Swansea University research on capturing the sun showcased for future budding scientists

James Durrant, Sêr Cymru Solar Energy Research Chair at Swansea University, has been helping to highlight the growth of science in Wales, as showcased by his work in developing new materials that expand the reach of solar energy conversion.

Prof James DurrantAt Swansea University’s SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre James is working with colleagues to develop solar cell technologies that enable buildings to produce, store and release their own energy. This work is focused on developing and understanding new ink-based coatings that can be printed onto surfaces to capture and utilise solar energy to generate electrical power. 

James’s work at Swansea University is featured in the booklet, “Growing Science in Wales”, which is being published in Science today (Friday 14th October). The booklet, sponsored by the Learned Society of Wales, provides a unique and independent profile of Wales’s scientific landscape and showcases some of the ground-breaking research that Wales has to offer across the fields of science. Like other countries that see knowledge-growth as a pillar of their economies, Wales has created a science agenda that aims not only to expand academic science, but also to translate science and technology into applications that fuel economic growth.

To see the Science feature click here.

Although James is Professor of Photochemistry at Imperial College, in 2013 he accepted a joint appointment as the Sêr Cymru Solar Energy Chair at Swansea University. James already leads a successful research lab at Imperial but his joint appointment now allows him to connect fundamental science expertise at Imperial with engineering and manufacturing expertise at Swansea.

James said: “Impe­rial is a world-class place for research, but London is not an environment that focuses on manufacturing. Swansea was historically a manufacturing hub and remains so—and to­day that legacy continues at the university’s campuses, where you are just as likely to see industry experts roaming the labs at SPECIFIC as you are to spot academics.”

The Science feature is important in casting a timely spotlight on the nation’s scientific sector. Science is one of the foremost scientific journals in the world, with an international readership of 570,400 readers each week and an online site that receives over 5.6 million visits from across the globe.

By profiling the scientific and technological landscapes and reputation of Wales to the wider global scientific community researchers will be attracted by the unique opportunities offered in Wales who can contribute to a successful and sustainable base which can make a difference to everyone’s lives.