Spend a day with Nexeon’s Materials Development Lead, Dr Charles Mason

09:00 Since joining Nexeon in process development over five years ago, I’ve really enjoyed the variety of activities here. I get to wear quite a lot of hats – everything from performing fundamental science through to the engineering aspects of our manufacturing facility. And of course, a lot of it is cutting edge Li-ion battery development. Today, I spend the first half an hour or so dealing with email, and also checking news feeds to keep up date with the latest announcements from our very active sector.

09:30 This morning I am preparing some material for analysis by transmission electron microscopy at UCL, one of our partners on the SUNRISE project. I’m the Lead Scientist working on the SUNRISE project, one of the important development programmes which Nexeon is leading. I’m responsible for developing anode materials for high loading applications, aiming to achieve the highest energy density by basing the anode on silicon. Our NSP-2 materials exploit this approach.

11:30 The rest of the morning is spent in the Analytical Laboratory. Around half of my time is spent carrying out or supervising practical synthesis, and the other half on innovation processes, IP and data analysis to inform future materials strategies.

12:45 I grab some lunch, usually brought from home, and catch up on chatting with colleagues in our canteen. I might also spend a few minutes checking out the latest climbing blogs – I’m a keen weekend rock climber!

13:30 It’s on with the hard hat this afternoon as I’m working on our pilot scale reactor. In developing new battery materials, the next step is production scale-up. The manufacturing plant here allows Nexeon to build a really detailed picture of the temperatures, pressures and chemistry involved in our production processes. We’re currently generating samples for commercial customers of our NSP-1 material.

16:00 My final activity for the day is to begin to put together my presentation for the upcoming quarterly meeting with our partners UCL and Synthomer on the SUNRISE work. I submit regular reports to the Monitoring Officer at our funders Innovate UK.