Saiful Islam is Professor of Materials Chemistry at the University of Bath. He grew up in Crouch End London and obtained his Chemistry degree and PhD from University College London (with Richard Catlow FRS), followed by a Postdoctoral Fellowship at the Eastman Kodak Labs in New York, USA working on high temperature oxide superconductors. He returned to the UK to the University of Surrey, before joining the University of Bath in 2006.

Saiful's research interests encompass major contributions to the deeper understanding of atomistic processes in energy materials, especially those related to lithium batteries and perovskite solar cells. Recent efforts have focused on new cathode materials for lithium- and sodium-ion batteries, on understanding conduction mechanisms and interfaces in solid electrolytes for solid-state batteries, and on the behaviour of defects and ionic transport in perovskite photovoltaic materials. He pioneered research on solving critical problems of Li-ion conduction pathways in novel lithium battery electrodes and unravelled the anion migration mechanism in the archetypal organic-inorganic perovskite compound for solar cells.

His outstanding research has been recognised with a number of research awards including the 2020 American Chemical Society Award in Energy Chemistry, the 2017 Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC) Peter Day Award for Materials Chemistry, the 2013 Royal Society Wolfson Research Merit award and the 2013 RSC Sustainable Energy Award. He is Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry and Fellow of the Institute of Materials, Minerals and Mining.

As well as directing the Faraday Institution CATMAT project on next-generation Li-ion cathode materials, he serves on the RSC Board of Trustees and the Royal Society Public Engagement Committee. His previous involvement with the Royal Society Diversity Committee reflects his interests in pushing for greater fairness and equality in society, and in promoting participation in science from under-represented groups.

Saiful was invited to present the prestigious 80th anniversary Royal Institution Christmas Lectures in 2016 for BBC TV on the theme of energy, which included a Guinness World Record for the highest voltage (1,275 V) from a lemon battery! He is a Patron of Humanists UK and when not exploring new materials, he enjoys family breaks (as a dad of two), football, films and indie music.

Saiful Islam


Public Engagement CommitteeJanuary 2019 - December 2024Member
Diversity and Inclusion CommitteeJune 2015 - December 2016Member