Professor Stephen Beeby

Stephen Beeby

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Job title: Professor
Division: Electronics and Computer Science
Organisation: University of Southampton
Tags: Fellowship: Early Career Fellowship, Fellowship: Leadership Fellowship, University of Southampton
Related theme: Engineering Manufacturing the future


Professor Steve Beeby leads the Smart Electronic Materials and Systems (SEMS) group in the Department of Electronics and Computers Science at the University of Southampton.  He leads research into energy harvesting and e-textiles that has led to two spinout companies and over 250 publications. 

My Fellowship

My research interests centre on energy harvesting and electronic textiles, the fellowship has enabled me to explore a combination of these topics. Wearable technologies are becoming increasingly common, but textile based implementations are at present limited in functionality.

One key obstacle to the technology is the provision of power and the fellowship has enabled me to investigate techniques for converting human movement and body heat into electrical energy. This has involved developing active piezoelectric and thermoelectric materials that can be screen printed onto textiles. I have also investigated inductive wireless power transfer techniques and demonstrated textile based coils that can recharge devices such as mobile phones. I have also researched textile based supercapacitors enabling the energy that has been harvested to be stored within a textile.

An important aspect of the research is the focus on the manufacturing processes. All materials and processes are compatible with the large scale mass production techniques employed in the textile industry. The fellowship has been a fantastic opportunity to establish a research portfolio, build my research profile and accelerate my academic career.

Motivation to Apply

The fellowship provides the opportunity to focus on a very exciting research topic and build a research team around this activity.

Career benefits of Fellowship

My career has benefited immensely. Whilst I have continued a modest level of teaching, the fellowship has enabled me to establish the foundations of a successful research led academic career.

Advice for future applicants

Definitely go for it! It provides a wonderful opportunity and I am extremely grateful to have benefited. If successful, don't cut yourself off completely from all other academic activities. By maintaining some teaching activities, for example, you can keep up with ever changing academic agendas.