UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Prof Dan Brett awarded Research Chair with new RAEng industry-academia partnership

4 October 2021

Many congratulations to Professor Dan Brett who has been awarded a HORIBA MIRA and NPL / Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair in Metrology for Electrochemical Propulsion.

Prof Dan Brett

The vision of this newly-awarded Research Chair is to provide the metrology tools required by UK industry to succeed in the fundamental change in the way that vehicles are powered – the shift away from conventional piston engine powered propulsion to electrochemical solutions such as batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. This project will establish the Centre for Metrology in Electrochemical Propulsion (C-MEP) that will be a major activity within the Advanced Propulsion Laboratory (APL) at UCL East. The APL embraces contributions from Chemical, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering as well as Chemistry, Physics and Computer Science. Metrology is an underpinning capability and enabler for this sector, one that is critical for the e-propulsion industry in general and a specific area in which the UK can lead both academically and commercially.

Professor Brett (UCL Chemical Engineering and the Electrochemical Innovation Lab) will develop measurement tools to support the fundamental change needed in the way vehicles are powered.

Electric mobility is one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet and is essential to meet the UK Government’s legally binding commitments on climate change, including the ban on new diesel and petrol car sales by 2030. There is a seismic shift away from conventional piston engine powered propulsion to electrochemical solutions such as batteries, fuel cells and supercapacitors. However, these technologies have challenges, mainly relating to cost, durability and certain performance metrics.

Collaborating with Horiba MIRA and the National Physical Laboratory, Professor Brett’s research aims to make the UK a world-leader, both scientifically and commercially, in metrology for electrochemical power systems.

Professor Brett said: 

“This Research Chair combines fundamental engineering innovations from the Electrochemical Innovation Lab at UCL and the National Physical Laboratory’s world-leading metrology with a route to market for our innovations, instruments and services in the form of HORIBA MIRA. The prestige that accompanies a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Chair lends significant credibility and provides a strong mandate for the activity. This will help attract stakeholders and draw attention to the critical need for metrology innovation in the rapidly evolving vehicle propulsion industries.”

Commenting on the appointment of the three new Research Chairs and one Senior Research Fellow, Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng FLSW, Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University and Chair of the Academy’s Research Committee, says:  

“These awardees illustrate brilliantly how expert engineering researchers, when partnered with industry, underpin the success of UK engineering research and innovation. The kind of work we are seeing illustrates why government has demonstrated such confidence in the economic value of our sector through its Innovation Strategy.”



  • Prof Dan Brett