JTSI research is diverse but the unifying theme is Energy Materials. Current areas of research includes ceramic processing, electrochemistry, batteries, fuel cells, heterogeneous catalysis, hydrogen, materials, photochemistry and solid state ionics.
John Irvine FRSE, FRSC has made unique and world-leading contributions to the science of energy materials, especially fuel cell and energy conversion technologies. This research has ranged from detailed fundamental to strategic and applied science and has had major impact across academia, industry and government. Irvine’s science is highly interdisciplinary extending from chemistry and materials through physics, bioenergy, geoscience, engineering, economics and policy.
The quality and impact of Irvine’s research has been recognised by a number of national and international awards, including the Royal Society’s Hughes Medal in 2021, the Lord Kelvin Medal from the Royal Society of Edinburgh in 2018, the Schönbeim gold medal from the European Fuel Cell Forum in 2016, the RSC Sustainable Energy Award in 2015, and earlier RSC recognition by being awarded the Bacon and Beilby awards.
Highlights of Irvine’s activities include discovery of the emergent nanomaterials phenomenon, establishing the field of oxide fuel electrodes, delivering high performance direct carbon fuel cells and demonstration of significant hydride ion conductivity. Other important achievements relate to photocatalysis, lithium-ion batteries, non-stoichiometric oxides, structure/poperty/function relationships, catalysis, electrocatalysis and bioenergy.
Irvine has over 500 publications with an WoS h-index of 64. Since 2012 he has published 12 Nature family papers including one on electrochemical switching in Nature in 2016. He has a strong international standing having held senior visiting appointments in the US, Australia and China. He was re-elected European Councillor of the International Society for Solid State Ionics in 2015.
Global warming and energy security are probably the greatest challenges facing mankind. These problems need urgent and rapid responses in the way that humans use and exploit energy sources. A critical component of the solution is the implementation of new disruptive energy technologies such as fuel cells that will totally re-shape our energy economy, which is central to Irvine’s activities.