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Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability

Department of Physics


2017 - present : Senior Birmingham Fellow, School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham, UK
2012 - 2017 : Winton Advanced Research Fellow, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
2009 - 2012    : Post-doctoral Research Assistant, Condensed Matter and Materials Physics Group, University College London, UK, Working with Prof. C. J. Pickard.
2006 - 2009    : PhD, Theory of Condensed Matter Group, Cavendish Laboratory, University of Cambridge, UK
Thesis "A Stochastic Approach to Condensed Matter Theory", Supervisor. Prof. R. J. Needs.
2002 - 2006    : M.Phys. in Thoeretical Physics, University of York, UK


I am a computational physicist working in theoretical materials discovery. I am interested in modelling energy materials such as Li-ion batteries and nuclear-waste encapsulation ceramics.

“Trial and error” plays a large part in the discovery of new materials. From the initial idea, the material must be synthesised and categorised before it can tested which is slow, difficult and expensive. High-throughput computation accelerates this process by suggesting then screening new materials, allowing us to ask “what if?” without the time and expense of manufacturing and categorizing samples. I model Li-ion batteries at the atomic level and try to uncover new materials to increase their capacity.

I use global search techniques such as ab initio random structure searching (AIRSS) to predict the ground-state structure of materials.  From the ground state we use theoretical spectroscopy techniques to compare our results to experiment. As a junior developer of the electronic structure code CASTEP I develop tools for optics, electron-energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and core-loss analysis through the OptaDOS code. I use and modify CASTEP-NMR to calculate the chemical shielding of battery materials in collaboration with experimentalists.

I am based in the Physics Department with strong links to the Chemistry Department and am currently looking for PhD and Part III project students.

Senior Birmingham Fellow
School of Metallurgy and Materials, University of Birmingham
Dr Andrew  Morris