Professor Serena Cussen (née Corr) FRSC FIMMM


Serena Cussen née Corr studied chemistry at Trinity College Dublin, completing her doctoral work with Professor Yurii Gun’ko. She then joined the University of California, Santa Barbara working with Professor Ram Seshadri as a postdoctoral researcher. She joined the University of Kent as a lecturer in 2009 and moved to the University of Glasgow in 2013 and was made Professor in 2018, becoming their first ever female professor of Chemistry. She moved the University of Sheffield as a chair in Energy Materials and Professor in Materials Science and Engineering, where she now serves as their first female Department Head.

Recipient of RSC Journal of Materials Chemistry Lectureship (2017) and ISIS Science Impact Award (2021), her research breaks new ground in the design and application of energy materials. She leads the UK’s Faraday Institution FutureCat consortium, delivering next-generation Li-ion cathodes, recently giving evidence to House of Lords on the role of batteries in achieving net zero.

Serena is deeply committed to career sustainability, early career mentoring, the promotion of women in STEM and public outreach, with her Royal Institution lectures garnering >160K views. She sits on the Faraday Institution Expert Panel, EPSRC Materials Working Group, RSC’s Equity in Publishing group (contributing to the recent “Is publishing in chemistry gender biased?” report) and was featured in the International Women’s Day report “The Chemical Ladies”. In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, she founded The Recharge Network to support those working in academia with caring responsibilities.

She is married to Eddie and they are parents to two boys.

Postdoctoral researchers

Dr Samuel BoothSam

Sam obtained his master’s degree in chemistry from the University of Manchester (2013), where he continued to complete his PhD with Professor Robert Dryfe (2017). The focus of his PhD was on the electrochemical deposition and growth of metal nanoparticles at liquid/liquid interfaces, utilising X-ray spectroscopy to develop mechanistic insights. Sam went on to his first postdoc at the University of Liverpool to work with Professor Mathias Brust on applications of gold nanoparticles before joining Professor Serena Corr’s group at the University of Glasgow in 2018. The initial focus of this work was on the microwave synthesis of lithium ion cathode materials. Following the group’s move to Sheffield, he is currently involved on the FutureCat project to develop next generation lithium ion cathodes. Away from the lab Sam enjoys rugby, climbing and travelling.

Dr Manik BhosaleManik

Manik received his PhD degree in chemical science from National Chemical Laboratory, Pune (India) under the supervision of Dr. Kothandam Krishnamoorthy in August 2016. During his PhD, he focused on the synthesis of organic small molecules and microporous polymers as an electrode material for rechargeable batteries. After this, Manik has finished his first postdoc from the Sungkyunkwan University, Suwon (South Korea) with Prof. Jae-Young Choi, where he designed and synthesis of mesoporous metal oxides and metal-doped carbon materials for energy storage and conversion devices. In his free time, he enjoys playing a cricket and spending time with family and friends.

Dr Hany El-ShinawiHany

Hany completed his PhD in solid state chemistry at the University of Birmingham with Prof Colin Greaves in July 2010. His PhD studies focused on the synthesis and characterization of perovskite-related materials and their possible use as cathode materials in SOFCs. After this, Hany joined Prof Jürgen Janek’s group (Giessen, Germany), as an Alexander von Humboldt fellow, in 2011 working on potential electrode materials for lithium batteries. Hany has employed sol-gel synthesis to develop and enhance the performance of several anode/cathode/solid-electrolyte materials for lithium battery applications. After a short lectureship at Mansoura University (Egypt), he joined Serena’s group as a research associate. In his free time, Hany enjoys reading and spending time with family.

Dr Naresh GollapallyNaresh

Naresh obtained his master’s degree from NIT Warangal (India) in 2010 and Ph.D. in solid state chemistry from IIT Roorkee (India) under the guidance of Dr. Tapas Kumar Mandal in 2016. His Ph.D. thesis focused on the “Development of New Layered Oxide and Oxyhalide Titanates for Solar Photocatalysis”. Then, he carried out one and half year postdoctoral research on “Facet-Dependent Optical and Photocatalytic Properties of Nanocrystals” with Prof. Michael H. Huang at National Tsing Hua University, Taiwan. Currently, he is a Research Associate in University of Sheffield with Prof. Serena Corr with the FutureCat project and his present research interests is “Development of NMC Materials for Li-ion Batteries”. Naresh enjoys travelling, reading, drawing, cooking, running and workouts in gym.

Enrique Perez PDRA

Dr Enrique Sanchez Perez

Enrique obtained a BSc in Chemistry at Complutense University of Madrid (UCM) in 2013. After working for one year in electrochemical biosensors and nanomaterials at UCM, Enrique moved to Grenoble and completed a MSc in Nanotechnology and Nanochemistry in Université Joseph Fourier in 2015. After completing his PhD with the Corr group on magnetic nanocomposites for artefact conservation, Enrique remained in Sheffield to take up a postdoctoral position developing high-throughput microwave-assisted methods for cathode materials. During his free time, Enrique enjoys climbing, cycling and running.

Dr Beth JohnstonBeth

Beth obtained her PhD from Sheffield in January 2021, and obtained her undergraduate masters degree in Chemical Physics from the University of Glasgow in 2016. During this time, she undertook an industrial placement year at De La Rue (England) during her fourth year, working on novel security features for banknotes. Her work with the FutureCat project involves the synthesis and characterisation of higher energy density electrode materials for Li-ion batteries with a focus on nickel-rich “beyond NMC-811” layered transition metal oxide compositions for high capacity cathodes. In her free time, she enjoys reading, cooking, listening to music and gaming.

