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Materials Chemistry Group


Professor Vasant Kumar

Head of Materials Chemistry Group, Professor in Materials Chemistry,kumarDepartment of Materials Science & Metallurgy, 

Fellow, Director of studies and Tutor of Trinity Hall

Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining,

Qualifications: PhD (McMaster); BTech Hons. (IIT, Bombay)

Tel: + 44 1223 334327


R Vasant Kumar is Professor and the Head of Materials Chemistry Group and a Fellow of Trinity Hall in University of Cambridge, and a Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Mining and Metallurgy. He has published over 320 papers, 18 patents, 5 Chapters in Handbooks and 1 edited book (High energy density Li batteries, Wiley-VCH 2010, also translated in Chinese, 2013, 2nd Edition in 2019). He has supervised over 40 PhD students, 35 post-doctoral researchers, 20 visiting students and hosted over 15 visiting professors. He is Honorary/Guest Professor in three Universities in China (2008, 2012 and 2016). Has received Honorary Engineering Degree in University of Malaysia (2011), Kroll Medal from IOM3 for translating research into industrial applications (2014). He is the Editor-in-Chief of IOM3 journal, “Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy” from 2004 and a Board Member of IOM3’s Technical Division. Many of his research has led to licenses and industrial practices and he has founded four start-up companies which are commercialising some of his inventions. Currently, Professor Kumar’s research group is working on a number of research projects underpinned by harnessing of electrochemical reactions in a variety of applications that range from energy devices such as batteries and fuel cells to environmental research in mineral carbonation, sensors, sustainability and recycling of materials and photocatalytic reactions.

Honour & Awards

  • Guest Professor awarded by Nankai University in May 2019
  • Fellow of the Energy Institute, (FEI) from May 2019
  • Guest Professor awarded by Xinyang Technical College in June 2016
  • Appointed as “Specialist consultant of the Xiangyang Association of the Automobile Manufacturers, China in Dec 2015
  • Fellowship of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining, (FIMMM) from Jan 2015
  • Kroll Medal and Prize 2014, awarded by IOM3, in recognition of significant contribution that has enhanced the scientific understanding of materials chemistry as applied to the industrial production of materials
  • DOW Sustainability Innovation Students Award Grand Prize on “High energy density Li-S batteries”, won by my PhD student Kai Xi, June 2013
  • DOW Sustainability Innovation Students Award Runners-Up on “Photocatalytic Materials” won by my PhD student Najeeb Ullah, June 2012
  • Honorary Doctorate of Engineering at University of Malaysia, Perlis,  17 September 2011
  • Guest Professorship at Huazhong University of Science & Technology, Wuhan, China awarded, 29 March 2011
  • Armourers & Brasiers Venture Prize for the invention of a new technology for recycling automotive batteries in an environmentally friendly process, June 2007
  • Honorary Professorship at Hebei University, Tansheng, China awarded, 14 September 2006
  • Innovative Metrology Award  DTI/NPL,  “Emission measurement of exhaust gases” - Nov 2000
  • Fellow in Natural Sciences of Trinity Hall since 1 January 1999
  • Advisory Board Member of TechMet Ltd

Links to Relevant Sites:

