Tackling battery degradation (page 26-27) an interview with Haydn Francis, Faraday Institution PhD Researcher.
- Wired, 20 February, As electric car sales soar, the industry faces a cobalt crisis
- The Telegraph, 24 February, Electric scooter go-ahead risks hastening ‘waste battery mountain’, experts warn
- The Detroit Bureau, 24 February, Audi puts brakes on E-Tron production due to battery issues
- Imperial College London, 26 February, New for old: Using a safer solvent to clean up lead battery recycling
- Batteries and Energy Storage Technology magazine, Winter 2020, Making lead acid even greener, featuring news of Faraday Institution’s Entrepreneurial Fellow Ola Hekselman of Solveteq.
- The Naked Scientists, 3 March, Electric cars: worth the charge?
- The Naked Scientists, 3 March, How electric car batteries work
- The Express, 10 March, Chancellor's budget must invest in this tech to help 'struggling' car firms, say experts
- Argus, 11 March, UK extends grants for EVs in 2020 budget
- Natural History Museum press release, 11 March, Natural History Museum allocated £180 million in budget to create state-of-the art research centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
- The Guardian, 15 March, Not investing in electric car battery production could cost UK 105,000 jobs – study
- Ride, 17 March, Electric batteries face sustainability issues
- Business Green, 19 March, Charging to the front: Battery M&A activity continues on back of bullish long-term outlook for sector
The vision of BATTERY 2030+ is to invent the sustainable batteries of the future, providing European industry with disruptive technologies and a competitive edge across the full value chain that will enable Europe to take the lead in battery science and technology. The Faraday Institution is a member of Battery 2030+. Take a look at their February 2020 newsletter.