PhD Students

Lianne JordanLianne

Lianne graduated from the University of Manchester in 2016 with an integrated masters degree in Chemistry with industrial experience. Her third year was spent with Imerys Minerals Ltd. working on improving the strength and rheological properties of a cellulose based product through the addition of natural polymers. During the last year of her degree, Lianne undertook a masters project on sub-micron patterning of polymer brushes using super inkjet printing. In her free time Lianne enjoys playing the piano, surfing and visiting museums.
Innes McClellandInnes

Innes completed his BsC undergraduate degree in Chemical Physics at the University of Glasgow in 2018, undertaking a final year project on high voltage cathode synthesis and characterisation, and a work placement testing and modelling thermal batteries at MSB, Coatbridge. Innes’ PhD focuses on the development of the muon spectroscopy technique towards operando ionic diffusion measurements and the studies of novel solid state electrolyte materials, as a facility development studentship with the ISIS Neutron and Muon Facility. In his free time, he enjoys travelling, playing sports, and music.

Tom EntwistleTom

Tom completed his MEng undergraduate degree in Chemical Engineering with energy at the University of Sheffield in 2018 with first class honours and winning the Moorside Energy prize for Chemical Engineering. His PhD will be working on developing a new process to mass produce Li-ion battery materials using microwaves. His Master’s research project on the remote monitoring of solar cells was partnered with Mahanakorn University of Technology in Bangkok. During his free time, Tom plays guitar and is a keen orienteer and fell runner, having a top-150 UK orienteering ranking.

Jethro PrykeJethro

Jethro graduated from the University of Sheffield with a degree in Aerospace engineering with a year in industry in 2017. The year in industry was spent at the Nuclear AMRC, working with Sellafield engineers to optimise automated welding of containers for long term storage of nuclear waste. For his final year project, Jethro worked to improve the understanding of the mechanisms that effect fracture toughness in amine cured epoxy resins. Jethro’s PhD focuses on developing cathode materials for magnesium batteries. He is a keen caver and also enjoys canyoning, climbing and cycling

Aysen ZereyAysen

Aysen received her BA in Chemical Engineering at Ataturk University in Turkey. After this, she undertook a placement at Gebze Technical University, working on the synthesis of carbon-based materials for Na-ion batteries using biomass via hydrothermal carbonization. She completed an MSc in Electrochemistry at the University of Southampton in 2018. During her master’s, she worked on the sol-gel synthesis of mesoporous TiO2 as a negative electrode for the aqueous aluminium-ion battery. She joined the Corr group in 2019, where her PhD focuses on the design and characterization of high energy next generation lithium-ion battery electrodes. In her free time, she enjoys playing ukulele and recording voice.

Katja Kress

Katja Kress

Katja Kress is a PhD in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield. She gained a B.Eng. in Materials Engineering and a M.Sc. in Materials Science with a focus on Solid State Chemistry in Germany. Due to her work experience both in industry and research in the Fraunhofer Institute, as part of the FutureCat project she will be developing novel cathode architectures and characterise the material properties with regard to particle morphology and electrochemical performance.

IMG_7803 (1)

Xiaoqun Shi

Xiaoqun is a Ph.D. student in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering at the University of Sheffield. He specializes in energy storage materials, especially anodes for lithium batteries, and is also experienced with the design of the supercapacitor and sensor bi-functional materials. His current research focuses on the high-Ni anodes materials for lithium batteries.

Former group members and visitors
Dr Marco Amores completed his PhD in our group before taking a position at NPL. He was awarded a prestigious JSPS Fellowship to undertake postdoctoral research at the University of Tokyo and NIMS. He rejoined our research group in 2020 for a short postdoctoral position before taking a Junior Scientist position at AIT Austrian Institute of Technology GmbH.
Dr Ester Rani Aluri was a postdoc with our group for three years, working on developing magnetic nanocomposites for conservation. She went on to take up a postdoctoral position with Prof Dermot Brougham at UCD
Dr Josefa Vidal Laveda completed her PhD in the Corr group and is now a postdoctoral researcher at EMPA, Switzerland working on battery materials.
Akansha Goyal, visiting Erasmus project student from Leiden University, who is working on the synthesis of high voltage metal oxide nanostructures for Li-ion batteries
Christian Arenas, Research student, who worked on solid electrolytes for energy storage.
Dr Thomas Ashton completed his PhD in the Corr group and went on to postdoctoral work with Prof Jawwad Darr at UCL.
Max Terban, Columbia-Glasgow research exchange scholarship from Columbia University to work on nanoparticle conservation strategies for the Mary Rose.
Dr Marc Williams, who completed his PhD in the Corr group on magnetic nanocomposite materials. Went on to postdoctoral work at University of Kent.
Dr Parthiban Ramasamy, RSC Mobility Fellow, Kongju National University, South Korea, worked on new routes to anode materials for Li-ion batteries.
Vibhuti Chandhok, Postgraduate taught masters project student, worked on new routes to magnetic nanocomposite materials. Went on to PhD at University of Florida.
Larissa Caminhas, Science without Borders student, visited from Brazil and worked on perovskite nanoparticles for hyperthermia applications.
Paula Lins, Science without Borders student, visited from Brazil and worked on iron oxide nanoparticles for imaging applications.
Michael Hills, Nuffield summer student, worked on Li-ion batteries.
David Hevia , visiting Erasmus student from the Universitat de Barcelona
Áine Laughlin , final year chemistry student at Glasgow University, now working for Charles River.
Cheryl O’Connor , final year chemistry student at Glasgow University, now working for Charles River.
Chris Kennedy, MSci Chemical Physics student who spent the summer in our lab on an EPSRC Vacation scholarship working on vanadate nanomaterials.

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