Management Team

Prof John Irvine

Principal Investigator, WP 3 Leader

John Irvine is Professor of Chemistry at the University of St Andrews. He has established a significant international research profile investigating fundamental electrochemistry, solid-state chemistry and materials science, addressing critical energy problems. The research is driven both by the need to solve the current environmental and energy supply problems facing mankind and an interest in new science that challenges conventional assumptions.

Irvine has over 500 publications and has a WoS h-index of 63. Irvine’s research has been recognised by a number of national and international awards, including most recently the RSE Lord Kelvin Medal in 2018 and Schönbein Gold Medal by the European Fuel Cell Forum in 2016. Other awards received include the RSC Sustainable Energy Award in 2015, and the RSC Materials Chemistry, Bacon and Beilby awards/medals. Since 2012 alone he has published 10 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 and has strong links with a number of leading laboratories across the Chinese Academy of Science, including as Thousand Talents Professor at Fujian Institute of Research on the Structure of Matter.  He was re-elected European Councillor of the International Society for Solid State Ionics in 2015.

St Andrews People John Irvine

Irvine Group Website


Dr Rob Armstrong

Project Leader, WP1.1 Leader, WP1.2

My research is concerned with the synthesis and characterisation of novel electrode materials for lithium-ion and sodium-ion batteries.  There is a particular emphasis in correlating structure and properties using powder X-ray and neutron diffraction combined with electrochemical studies. We have pioneered the use of powder neutron diffraction to study the evolution of structures of battery materials as a function of charge/discharge.

St Andrews People Rob Armstrong


Dr Nuria Tapia-Ruiz

Project Leader, WP 1.2 Leader, WP 1.1

My research interests focus on fundamental chemistry aspects of materials for energy storage, particularly for lithium-ion and sodium-ion battery technologies. By developing a profound understanding of the physical and chemical nature of the materials of study, specific material tailoring can be done to enhance the material electrochemical performance. We make wide use of diffraction and spectroscopic techniques to characterise our materials. This involves regular trips to central facilities outside Lancaster; e.g. Diamond synchrotron and ISIS neutron spallation source @ Oxford and ESRF @ Grenoble (France). The structural characterisation is done in parallel with battery testing, which is performed in state-of-the-art facilities in our brand new Chemistry Department. Our long-term mission is to fabricate a new generation of batteries which will outperform the existing ones to deliver higher energy density, cheaper, safer and longer-lasting.


Dr Scott J. Lilley

Project Manager

Scott hails from Kilmarnock, Ayrshire. At eighteen, his sense of adventure took him along the M77 to Strathclyde University. There he studied Applied Chemistry and developed a fascination with electrochemistry. His PhD took him to sunny St Andrews, where he studied crystalline polymer electrolytes for lithium batteries. He then spent 5 years as a senior scientist in innovative battery start-ups. In particular, he made significant contributions to the manufacture of lithium-sulfur batteries. He returned to Scotland to help Universities build partnerships with industry. Until recently he led ScotCHEM, the federation of Scottish university chemistry schools. Scott has a young son, lives in bonnie Dundee and holidays in Canada’s Maritime Provinces.

St Andrews People Scott Lilley