Program Support


The IRES Progam is supported by the National Science Foundation

(Award number 185492)

The program provides undergraduate students with the opportunity to perform cutting edge research while becoming a part of the international materials research community.

Each participating student undertakes an individual research project related to the topic of Sustainable Materials Development in UoS research laboratories.

Read more about our students' expereinces in 2022 and 2023.

Examples of past projects

Na ion batteries

Accelerating the development of sodium-ion battery technology by seeking to improve understanding of key processes, from fundamental chemistry right through to scale-up and cell manufacturing. Of key importance is an improved understanding of the processes that occur inside batteries as they are charged and discharged repeatedly over time, and how these affect performance degradation during the lifetime of a commercially-relevant cell. In this project, students learn how to assemble Na-ion cells then collect X-ray diffraction data during cell cycling, using state-of-the-art facilities at the University of Sheffield.

Cold sintering of thermoelectric oxides

The Cold Sintering Process is a promising technique to improve performance in thermoelectric materials through control of grain size. Retention of sub-micron scale grains in chemically complex oxides can be used to reduce the thermal conductivity in sintered ceramics, something which cannot usually be achieved through high temperature solid state sintering. Cold sintering is one way that sub-micron structure can be retained in sintered ceramics, however complex or nonstoichiometric chemistries often require a tailored approach to achieve the best performance.

This project seeks to develop a new route to cold sintering for doped strontium titanate, which if successful, will produce nano-grained thermoelectric materials, and should be transferable to other quaternary or higher materials.