Health, Science & Technology

Batteries for Future; The Birth of Na+ Batteries

1. Imperial College London, United Kingdom 
2. Deakin University, Australia
Batteries for Future; The Birth of Na+ Batteries
Currently a senior lecturer in the Applied Sciences Faculty at UiTM Shah Alam, Dr Mohd Azri Ab Rani’s interest in Green Chemistry has led to his current research in sodium (Na+) batteries to produce a battery that has excellent performance, safety and cost effectiveness. To continue his study, which will lead to the expansion of knowledge on application of Na+ ion batteries in the near future, Dr Azri sought an attachment to the Imperial College London, United Kingdom and Deakin University, Australia.
A history of triumph through perseverance
Coming from an underprivileged community did not stop Dr Mohd Azri Ab Rani, the son of a FELDA settler, from achieving milestones in one of the renowned institutions in the United Kingdom. He obtained his PhD in Ionic Liquids from Imperial College London at the prime age of 28 years old. He then continued his post-doctoral studies in Kyoto University, Japan under the guidance of Prof. Rika Hagiwara.
Throughout his career, he has won numerous awards for his research such as Special Award in Innovation at The Asia Innovation Show 2018, GOLD Award at The 4th International Innovation Design and Articulation (i-IDeA) 2018, Gold Award at the International Invention, Innovation & Design Competition (IIID) Johor 2017, Gold Award at the International Exposition on Syariah Compliant Idea, Invention, Innovation & Design (ISCIIID) 2016. 
Dr Azri not only contributes to the academic society but is also active in humanitarian efforts locally and internationally, such as the Cambodia Concerned Mission, Humanitarian Acts Across Borders, Volunteer Cum Trainer, Outreach Programme, Chow Kit Road for the Homeless and Nur Iman’s Journey Across Borders in Cambodia.
From UK to Australia
Although Dr. Azri was initially accepted as a visiting scholar at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), USA, the plan was thwarted by COVID-19. That led  him back to his alma mater, Imperial College London, where his attachment presented its own set of challenges.
Dr. Azri only has a one month window to experiment and complete 3 ionic liquids at the Imperial College under strict policies:  no working in the lab alone, and it was off limits on the weekends. With no room for errors, a detailed plan enabled Dr. Azri to synthesize all the ionic liquids to be used in the battery application, helping him achieve his objectives.

Following his short stint in the UK, Dr. Azri was attached to Deakin University, Australia for 2 months. Working at the university’s world-class facility for advanced battery design, fabrication and testing located at the Battery Research and Innovation Hub, he went on to test whether the synthesized ionic liquids could be used as an electrolyte for Na+ ion batteries. Dr. Azri hopes that someday, sodium-ion (Na+ ion) batteries would be affordable, accessible and available to help address many of the world’s challenges and make the world a better place. 
The information in this award recipient's profile is accurate to the best of our knowledge as of the time the award was presented. Any subsequent changes, updates, or developments in the individual's life or achievements may not be reflected in this profile.

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