UCL students have been instrumental in EIL’s work, and are rewarded with excellent scientific and industrial experience – and financial potential too. Students making contribution to IP generation are rewarded with due recognition on patents, which can lead to an equity stake in the company and financial reward.
Rhodri and Amal's research lead to patents and eventually a spin out company, Amalyst. Rhodri comments; “The ability to hit the ground running with high quality, industrially relevant research has improved both the value and enjoyment of my PhD. To see commercialization of my work already is a huge fillip and spurs me on in my research. The knowledge from industry and involvement with the workings of a startup company have also given me valuable insights that might not be available in other PhDs.”
Already being an undergraduate student within the department of Chemical Engineering, Leon was familiar with the research activities within the EIL. However, it wasn’t until he started to conduct his Master’s research project that he realised the prestigious research that was happening in the EIL. “As an undergraduate student being mainly focused on taught classes, the essence of the research is not particularly seen until you begin research yourself. My Master’s thesis research project was based within the EIL and it was then that I truly understood the enthusiastic approach to high level research the EIL was doing.” This was enough for Leon to apply for a PhD within the EIL and he now studies the electrochemical reduction of spent nuclear fuels. He adds “The EIL has many different people from all over the world each looking at many different aspects of electrochemistry which provides a fantastic professional and social atmosphere within the EIL.”
Donal's research is linked with the National Physical Laboratory. He writes: "Throughout my undergraduate degree I’ve always had a great interest in alternative technologies to the combustion engine, in particular electrochemical devices such as batteries and fuel cells. The EIL is recognised as a centre of excellence in electrochemical science and engineering with a focus on having an impact in the public arena. The focus of my applications became clear when this knowledge was combined with very positive feedback and recommendations from members of the group. My Ph.D. was set up in collaboration with the National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The NPL is an internationally renowned research facility; collaborating with the NPL has provided me with the opportunity to work with, and learn from, world-leading experts. Spending time with the research community in the EIL and the NPL has given me the chance to take the best from both institutions and to propel my work in a novel and exciting direction. Being part of such a diverse, friendly and focused research group has resulted in a truly fruitful academic experience."
Quentin's PhD is an impact studentship linked with industry: "I did my electrochemical engineering degree in Grenoble-INP Phelma (France), with a major in fuel cells and batteries. After the my degree, I applied for a 6 months internship at one of the largest fuel cell companies in Europe, Intelligent Energy (Loughborough, UK). At the end of the internship, I inquired for industry funded PhD's. The recently launched Electrochemical Innovation Laboratory (EIL), and Dr Dan Brett, were well known to Intelligent Energy and a PhD project was set up between the two. My PhD involves a very high level of advanced diagnoses such as thermal imaging, current and temperature mapping and impedance applied to the Intelligent Energy Air Cooled Fuel Cell stack. Pursuing my PhD within the EIL enables me to have access to high spec equipment and be in direct contact with experts in different technologies around the world."
"The EIL is a very diverse, dynamic and multi-cultural group with amazing people performing cutting-edge research, all with different backgrounds and expertise in chemical and electrochemical engineering. A unique place to work, and a pleasure to be part of the EIL."
Aliya's PhD is linked with her hometown university in Astana, Kazakhstan. A partnership between the two universities' engineering departments afforded Aliya the opportunity to study her PhD in the EIL. "I obtained an MSc from Chemical and Environmental Engineering department of the University of Nottingham. I later joined the first International University in Kazakhstan - Nazarbayev University, where I worked as a teaching assistant in Chemistry. After six months of working I realised I needed a career progression which led me to apply for a PhD programme in one of the best global universities.
"UCL is a strategic partner of the School of Engineering at Nazarbayev University, which is why I have decided to get my doctoral degree there. I applied through the NU Faculty Development Programme and the Bolashak International Scholarship of the President of Republic of Kazakhstan which gave me the opportunity to study at UCL.
"My PhD involves investigation of a novel type of solid oxide fuel cell with liquid metal anodes for direct coal oxidation and fuel storage. The EIL provides not only the best expertise in the field of fuel cells, but also an excellent working environment given by diverse research community within the group. The EIL has many collaborators around the world which gives me unique opportunity to work with them and learn from their experience.
"After completion of my PhD programme I hope to return to Nazarbayev University in Kazakhstan to build a career as a researcher in the School of Engineering."