News & Blogs

Welcome to our News and Blog page where you can read the latest stories from the team. If you are interested in a particular topic – you can filter the stories via the tags below:

New Low Carbon Modular Development at Coed Darcy

At the Coed Darcy development in Swansea, Coastal Housing Group is bringing the Active Building design principle together with steel-framed modular construction for the first time. The result is two off-gas properties that will provide residents with…
Image showing building work

Promoting Change in the Construction Industry

It’s no secret that the UK construction industry has suffered from a poor reputation over the years, particularly around poor standards of performance, which have inevitably translated to poor building…

BIPVco: from SPECIFIC Research to Successful Solar SME

BIPVco is a successful SME specialising in building-integrated photovoltaics. It was founded in 2015, underpinned by SPECIFIC’s research into functional coatings applied to steel construction materials. In this blog, we…
Carys looking at new solvent

Vlog: A Safer, Greener Way to Make Solar Cells

SPECIFIC / SUNRISE PhD student Carys Worsley tells us about her first paper as lead author. Carys’ research replaced a psychoactive and toxic solvent currently used in perovskite solar cell…
Trip to Rwanda

Using Renewable Energy for Milk Pasteurisation in Rwanda

We work with businesses in a variety of ways, from testing and demonstrating new innovative products and services, to improving processes and identifying decarbonisation opportunities. In this blog, we showcase an…

Celebrating 10 Years of Energy Technology Development

Ten years ago this month, we brought together academic and industry partners with expertise in printed photovoltaics, electrical storage, thermal storage and industrial coatings; they were united under a shared…
Cecile Charbonneau

Staff Profile: Meet Cécile

Dr Cécile Charbonneau is the lead researcher of our Photovoltaic Nanomaterials Team. Cécile has been with the SPECIFIC team since the outset and her passion and enthusiasm for her work…
Gas Cooker

The Future Of Home Heating

“We talk about our successes, but nobody wants to admit when there’s been a problem. We need a climate of honesty where people can say: we tried this, it didn’t…

Celebrating SPECIFIC’s EV Champion, Nigel Morris.

Due to Government legislation and a ‘greener’ way of thinking amongst consumers, the electric car market is growing quickly. When comparing year-on-year data, September 2020 saw an increase of 184%…
Making solar cells

Perovskite Solar Cells and the Internet of Things

SPECIFIC researcher Suzanne Thomas is working on integrating perovskite solar cells, which are cheap and easy to process, with the Internet of Things (IoT) for use in indoor settings. The…
Thermal heat storage - SIM

Heat Week – All Wrapped up!

This week we threw a spotlight on one of the toughest challenges society faces in reducing carbon emissions. Thanks to everyone who took part in Heat Week! Here’s a review…
heat week campaign

Heat Week is here! What’s it all about?

We’re throwing a spotlight on one of the toughest challenges society faces in reducing carbon emissions. Heating with fossil fuels accounts for about a quarter of global carbon emissions. Here…
clean room at specific

Sustainability Award for Swansea University Labs

Swansea University has achieved the Laboratory Efficiency Assessment Framework (LEAF) sustainability award for many of its laboratories across campus including SPECIFIC‘s.  The LEAF tool, devised by UCL (University College London)…

Q&A w/ Hybrid Solar Start-up, Naked Energy

Naked Energy is a British design, innovation and engineering business with a global outlook, redefining solar energy solutions. As a technology supplier for the Active Office, we caught up with…
Construction workers round a table

“Build, Build, Build” vs. Build Back Better

In June this year, the UK Prime Minister delivered a “Build, Build, Build” speech that preceded the announcement of radical reforms to the current planning system in England. This has…

Launching an EPSRC programme grant during lockdown

EPSRC Programme Grants are mechanisms to provide flexible funding to world-leading research groups to address significant major research challenges. This represented a great opportunity for Swansea University to strengthen links…

Prof Trystan Watson wins teaching excellence award

Professor Trystan Watson has won a student-nominated award for excellence in teaching and learning.  The Excellence in Learning and Teaching Awards are celebrated annually to members of staff who have made an outstanding contribution…

Professor Dave Worsley Wins Government Award

The national St David Awards scheme recognises and celebrates the exceptional achievements of people from all walks of life in Wales. Dave’s contribution to Wales in this category has been…

The Perils and Pitfalls of Perovskite XPS

Here at SPECIFIC, our PV team are looking at scaling up perovskite solar cells (PSCs). A recent paper published by the team notes that use of XPS in perovskite can…

Turning Waste Heat into Electricity

Dr Matt Burton is part of our Thermoelectrics Group and is working on research to allow the widespread use of thermoelectric materials to harness waste heat. Here, he explains why…
car charging

Using Electric Vehicles to ‘Flatten the Curve’

