Spend a day with one of Nexeon’s Senior Project Managers
08:00 It’s a slightly unusual start today as I’m visiting University College London (UCL). Since I live in Berkshire, it’s an easy commute. UCL is one of our partners in an important development programme called SUNRISE, and so we have a very close working relationship with the key academics there.
09:30 Start by meeting Dr Paul Shearing, Professor of Chemical Engineering, and the Royal Academy of Engineering Chair in Emerging Battery Technologies. Paul is one of the people running the programme at the UCL end – Nexeon leads the overall project – and then take a tour of the laboratories. I see some new equipment that has been funded under the SUNRISE programme to work with air-sensitive materials like lithium and cell electrolytes, and a high precision cycler to enable sophisticated electrochemical material evaluation tests. They are very impressive.
12:30 Grab a sandwich lunch with some of the technical team before making my way back to the station. It’s important to be able to discuss matters informally as well as in formal meetings, and I’m glad to see that spirits are high.
14:45 Arrive back at Nexeon at Milton Park in in Abingdon just in time for one our regular weekly Work Package meetings. SUNRISE is a £10million Innovate UK funded project to develop higher performance materials for Li-ion batteries, and this is an essential step to achieving electric vehicles (EVs) with greater range. As Project Manager, I try to make every meeting, and today we are reviewing progress as we approach the end of the first year and have some important milestones ahead.
15:45 My desk is in the middle of an open plan area, so I can quickly pick up on any concerns that my team may have. I jump into a discussion about an idea that someone has had, and this proves quite fruitful so I invest a little time in it.
16:15 I put some presentation materials together for a tele-conference with our other project partners, Synthomer, tomorrow. We hold these sessions weekly, and each group reviews the status of key stages on the timeline. Nexeon is leading the silicon material development and scale-up stages, while Synthomer leads the development of a next generation polymer binder. The success of one partner is success for us all, and I’m pleased to say we’re well on track.
17:15 Deal with a few remaining e-mails before heading off for the day. One of these is a sample request for our second generation NSP-2 battery material from a key potential customer, so I need to establish with the technical team what quantities are available, and put together a positive response for the customer.
18:45 Arriving home, I take some time to relax before getting together some Italian food to take into work tomorrow. Nexeon is a very international company: my team of ten, for example, hails from six different countries. So along with colleagues, I organise a regular get together, the ‘Potlucks’, where we each bring in a chosen dish to share – and there’s a competition for the best! Even Scott Brown, our CEO, cooks!