Meet the Scientist - Energy Materials

Lead Research Organisation: University of Salford
Department Name: Sch of Computing, Science & Engineering


The project is concerned with the development and delivery of a Meet the Scientist event at the Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester. The focus of the event will be Energy Materials, i.e. the critical role developments in mew materials have in delivering a sustainable energy future. More specifically the role hydrogen could play in a future energy scenario will be presented with discussion of future hydrogen generation (using renewable energy, nuclear), hydrogen storage (both in mobile applications and stationary applications) and conversion to electricity using fuel cells. The event will be centred around the development of a number of interactive demonstration facilities to demonstrate all three facets of a hydrogen economy (generation, storage and conversion). An electrolysis facility will be developed to demonstrate efficiency of the process as a function of eg. temperature and electrode materials. Demonstration facilities associated with the solid state storage of hydrogen through visual changes to materials observed in the absorption and desorption of hydrogen will be developed. Finally, standard, fuel cell components will be used to demonstrate conversion back to electricity. A theme to the event will be that scientists need to develop new and improved materials in order facilitate technological breakthroughs in all three areas. The event will be developed around these demonstration facilities , in collaboration with the museum, to be accessible to a general family audience.The demonstration facilities will also be designed in such a way that they can be used in science busking and school visits by museum education staff. The possibility of finally incorporating the demonstration facilities into a permanent display at the museum will be investigated.

Planned Impact

The public engagement activities proposed will have an impact to the Principal Investigator and his team benefiting from the partnership with the specialists at the partner organisation MOSI which will provide expertise in outreach events, public engagements and communication. The team of researchers (IM, DJB, DM) will be given the opportunity to carry out high-quality public engagement projects related to their research interests to a diverse audience. Learning and training opportunities will also be provided in aspects of public engagement by MOSI with improved capacity and capability for the researchers to be active in public engagement as a result. The topic of the proposed research is so actual and crucial in our society that it is essential to increase the public awareness and gauge the public perception in relation to the production and consumption of hydrogen. Furthermore the proposed topic will attract the interest of the young generation who could be encouraged in undertaking a career in a STEM subject. MOSI will also benefit in working in strict collaboration with the team of scientists with the possibility of maintain a permanent display in the galleries that can be operated by the personnel at MOSI; this starter Grant will also enhance the collaboration between the two institutes; we strongly believe that it is pivotal for Salford University to be able to display to the general public its cases of excellence and this could indeed lead to further collaborative project with other groups at Salford. Further funding will be sought to improve and expand the display/interactive exhibition. Single elements of the exhibition could be made into larger scale models for a better understanding of the physical and chemical principles behind. The Research Council will also have a positive impact as the presence of the scientists during the outreach event will promote the image and the essential role of EPSRC in funding science in UK to the general public.


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Description Outreach activities concerning a potential hydrogen economy have been developed including hands on activities concerned with the production, storage and utilisation of hydrogen as an energy vector
Exploitation Route Activites continue to to delivered including by a recently formed group of students - the Salford Science Team - who take activities to schools and other venues.
Sectors Education,Energy,Environment

Description Activities developed has been used in schools, at the Manchester Science Festival and other outreach forums.
First Year Of Impact 2012
Sector Energy,Environment
Impact Types Societal