The team at SPECIFIC have long been advocates of using electric vehicles (EVs), from adopting the first generation Nissan Leaf to now operating a “fleet” of electric cars and vans.…

The Circular Economy and Photovoltaics

Developing sustainable renewable energy technologies is vital in the move to decarbonise industry. Renewable energy technologies, including solar, have enormous socio-economic benefits and are significantly better for the environment than fossil-fuels, which continue to…
modern house

Active Versus Passive Buildings

At SPECIFIC, we are often asked: “What differentiates an Active Building from other “green” buildings?” This blog defines what we mean by an Active Building and also explores other environmentally-conscious…

Covid-19 Statement

SPECIFIC is committed to caring for the health and well-being of our staff and partners. Following guidance from Swansea University / UK Government, and to ensure the safety of our…

Materials – It’s What We Do

At Knowledge Transfer Network UK and Innovate UK‘s Materials Research Exchange in London last month, we brought 11 other Materials Engineering projects from Swansea University to exhibit as a group…
Jenny Baker Profile Picture

Dr Jenny Baker Wins Research and Innovation Award

The Research & Innovation Awards celebrate the outstanding research and collaborations that are undertaken at Swansea University, and the enormous impact these are having across the world. The ceremony guests…

Leading the way for inclusive, sustainable conferences

SUNRISE is an international project to address global energy poverty with partners from India, Mexico, South Africa, and Kazakhstan. Twice-yearly conferences have been essential to building collaborations and growing capabilities,…

Trystan Watson publishes 100th paper!

Professor Watson has been a part of the SPECIFIC team for 12 years and is passionate about his work. Trystan and the group have gained a reputation within the PV community,…

Solar Heat Storage: Eliminating Gas Heating

This series of articles is a partnership between SPECIFIC, SUNRISE and the Active Building Centre. Our projects work with academic, industry and community partners in the UK and the Global South to research…

Building Collaborations in Mexico

Blog by Simone Meroni Yucatan is a Mexican state, surrounded by the Caribbean Sea, where the Mayan civilization flourished. Here, the sun shines all year. The winter, as most Europeans known, never makes an…

Flexibility Hits the Headlines

[Written by Peter Bullock, Evergreen Smart Power] National Grid’s need to keep the electricity network balanced rarely makes for a stimulating topic of conversation, but the recent once-in-a-decade power outages…

CONGRATS TO JENNY BAKER ON HER EPSRC FELLOWSHIP!

Congratulations to Jenny Baker on being awarded a £1.3M, 5-year Early Career Research Fellowship by EPSRC to pursue her research in sustainable manufacturing of solid state batteries for fixed storage…

The Active Office: One Year On…

A Q&A with SPECIFIC’s Technology Director, Dr Justin Searle, on how the Active Office has performed, and what’s next… How has the Active Office run over the last year? It…

Perovskite Solar Cells for Aerospace

Airbus works with researchers at Swansea University to investigate the performance and stability of perovskite solar cells in a simulated stratospheric environment. Following a successful application to Airbus Endeavr, researchers at Swansea…

Sêr Solar – End of Project Celebration

Sêr Solar was devised in response to the Welsh Government’s Sêr Cymru programme, established in June 2013 to strengthen research capability in Wales. The £50m scheme sought to attract leading…

‘Active Homes’ are Key to a Decentralised Energy Future

[Written by Gill Kelleher, Policy and Engagement Manager at SPECIFIC] David Attenborough’s poignant message at the opening ceremony of the United Nations sponsored climate talks, COP24 in December 2018, highlighted…

A Year of Sunshine with the PV Team

[written by Silvia Villarroya-Lidon, Ser Solar Fellow – Industrial Engagement]  As 2018 came to an end, we looked back at our PV teams’ technical and personal achievements, and we can…

Assessing the Viability of Producing PV instead of Textiles

[By Adrian Walters, IP & Project Manager for SUNRISE] Background: In 2017 the photovoltaic groups at Swansea University (SPECIFIC IKC) and CINVESTAV, Merida were awarded a Newton Fund grant, funded by the UK Department for Business,…

RSC Photophysics & Photochemistry Group Meeting 2018

[Written by Catherine Suenne De Castro from SPECIFIC’s Research Team]  The RSC Photophysics and Photochemistry Group (PPG) meeting was held on the 20th and 21st of September 2018 at both the…

‘A Low Carbon Pathway to 2030’ Consultation

This month, we organised an event in response to the Welsh Government Low Carbon Pathway Consultation. The event was held at the Senedd and was arranged to raise awareness of…

Supersizing Perovskite Solar Cells

The PV upscaling team at SPECIFIC has been working hard in the last year and finally their efforts have been recognised. Their paper, “All printable perovskite solar modules with 198…