Diamond Partners

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Dr Chris Nicklin

Chris Nicklin

 Science Group Leader for the Structures and Surfaces Group at Diamond Light Source.

Chris Nicklin is the Science Group Leader (since 2018) for the Structures and Surfaces Group at Diamond Light Source, the UK National Synchrotron Facility. He is responsible for four instruments (beamlines) that are used to study different aspects of material surfaces and interfaces, including the structure at a range of length scales, the chemical nature and the detailed electronic properties. 

The techniques available include Angle-Resolved Photoemission Spectroscopy (ARPES) to probe the detailed band structure, photoelectron spectroscopy under near ambient pressure conditions (NAP-XPS) of relevance in catalysis and battery research, and surface X-ray diffraction (SXRD) and X-ray Standing Wave (XSW) analysis that provide detailed structural analysis of samples such as 2D materials or organic interfaces. 

Chris was previously responsible for building and operating one of the instruments at Diamond that focused on structural surface science. Prior to joining Diamond, Chris was a Japan Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) fellow (1997-1998) in the Tokyo Institute of Technology before becoming a lecturer (1998-2005) in Condensed Matter Physics at the University of Leicester, UK.

Dr Paul Quinn

Dr Paul QuinnImaging Group Leader, Diamond Light Source.

Paul's background is in surface crystallography but since joining Diamond he was worked on imaging and spectroscopy applications in materials and life sciences, first working on the microfocus spectroscopy beamline I18 before designing and building the hard X-ray nanoprobe beamline at Diamond and brings expertise in both advanced imaging and spectroscopy. 

He currently manages a portfolio of 8 X-ray and electron facilities at Diamond.  He has a history of experimental instrumentation and methods development and is currently developing sample environments and advanced characterisation methods across the imaging facilities at Diamond for multiscale correlative imaging and in-operando nano-imaging.

Dr Thokozile Kathyola

Thokozile Kathyola Postdoctoral Research Associate (PDRA) at Diamond Light Source. 

Thokozile Kathyola is a postdoctoral research associate (PDRA) at Diamond Light Source, working with the Spectroscopy, Structures and Surfaces, and Imaging Groups. The primary focus of her research roles to date has been the development and application of advanced X-ray techniques for the in situ/operando characterisation of industrially relevant products and processes. These techniques include but are not limited to X-ray absorption spectroscopy (XAS), X-ray photoelectron spectroscopy (XPS), X-ray pair distribution function (XPDF) and X-ray imaging. Her current role as a PDRA at Diamond will mainly involve the development of novel in situ/operandoexperimental set-ups for the characterisation of sustainable materials and systems. The primary aim of her project is to understand the complex processes occurring at material interfaces in real-time using a combination of X-ray techniques. Ultimately, the work that will be conducted at Diamond, in collaboration with Imperial College London and Shell, will contribute to the transition to renewable and sustainable energy. 

Supervisors: Dr Sofia Diaz-Moreno, Professor Chris Nicklin and Dr Paul Quinn

Shell Partners

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Dr Sarah Matthews

Dr Sarah Matthews

Team Lead, Lubricants Technology & Research Manager, Fuels & Lubricants UTC

Sarah Matthews manages a team of chemists and engineers who deliver Shell Lubricants innovation programme and provide expert technical support to Shell Lubricants Supply Chain.

In addition to team leadership responsibilities, Sarah manages Shell’s Fuel and Lubricant UTC at Imperial College London. The UTC was established in 2013 and is located in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The UTC strengthens existing relationships with Imperial College and provides a structured way of working, delivering insight and understanding in the following research areas: lubricant design, friction reduction, fuel-lubricant interaction, fuel combustion, fuel-engine interactions and e-mobility-related (efuels, battery charging and thermal management). This enables Shell to make fundamental advances in their knowledge and know-how, informing the development and deployment of future technology solutions.

