Post-Graduate Students

Enrico Manfredi-Haylock.
I’m starting my PhD in Dr. Payne’s group looking into the chemical and electrochemical recycling of lead acid batteries. My specific interest is in developing a rationalised design strategy for the new class of “Deep Eutectic Solvent” systems that are being explored to efficiently dissolve lead compounds based on ab-initio and machine learning methods. I will then move on to using this design process to select an optimal solvent to prepare a full engineering demonstration rig at the end of my doctorate.

Vincent Chung
My PhD research is co-supervised by Prof. David Payne and Prof. Aron Walsh to explore data-driven approaches to advance materials discovery process. Currently, my interest is in predicting materials synthesizability and synthesis conditions of hypothetical compounds using machine learning methods trained with information from the literature. The goal of the project is to develop methods to accelerate experimental validations of novel materials that have been predicted to have useful properties.

Xiaoru Li
I graduated from Harbin Institute of Technology in Materials Science and Engineering with a bachelor’s degree and completed MEng at the University of Manchester in June of 2018. Then I joined Dr. Payne’s group as a PhD to study the basic mechanisms of metallic nanoparticles such as silver and gold. Novel behaviours have been observed in-situ via a high-resolution transmission electron microscope. I am trying to principally understand the adhesion and deformation of particles at the interface and simulate the realignment process.

Yanying Wang
I graduated from Loughborough University with an MSc in Materials in September of 2018. I then started my PhD in Payne’s group looking for green methods to reduce the environmental impact of lead. The research includes lead acid battery recycling and lead contaminated water purification. I will try to find an optimal solvent and prototype to offer the possibility for industrial application.

Syuhada Binti Mohd Tahir
I joined this research group in April 2019 as PhD candidate, co-jointly supervised Dr David Payne and Prof Martin Heeney. My interest is on work function modification of conjugated polymer electrolyte (CPE) as promising interfacial layer materials in organic energy devices. The effect of varying ionic density in CPE on the work function modification will be studied using X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy in order to understand the underlying mechanism that cause the electronic level rearrangement. Previously, I graduated with MSc in Chemistry from National University of Malaysia in 2010 and have been working with MARA University of Technology, Malaysia, since 2011.

William Skinner
I joined the research group in October 2020, pursuing my MEng in Materials Science and Engineering under the supervision of Prof. David Payne, and continued on to begin my PhD with the group in October 2021. My research is focused around elucidating the mechanism of nanoparticle exsolution – an emerging means by which to prepare nanoparticle-functionalised oxide materials via the in situ growth of nanoparticles directly from a perovskite oxide substrate. I am particularly interested in the application of ambient pressure X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy to the study of nanoparticle exsolution and determining what new insights this technique may enable us to derive about this process, with the ultimate aim of contributing towards guiding the rational design of exsolved systems with optimised catalytic performance.

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