Battery modelling in Barcelona



Barcelona: the place to do maths in shorts

When I visit Barcelona I stand out for two reasons. Firstly, as a Canadian, I have a non-European accent and secondly, I’m the only person around me wearing shorts in the 16 C Spanish winter. The shorts are also largely due to the fact of my Canadian upbringing but no small part is due to the fact that I’m currently a post-doctoral researcher in Ireland where 16 C is a typical summer’s day!

In the last year and a half I’ve had the opportunity to visit Professor Tim Myers three times at the Centre de Recerca Matemàtica (CRM) and they have all been excellent and productive trips. The first trip was for the 115th European Study Group with Industry in January 2016 where I worked on a problem involving nanoparticles with Tim and other study group participants. After the workshop we talked about continued collaboration and at the end of 2016 I was awarded a New Foundations Grant from the Irish Research Council to establish a Lithium-Ion Battery group with myself, Tim, Dr. Matthew Hennessy (also at CRM), and Professor Brian Wetton (at the University of British Columbia in Canada). This grant involved two, week long trips to Barcelona, the first of which was at the start of February 2017 to establish problems to work on. The second, larger trip, was in May 2017 where myself and Brian visited to further develop lithium ion battery modelling. Both trips were extremely productive as we’ve already begun writing a manuscript and established a workflow for a few more.

The CRM was an excellent host by providing ample office space ideal for group collaboration. The staff, students, and researchers are very friendly and welcoming and the atmosphere is very pleasant. The CRM has a high volume of international research activity and being a part of that allows for a lot of networking opportunity which is particularly useful to a young researcher for me. If anyone is looking for a warm (and sunny) place to take a short sabbatical or setup a collaboration, I suggest visiting their website ( and looking for a team to contact.

I have attached some photos of the May 2017 trip which feature me (in shorts) at the board working on some battery models while very interested researchers Tim and Matt observe and point out my typos. Brian is not pictured as he was taking the photos.


Matt Hennessy and Tim Myers looking fascinated

By Iain Moyles

Postdoctoral researcher, University of Limerick

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