  1. Advisory Board Member of TechMet, a private industrial company that is building controlling or significant minority positions in world-class projects across the technology metal supply chain. 
  2. Founder & Director of Cambridge Nano Sensors Ltd (CNS), a start-up company developing sensors based on miniaturized. Low-power and wireless semiconductor sensors for numerous applications including air quality monitoring, personal health monitoring and industrial safety, process and environmental applications:
  3. Editorial Board Member of “Materials Today Chemistry”
  4. Editorial Board Member of “Circular Economy” a new journal of Springer Nature Singapore
  5. A new process developed in the group has been licensed to Aurelius Environmental Limited (Aurelius Technologies: ; Aurelius Environmental: www.aureliusenvironmental.com
  6. Development and pilot plant work undertaken by Aurelius in collaboration with University of Cambridge has attracted a EPSRC Impact Acceleration Knowledge Transfer Award with inward and outward secondments, two innovate UK and one H2020 industrial SME grants. One of the Innovate UK funding is ODA Newton grant with an industrial partner in Brazil. A pilot plant is also under construction in Brazil. In Jan 2019, the AEL-UCAM project received Rushlight Awards, organized by IUK, Department of Business, Energy & Sustainability along with UKRI  for innovations in two categories held in Royal Society, London. ( and )
  7. Founder & Director of start-up company producing high temperature gas sensors for environmental monitoring, process control and energy reduction: 
  8. Founder & Director of start-up company producing instruments for safety monitoring, hydrogen measurement & control and leak detection:
  9. Editor of the Institute of Materials, Minerals & Mining (IOM3) journal Trans. IMM: Section C, incorporating Proc. AusIMM:
  10. Staff Fellow, Director of Studies, Tutor of Trinity Hall, Cambridge:
  11. Board Member of the IOM3’s technical division Mineral Processing & Extractive Metallurgy:
  12. Editorial Board Member of “Advances in Nanoparticles” of Scientific Research Publishing from 2012:
  13. Founder & Director of CAMSES Ltd a spin out company for synthesising materials and fabricating devices for photocatalytic applications: 
  14. DoITPoMS - Dissemination of IT for the Promotion of Materials Science (DoITPoMS); Teaching & Learning Packages, Supervised construction of a number of packages: Batteries, Recycling, Thermal Analysis, Ellingham Diagrams:


  1. Invited Speaker at the Institute of Materials, Metals and Minerals (IOM3) to celebrate 150th year of the Institute - The Iron Cycle Fe-150 
  2. Plenary Speaker in Int. Conf. & Expo on Batteries, in Jan 2019, Goa, India –
  3. Organizer of the sixth Sustainable Battery Symposium in Cyprus in Oct 2019- The links to the flyers in PDF and PNG format: ;
  4. Organizer of the 5th (Rio, Brazil), the 4th (Cancun, Mexico), the 3rd (Hainan China), the 2nd (Antalya, Turkey) and the 1st (Cancun, Mexico) Sustainable Battery Symposiums. –
  5. Plenary Speaker in the 2nd (Antalya) and the 1st (Cancun) Sustainable Industrial Process Symposiums
  6. Plenary Speaker in the 2nd International Conference on Electrochemical Science & Technology in Aug 2017, Benguluru, India –
  7. Organizer of “Materials for hydrogen production, storage and fuel cells” in the XXVI Int. Materials. Research Congress in Aug 2017, in Cancun, Mexico –

Current Project Areas:

  • Batteries: Li-S, Li-ion, Na-ion, K-ion, Lead Acid, High temperature operation
  • Environmental: Circular Economy, Recovery, Upgrading, Recycling, carbon capture
  • Fuel Cells: Solid Oxide Fuel cells, Photocatalytic reactions
  • Sensors: Electrochemical, Optical, Semiconducting CMOS-MEMS, Thermal
  • Metallurgy: Iron & Steel, Base Metals, Molten Salt processes, Electrochemical


 Project Sponsors, Collaborators:

  • Grants: EPSRC, RCUK, H2020, Innovate UK, British Council
  • Industry: Aurelius Environmental Ltd,  Metrol Ltd, Plasma-App Ltd, Johnson Matthey plc, Knauf, Carmeuse, Sigma Lithium Ltd, TATA Group, Environmental Monitoring & Control Ltd, Multi-Nano Sensing Technology, TechMet Ltd,
  • Research Institutes / Universities: Open University, QMUL, Imperial College, St Andrews University, Beijing Institute of Technology, University of Science & Technology Beijing, HUST Wuhan, Nankai University, North Eastern University Shenyang, IIT-Delhi, IISc-Bengaluru, Non Ferrous Technology Development Centre Hyderabad, University of Ghana, University of Tanzania, Delft University, Sofia University, ARMINES –Paris, NUS Singapore, IEES  Sofia, CNR Italy,  UCM Skopje