Professor Jin Xuan of the University of Surrey has been awarded a prestigious Open Fellowship by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) to create the next era of renewable energy systems.
Prof. Xuan will create future technologies, with a special focus on cleaner, greener fertilizers, in addition to applying electrochemical technology to investigate well-established applications like green hydrogen production and CO2 reduction.
Manufacturing fertilizers to help crops grow is hugely carbon intensive, but if we can achieve a breakthrough on the difficult electrochemical reduction of nitrogen to generate ammonia, we could make significant steps to address this.
Jin Xuan, Professor, University of Surrey
Xuan added, “The answer lies in AI to design complex electrochemical devices, but many existing algorithms in this area don’t offer explanations for how the AI comes to its conclusions. The relation between the inputs and outputs is a mystery, but I plan to open the ‘black box’ to find results which are reliable, explainable, and transferable.”
With the help of the five-year fellowship, Prof. Xuan will be able to create AI models and tools that will enable an automated loop for designing materials, producing electrochemical devices, and testing them. Prof. Xuan will collaborate with business partners from Johnson Matthey, Intelligent Energy, and Siemens PSE.
Xuan further stated, “My ambitions for this research are huge and can only be achieved with long-term support like this. The flexibility offered to me through this fellowship will enable me to shape my research as findings emerge, following the solutions which reveal themselves through my work in partnership with other academics and industry. I’m extremely grateful to the EPSRC for this support.”
Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, stated, “Jin exemplifies Surrey’s values of inspiration and innovation. He is ambitious about solving global challenges, working collaboratively with interdisciplinary researchers and innovators. We are very proud of him for winning this fellowship.”