Photo of Dr Alex Neale

Dr Alex Neale

Research Co-ordinator - Hardwick Group Chemistry


Personal Statement

Alex Neale graduated with a First Class MChem (Hons) Chemistry degree from the University of Liverpool in 2013. He then moved to Northern Ireland to complete a PhD with Professor Johan Jacquemin and Professor Christopher Hardacre at Queen's University Belfast (QUB) where his research explored the electrochemical and thermophysical properties and application of ionic liquid-based electrolyte materials for battery and electrochemical capacitor applications. His PhD project at QUB was part of a larger Innovate UK consortium involving partners Johnson Matthew, Jaguar Land Rover, and University of Liverpool investigating Lithium-air batteries.

After completing his PhD studies, Alex returned to the University of Liverpool to begin working with Professor Laurence Hardwick in the Stephenson Institute for Renewable Energy in the Department of Chemistry. During this time, Alex has undertaken research projects across a range of battery and electrochemical energy storage fields, Li-ion batteries and beyond Li-ion technologies like metal-O2, solid-state, and organic battery chemistries establishing connections with UK and European partners through involvements with the Faraday Institution projects (Degradation, SOL-BAT, CAT-MAT) and the EU BIG-MAP project. His research interests concern applying electrochemical and advanced in-situ/operando spectroscopic techniques to understand interfacial reaction/degradation mechanisms towards the development of improved electrolytes and interfaces. Alex has supported the development of new advanced characterisation techniques, such as Kerr-gated Raman spectroscopy and Surface Enhanced Infrared Absorbance Spectroscopy (SEIRAS) to probe electrified interfaces, supporting this with in the design and fabrication of operando optical and spectroelectrochemical cell equipment. More recently, Alex’s research has also involved the development of automated robotic workflows for the synthesis of inorganic coatings on battery electrode materials to improve cell cycle life.

Since early 2021, Alex has advanced to the position of Research Coordinator for the Hardwick Group, building on mentoring and supervising experience, and taking on formal supervisory roles to further support the PhD and undergraduate students and colleagues in the group. Alex has also been involved in the organisation of Electrochemistry Northwest, a regional electrochemistry conference as a platform for early career and PhD researcher presentations, leading on the organisation, hosting, and chairing for the 2022 meeting held in Liverpool.

Prizes or Honours

  • Best poster prize at the SIRE 10 Year Anniversary Event (SIRE 10 Year Anniversary Event sponsors, 2023)
  • Travel Award for Young Electrochemists (International Society of Electrochemistry (ISE), 2020)
  • 1st place Poster Prize at the 5th International Spectroelectrochemistry Summer School (Centre of Spectroelectrochemistry, Leibniz Institute for Solid State and Materials Research, Dresden, 2019)