UCL Department of Chemical Engineering


Joshua Bailey

Josh graduated from Oxford with a Master’s degree in Chemistry in 2011, spent 18 months living in Valencia and 18 months in Belfast teaching a variety of STEM subjects to all age groups and working on editing and proofreading academic articles. He returned to academia in October 2014 and embarked on a 4-year PhD studentship as part of the newly-formed CDT in Advanced Characterisation of Materials based at UCL but also at Imperial College. He spends most of his time at UCL working in the Electrochemical Innovation Lab and some time is spent over at Imperial College with the Materials FC and Batteries group. He also regularly attends characterisation technique training and soft skills workshops as part of the CDT.

Research project

Title: Characterisation of the microstructural evolution of solid oxide fuel cell anodes

His project involves the in-depth study of the nickel agglomeration process that serves as one of many degradation pathways of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) during operation.

His research focusses on fuel cell fabrication and testing by electrochemical methods (EIS, CV), fabrication of novel geometries for kinetic studies and the use of sophisticated materials characterisation techniques ranging from scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and focussed-ion beam (FIB) milling to transmission X-ray microscopy (TXM) and its use in X-ray computed tomography (XCT) to elucidate the internal microstructure of SOFC anodes. In particular, he is interested in the driving forces and mass transport mechanisms that underlie the nickel agglomeration process at a range of length and time scales.

The project aims to monitor this phenomenon in real time by lab-based in-situ X-ray tomography to provide microstructural detail that can be used as an input for simulations that could predict the impact of this type of degradation on the electrochemical performance of the fuel cell


1st Class MChem (Oxon) in Chemistry, Oxford, 2011