Sarah is an MChem, DPhil Chemist and has been with Shell for 14 years, taking a variety of roles and responsibilities over that time; developing new fuels, delivering innovative solutions for future lubricant products, holding technical sign-off for lubricant additive components, and now leading a diverse team to help deliver our R&D programme.

Dr Peter Klusener

Dr Peter KlusenerSenior process development chemist

Peter is a member of the Energy Storage team in Shell and is involved in battery research since the end of 2017. Within this team, he is supervising the academic collaborations with UK universities in the area of battery research. Next to that, he is coordinating Shell’s research and development program on redox flow batteries (RFB). Besides his RFB interest, he is also involved in the development and fundamental studies related to sodium anion batteries.

The projects supervised by Peter at ICL are related to sodium batteries, hydrogen-based hybrid flow batteries and vanadium extraction from refinery streams. Projects at other universities are sodium and potassium batteries at the University of Oxford, organic RFB at the University of Cambridge, RFB development and lithium anion battery degradation & safety studies at Queen’s University Belfast.

Peter started in Shell in 1989 after a PhD in organic chemistry at the University of Utrecht. He always worked in research. After ten years of polymer research, focussing on catalyst development and up-scaling, he moved to process development, where he worked on many different projects.

Dr Lisa Brook

Dr Lisa BrookAcademic Partnerships Manager in the UK

Lisa Brook is responsible for engaging with highly regarded academia and research institutes to build mutually beneficial External Technology Collaborations (ETCs) centred on innovative technologies that have the potential to solve key energy challenges.

One such ETC of key strategic importance to help Shell meet its Net Zero emissions targets is the Prosperity Partnership with Imperial College London and Diamond Light Source, which will help develop new methods for understanding and designing solid-fluid interfaces, with multiple translation opportunities across Shell.

Lisa is a Chemical Engineer by first degree, PhD Chemist, who has worked for Shell for 26 years. For the majority of this time, she has worked in Fuel Technology, developing and deploying new automotive fuels to support Shell’s Mobility business; she also spent four years as the Technology Manager for Ferrari, responsible for all fuel and lubricant products in the Formula 1 race car; and four years in the Retail business as a global brand manager responsible for marketing automotive fuels, when she also got a marketing degree.

Dr Justin Freeman

Dr Justin Freeman

Research Coordinator (Business Opportunity Manager, Digital Rock)

Justin developed Shell’s strategy in the Digital Rock space and is the global manager of a multi-year program in collaboration with four academic partners in the UK, US, and India. The Digital Rock program targets rapid de-risking of projects through the provision of simulated properties of porous structures.

Digital Rock, Advanced Materials, and Fuels and Lubricants are the building blocks of the Prosperity Partnership with Imperial College London and Diamond Light Source.

Justin has a PhD in Physics from the University of Leeds. He joined Shell’s Bellaire Research Center in Houston, TX, in 1988 following a Research Assistantship at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. Justin has spent his career in Exploration and Development, holding numerous technical and managerial roles both in research and Shell’s Deepwater and Unconventionals Lines of Business. He is also the co-inventor of 9 patents covering Digital Rock, NMR, Flow Metering, and Enhanced Oil Recovery.

Dr Caroline Zinser

Dr Caroline Zinser

Project Lead Discovery Hub/ Focal Point Imperial College UTC

Caroline Zinser is part of the Lubricant Discovery Hub Team at Shell, which addresses scouting, science, and innovative solutions for the Lubricant Business and aiding the energy transition journey in this sector.

Caroline is the focal point for the Imperial College UTC. She supports the management of the UTC by defining programmes, monitoring progress, and communicating the output.

Caroline has a PhD in Chemistry and joined Shell through the Graduate Programme in 2018. For the last three years, she worked in Fuels Technology, supporting the current differentiated fuel products and the development of the future Shell FuelSave and Shell V-Power products. She is a passionate volunteer at the Shell Eco-Marathon events. She is eager to be part of the energy transition via innovation and technology by pushing existing technologies to the limit and developing new and improved technologies.