Professor Saiful Islam: Statutory Chair in Materials Modelling



We are delighted that Professor Saiful Islam is to join the department as the next Statutory Chair in Materials Modelling.  Saiful will take up his appointment in January 2022, when he will also join the Fellowship of St Anne's College.

Saiful's research interests are in modelling of materials processes and structures at the atomistic scale, particularly in energy materials including batteries and solar cells.  His work has generated deeper insight into conduction mechanisms and pathways for lithium ion transport in electrolytes for innovative solid-state battery technologies.  He currently leads the CatMat project for the Faraday Institution on next-generation cathode materials where modelling is being used to help accelerate development of new battery technologies to improve performance of electric vehicles.  

Another significant research area for Saiful is in using simulation to understand the structure, stability and properties of the organo-lead halide perovskites for advanced solar-cell applications.  Here the importance of studying lattice defects and their effect on transport properties are critical.


Saiful is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, and has been recognised with a number of research awards, including recently the 2020 American Chemistry Society Award in Energy Chemistry, and the 2017 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Peter Day Award for Materials Chemistry.  He has contributed to programmes at the Royal Society working on their Diversity Committee, and currently on their Public Engagement Committee.

You may have seen Saiful showing his knowledge and enthusiasm for science, and the increasingly evident need for clean sustainable energy including renewables, in various media.  He gave the prestigious Royal Institution Christmas Lecture 'Supercharged - Fuelling the future' (on their 80th anniversary in 2016).  He has also been featured as a 'Life Scientific' and his discussion with Jim Al-Khalili on the BBC Radio 4 programme is a good way to get to hear about him ahead of January 2022.