Imperial College London

Louise Oldham

Faculty of Natural SciencesDepartment of Chemistry

Research Postgraduate







Molecular Sciences Research HubWhite City Campus





Project title: Fabrication and kinetic characterisation of metal oxide heterojunctions for photoelectrochemical water splitting.

My research focuses on the use of operando spectroscopic techniques to analyse photoelectrode materials for sustainable fuel synthesis, specifically green hydrogen generation. My main focus is on photoanode materials for water oxidation, with some investigation into the application of these systems in the oxidation of other small molecules, such as glycerol.

My project is funded by the Department of Chemistry's Schrödinger Scholarship. I am also part of the Transition to Zero Pollution Initiative, and through this am aligned with the Science and Solutions for a Changing Planet Doctoral Training Partnership (SSCP DTP) at the Grantham Institute.


  • Within the Durrant Group, I am responsible for coordinating our group's outreach activities. In 2023, I organised a group stand at the 2023 Future Energy Festival. Recently, I organised an activity stand for the 2024 Chemistry and Materials Discovery Day at The Invention Rooms which was delivered by other group members.
  • In August 2023, I hosted a sixth form student for two weeks' research work experience through the Nuffield Research Placements programme. I participated in the scheme myself while at school, and found the experience hugely influential in my decision to pursue research. I was therefore very excited to be at a point in my own career where I could pay this forward to the next generation of aspiring scientists. The student produced a report and poster at the end of the placement, which they presented at a showcase event where I gave a talk on my journey from Nuffield student to placement supervisor.
  • I am involved in public engagement at Imperial's Invention Rooms. Along with a colleague, I developed an activity pack on clean energy vehicles which was sent out to local families during the COVID-19 pandemic. I have since adapted this activity into an in-person session which I run once a term as part of the Saturday Science Club. Through the Invention Rooms, I have also run an online quiz and been involved in online 'Meet the Scientist' sessions. In the 2022-23 academic year, as part of the Community Gardens Challenge Team, I attended an additional Saturday Science Club session and gave each of the families seed packs that they could take home to try and grow their own herbs for cooking.
  • I volunteered at the Centre for Processable Electronics' workshop at the Great Exhibition Road Festival, where children were able to learn about screen printing techniques for the fabrication of devices and have a go at printing their own molecules using stencils and paint.
  • During the 2022-23 academic year, I worked with the Grantham Institute to help coordinate their outreach work with three secondary schools in the boroughs local to Imperial. I helped organise a climate change workshop for year 10 geography students, and helped deliver seminars on climate mitigation strategies to sixth formers at two schools. I also helped collate resources that were shared in teacher training sessions, focusing on incorporating climate change discussions into subjects beyond science and geography.
  • The Big Ideas x Great Exhibition2 project challenges school children to design and develop an invention to tackle a global problem. As a mentor for this programme, I have joined a couple of classes on zoom to ask them questions about their inventions and offer suggestions to help them develop their ideas further.
  • During the 2021-22 academic year, I was the team captain for the Fighting Fast Fashion Challenge Team. Challenge teams are group projects that form part of the SSCP DTP training, and are an opportunity for PhD students across different departments at Imperial to work together to tackle a sustainability issue. Our team aimed to help Imperial students make more conscious choices when it comes to their clothing. We successfully organised and delivered a clothes swap event and a repair & upcycling workshop as part of Sustainability Week 2022.
  • In 2021, I co-hosted a green energy webinar as part of the Great Exhibition Road Festival: Explore at Home series.


PhD, Imperial College London, 2021-present

MRes Green Chemistry, Energy & the Environment, Imperial College London, 2019-2020

BA Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, 2015-2018