What we do
Leading edge research in sustainable energy
As a specialist energy materials research institute, SIRE focuses on the physics and chemistry that will transform the future of energy generation, storage, transmission and energy efficiency. During our lifetimes we can all expect to see major changes in the availability, price and supply of energy, and we believe as a scientific group that the best way to deal with that change is to create new approaches.
SIRE is a group of twelve physics and chemistry academics with about twenty postdoctoral research staff and about 60 PhD students. At any one time we command about £18m of active research funding won competitively from the UK Research Councils, the European Union, scientific societies and from industry. Up to date details may be found in our annual report
A list of our staff and their energy materials expertise may be found here or in the People tab on the left.
Our research has the following themes
a) Enabling Techniques
Basic science capabilities that inform and underpin our research programmes in futuristic energy generation and storage. This includes i) work on theoretical prediction of the behaviour of materials and on ii) the experimental spectroscopy of advanced materials, surface and interfaces that control their functionality and usefulness in energy technologies and iii) understanding of fundamental electrochemical processes.
b) Energy Generation and Chemical Conversion
We work on medium to long term science in solar electricity, solar fuel generation, solar conversion of CO2 , sustainable materials, the transformation of biomass and waste products into useful chemical feedstock and thermoelectric materials.
c) Energy Storage
The electrical batteries of the future and encapsulated heat storage materials.