Neil Morris, a chemical enginer by training, joins the UK government's independent energy storage research institute from BP and is starting immediately.
This follows the appointment of Tony Harper, director of Engineering Research at car maker Jaguar Land Rover, as Director of the Faraday Battery Challenge, and Jeff Pratt from Nissan's Lithium Ion Battery Plant as director of Battery Industrialisation Centre (UKBIC), who both started recently. All of this is part of the UK government £246m push to catch up in battery technology.
Morris was previously Vice President of Engineering & Technology for Global Refining and Vice President of Gas, Renewables, Supply and Trading business, where he set up a research program with universities and other companies to commercialise a number of new technologies. It was in this role that is key for developing energy storage as an enabler of renewable energy and an investment opportunity.
"The UK has some of the world’s top researchers and research universities, an auto industry committed to moving to fully electric vehicles and a public that wants cleaner energy," said Morris. "By bringing together the industry experts with the research capabilities we have in a highly collaborative environment we are uniquely positioned to be able to make technological advances that will benefit the environment and create new jobs in the UK.
“If the UK is to accelerate the development of new battery products and techniques it is critical that we bring leading academics in the field together with industry experts to explore novel application-inspired approaches. Neil Morris has the business experience and research understanding to make this happen and I welcome his appointment as CEO,” said Professor Philip Nelson, Executive Chair of the EPSRC research funding council which has so far been funding projects for the Institution.