For the past 5 years, Paul Donaldson has been working in the CLF as part of the Ultra Laser group. Paul has recently been awarded a UKRI fellowship to aid his efforts in improving the science of catalysts and batteries, in the hopes for creating a greener future in transport.
Paul says, “For my entire career as a scientist I have always been fascinated by light and its interactions with 'stuff', i.e., molecules! In other words, I am a scientist specialising in spectroscopy and my passion is using spectroscopy to learn about the molecular world."
“The CLF is an amazing place that has some of the best lasers and detectors in the world for a spectroscopist like me, where I specialise in using really short ('ultrafast') pulses of infrared light."
Paul is determined to put these skills to use and make a difference in areas of science that are key to society – and this is what the UKRI Fellowship will enable him to do. He plans to grow a team that will develop new instruments and techniques, at the Central Laser Facility, to apply ultrafast laser spectroscopy to problems focussed on the science of catalysis and the science of batteries.
“Catalysts to make materials we need (or break down materials we don't need) and batteries to power a more green future in transport," Paul explains.
“My group will be in great position gather important information about the fast molecular motions involved in catalysis and battery chemistry, and be able to teach these new approaches to scientists working in these areas to help with efforts to make better catalysts and better batteries. Beyond the science, from my position in a UK national laboratory, I also hope to use my fellowship to learn how I can help to shape UK science's long term goals and strategies. Science operates as a special partnership between the government, society, industry and Universities. I'm keen to get out of the lab and be active in helping this partnership continue to thrive!"
For more info on UKRI fellowships, go here: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/future-leaders-fellowships/
To see Paul's page on the UKRI website, go here: https://www.ukri.org/funding/funding-opportunities/future-leaders-fellowships/meet-our-future-leaders-fellows/paul-donaldson-stfcs-central-laser-facility/
Banner photo credits: UKRI (from this video) https://twitter.com/UKRI_News/status/1126800331147497472
Article photo credit: STFC