University wins funding award for renewables research

The University of Aberdeen has been awarded £148,500 to bring early career researchers to Aberdeen to carry out research into renewable energy storage and conversion.

The award, from the Universities UK International (UUKi) Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grants programme, is funded by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial strategy (BEIS).  The grant will be used to bring four early career researchers from Curtin University in Australia and IMP and CIVESTAV-INP (both in Mexico) to Aberdeen for nine months each.

While here, the Rutherford Fellows will work on a range of projects within the area of renewable energy storage and conversion, from carbon capture, storage and utilisation, to electrochemical storage of electricity from renewables and photocatalytic conversion of solar energy.

The Rutherford programme aims to help universities build on global strategic partnerships, and the funding will help deepen existing links between the University of Aberdeen and its partner institutions in Australia and Mexico.

Dr Angel Cuesta, from the University's Department of Chemistry, and Dr Claudia Fernández-Martín, from the School of Engineering, led the successful funding bid.

Dr Cuesta said: “We are one of only 17 UK universities to be awarded a Rutherford Fund Strategic Partner Grant, which is testament to our status as a leading university in the area of renewable energy research, and to the strength of our international collaborations.

“Not only will this initiative strengthen our international connections and open up the possibility of future research collaborations, it will also enhance existing inter-disciplinary work here at the University between our departments of engineering and chemistry.

“Renewable energy storage and conversion is a vitally important area of research in terms of cutting global CO2 emissions, and the work that these four talented early career researchers will be engaged in will help advance our collective knowledge of the potential for new techniques that can help achieve this goal. 

“I very much look forward to welcoming all of them to Aberdeen in the months ahead, and to working with them on these exciting projects.”