International Day of Women and Girls in Engineering: Meet the battery researcher pioneering inclusion and sustainability

The University of Warwick is shedding the light on a distinguished battery researcher this International Day of Women and Girls in Engineering.

Dr Melanie Loveridge, Reader in Battery Materials and Cells at WMG at The University of Warwick, is also committed to improving the inclusivity of women and minority groups in her area of work. Her research focuses on lithium-ion batteries, helping to power net zero and a more sustainable world.

Dr Loveridge said: "The first lithium-ion batteries were used in small Sony cameras, now we are relying on them to power electric vehicles. We need much bigger sources of power to last longer, which has been a significant challenge.

"I conduct forensic analysis of batteries to help understand how they degrade over time, which is really important in knowing how to improve the way we manufacture them. Understanding why batteries fail is crucial, as the world shifts to more sustainable energy sources.

"My team uses specialised equipment such as electron microscopy, Xray based characterisation and mapping chemical elements in materials to look at the components within batteries under high magnification. Battery forensics needs a huge orchestra of highly sophisticated techniques."

Starting her career in the industry, Dr Loveridge became fascinated with the science of batteries and decided to pursue an academic role to learn more. This has led to her publishing over 40 academic papers.

With over 15 years’ experience in academia, she has also given evidence from for her research specialisms for influential panels such as the House of Lords Science & Technology Committee and The Shadow Cabinet’s Round Table on Energy Storage.

Dr Loveridge added: "My research area is such a multidisciplinary field. I can interact with engineers and scientists from across many academic disciplines and industry partners, which is not commonplace in a lot of academic circles. It’s amazing to collaborate with lots of different people."

Alongside her academic achievements, Dr Loveridge champions equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in her work. She has recently been appointed as Associate Dean of Research - where she is supporting an enhancing culture project funded by The University of Warwick, on a survey-led initiative with an aim to understand the challenges and barriers faced by minority groups and women in leading STEM-based research.

"Fortunately, lots of the funders I work with, such as the Faraday Institute, really value diversity and inclusion; we now have to show how we have outlined commitments to EDI in all’of our grant applications. I think the gender imbalance in senior roles will change, but this will take time.

"As part of my EDI role, I’m also trying to make the working environment more inclusive, particularly for special interest groups. I find this really rewarding."

By championing sustainable research, such as Dr Loveridge’s vital work on batteries, The University of Warwick is committed to creating a more sustainable world. Its Strategy 2030 sets out five key sustainability pathways to follow, including achieving Net Zero carbon emissions from scopes 1 and 2 by 2030, and scope 3 by 2050.

Find out more about Dr Loveridge’s research here: Battery Materials and Cells Group - WMG (