Gavin White is just completing a PhD in thermally modelling lithium-ion batteries. His PhD was sponsored by Rolls Royce and the EPSRC with the aim to thermally model very large battery packs. This research highlighted that the models are limited in accuracy due to the model inputs. For thermal models this was specifically the thermal conductivity. Inaccuracies in the methods for measuring this parameter results in incorrect predictions of the internal temperature profile, which can lead to dangerously high temperatures.
From understanding the flaws with current methods, Gavin developed a novel method for measuring thermal conductivity which significantly reduced errors. This method was patented through Imperial College Innovations and subsequently published in the Applied Thermal Engineering journal - DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.applthermaleng.2022.118573
With support from the Faraday Institution, Gavin formed a spin-out company, About:Energy, to commercialise this technology. The Faraday Institution helped to pair Gavin with his co-founder, Kieran O'Regan from the University of Birmingham and they supported this with a Entrepreneurial Fellowship and a £100,000 grant. By combining each of the students research, along with a suite of technology developed by their supervisors/co-founders, About:Energy is now a deep tech company specialising in the testing and modelling of batteries.
Since then Gavin has stepped into the CEO role and together with his co-founder Kieran they have grown the company to a six-figure revenue generating company with 8 full-time employees in addition to almost 20 part-time PhD students/advisors helping to develop the core technology.
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