Professor Nigel Brandon

Nigel Brandon

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Job title: Director
Division: Sustainable Gas Institute
Organisation: Imperial College London
Tags: Imperial College London, RISE, RISE: Fellow

Professor Brandon completed his PhD at Imperial College. Following 14 years in industry with BP and Rolls Royce he re-joined Imperial as a member of faculty in 1998. He was the Director of the Imperial College Energy Futures lab for eight years and since 2014 has been the Director of the Sustainable Gas Institute. Professor Brandon was a founder of the fuel cell company Ceres Power in 2001, and awarded the 2007 Silver Medal from the Royal Academy of Engineering for his contribution to engineering leading to commercial exploitation. He is a chartered engineer, a Fellow of the Energy Institute, and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Mineral and Mining.

What are the greatest challenges facing your discipline?

Improving our ability to design and manufacture electrochemical devices against cost, performance and lifetime targets - currently we lack all the theoretical, computational and experimental tools needed to do this.

What work are you engaged in at present, and what do you hope to achieve from it?

Our work is looking to both understand how to improve current fuel cell and battery technologies, as well as innovate and patent new ideas and concepts. To do this we try to understand the underpinning issues impacting on device performance at the materials level, mitigating these through materials innovation and device design. We collaborate extensively with industry partners, and also protect our new ideas through patents. My ambition is to increase the uptake of electrochemical power sources in energy applications, as they commonly offer significant performance and efficiency gains over current technologies. But to do this we need to continue to make them cheaper and last longer.

What do you consider your greatest personal and professional achievements?

Two things. Firstly I have been fortunate to be involved in inventing and developing two new fuel cell technologies, and it is great to see these continue to be taken forward. Secondly the development of my research team and current and former students - they are our best ambassadors.