FUSE (Faraday Undergraduate Summer Experience) students who worked with us in summer 2021 talk about their experiences.
My name is Catie, and I completed the Faraday Institution’s FUSE 2021 internship with FutureCat during the summer of my second year. I discovered the internship while doing a project on sustainable synthesis as part of my Materials Science and Engineering degree at the University of Sheffield. My project focused on biotemplating the cathode material LiNiMnO, which led me to the FutureCat opportunity.
I applied for the Developing Educational Resources internship because of my involvement and enjoyment of outreach. Previously, I was a project leader for an engineering-inspired club for primary school students, which introduced the students to different engineering disciplines through fun activities.
The internship was a great experience. My project was very open-ended, so I was free to develop my concept of a “Build a Battery” card game. The game focuses on creating batteries with cathode, electrolyte and anode cards to win application cards that detail a battery use or type. It builds on electrochemical cells concepts in GCSE and includes current research in battery materials. The chance to combine games, art and science for outreach was gratifying for me, an endeavour I hope to continue in the future.
Also, I had the opportunity to attend the Big STEM conference, Masterclasses by the Faraday Institution and observe the “Fully Electric Challenge” for year 11 students. These were excellent opportunities to learn more about battery technology, science communication and educating secondary school students.
The FutureCat team was very welcoming and supportive. They gave me insightful guidance during my project and helped me with the information on the battery cards. I would highly recommend this internship for anyone interested in science communication and battery technology.
My name is Jan and at the time of the internship I was a 4th year chemical engineering undergraduate at the University of Edinburgh. I was drawn to a FUSE studentship as it allowed me to take a deeper dive into battery technology and industry, as well as build on my previous experiences with outreach and batteries. As part of my studentship I prepared outreach materials focused at primary school students to help inspire them into a career in STEM and the battery sector.
The FUSE experience offered me a unique opportunity to gain insight into battery research, learning directly from those involved from both a lab and industry perspective. During my time with FutureCat I was able to learn new computer software, work on my communication and presentation skills and learn about battery development from experts in the field.
My name is Saleh and I had just finished the 3rd year of my integrated MSci Chemistry degree at UCL. The main draw to the FUSE Internship programme was the work of the Faraday Institution to move towards a greener, cleaner and more efficient world through development of cutting edge battery technologies. The Faraday Institution also places an unparalleled emphasis on collaboration of research between different groups and universities; something I was keen to be a part of!. The internship that I took part in with FutureCat and the Faraday Institution was an immensely insightful experience. I really enjoyed collaborating with researchers at the forefront of battery technology to explore brand-new avenues of research. The internship was flexible, so it was especially enjoyable tailoring the work to battery research that particularly interested me.
As part of my internship, I learnt how to apply the theoretical chemistry I’ve learnt during my degree into a practical, industrial setting. This made me far more aware of real life considerations of battery manufacturing beyond chemistry, such as the volatility of market prices of chemicals and the sustainability of sourcing cobalt. The learning experience itself was heavily supported by the FutureCat team and the researchers who were willing to answer the (infinite) questions I had!’
Working on a Fuse project this summer has been a very rewarding experience as it has given me the chance to apply what I learn in my degree to real life scenarios. Working in a lab has given me an insight into the steps of battery production and how it is going to change in the future. It’s made me realise that a job in sustainable energy production is something I would like to pursue.