Andrew J. Morris

I am a Senior Birmingham Fellow in the School of Metallurgy and Materials at The University of Birmigham. I hold visiting positions at both the Univeristy of Warwick and the University of Cambridge.

My current interest is in applying the AIRSS method to a range of different materials science problems, focussing mainly on lithium-ion batteries. “Trial and error” plays a large part in the discovery of new materials. From the initial idea, the material must be synthesised and categorised before it can tested which is slow, difficult and expensive. High-throughput computation accelerates this process by suggesting then screening new materials, allowing us to ask “what if?” without the time and expense of manufacturing and categorizing samples. I model Li-ion batteries at the atomic level and try to uncover new materials to increase their capacity.

I use global search techniques such as ab initio random structure searching (AIRSS) to predict the ground-state structure of materials. From the ground state we use theoretical spectroscopy techniques to compare our results to experiment. As a junior developer of the electronic structure code CASTEP I develop tools for optics, electron-energy loss spectroscopy (EELS) and core-loss analysis through the OptaDOS code. I use and modify CASTEP-NMR to calculate the chemical shielding of battery materials in collaboration with experimentalists.

I am currently looking for PhD and Masters project students.


My first degree was an M.Phys. (4 year) in Theoretical Physics at the University of York. My final year project was titled Vertex Corrections in Many-Body Perturbation Theory. I worked with Rex Godby’s group.

I did a Ph.D. in the Theory of Condensed Matter group in the Cavendish laboratories at The University of Cambridge. I worked with the group of Richard Needs and Mike Towler using the Quantum Monte Carlo computer code CASINO on a project about BEC-BCS crossover in ultra-cold atomic systems.

In the final two years of my Ph.D. I began collaborating with Chris Pickard where I modified his AIRSS method to be suitable to discover point defects in semiconductors. Throughout this project I used the planewave DFT code CASTEP.

I then spent three years as a research associate with Prof. Chris Pickard’s group in the Condensed Matter and Materials group of the Department of Physics and Astronomy at University College London.

In 2012 I moved to the Cavendish laboratories at The University of Cambridge, as an independent Winton Fellow, then in 2017 I moved to Birmingham.

My full CV is available on request.

Current Group Members

Wataru Sekine

Visiting Industrial Researcher

I am a senior material engineer at Murata Manufacturing Co., Ltd. in Japan. I joined the Morris group in May 2019, my primary research interest is the application of various computational analysis methodologies such as structure prediction/searching, theoretical spectroscopy, and machine learning techniques to the development of lithium-ion batteries.

Annalena Genreith-Schriever

Visiting Post Doctoral Research Associate

I am a postdoctoral researcher in the Morris group, visiting from the University of Cambridge (Prof. Clare Grey). My research interests centre around extending the lifetimes of electrode materials for Li-ion batteries and obtaining an atomistic understanding of charge transport in battery materials.

Hrishit Banerjee

Post Doctoral Research Assistant

I am a Post doctoral Research Associate at the University of Cambridge jointly supervised by Prof. Clare Grey (U. Cambridge) and Dr. Andrew J. Morris (U. Birmingham) (April 2021- ), with particular interest field of first principles calculations of correlated materials. I am funded by the Battery Degradation project of The Faraday Institute. I finished my PhD in June 2018, working on first principles electronic structure study of novel phenomena in complex materials. I then worked as a Research Fellow for the Abdus Salam International Centre for Theoretical Physics (ICTP) till March 2019. During my time at ICTP I was the PI of a CINECA Class C project I-2DFM, and worked on the emerging field of 2D ferromagnets. Thereafter I worked as a Post Doctoral Fellow at the Graz University of Technology (TU Graz, April 2019- March 2021), where I had experience of working on strongly correlated physics from the perspectives of Dynamical Mean Field Theory. My current research interests involve understanding from the perspectives of strong correlations, the physics involved in degradation of Li ion batteries.

James Darby

Visiting Post Doctoral Research Associate
Former PhD Student (2016-2020)

I am a Sims funded PhD student in the Morris Group, within Theory of Condensed Matter, Cambridge. My primary research interest is the application of symmetry to crystal structure prediction. My other research interest is matching electrodes to solid state electrolytes to ensure that a favorable interface is formed.

Before joining the Morris group I studied Natural Sciences, Physics, also in Cambridge.

Matthew Evans

PhD Student

My main research interest lies in the application of crystal structure prediction techniques to the characterisation of potential electrode materials for next-generation rechargable batteries. I work primarily on the development of methods and software tools to handle the large volume of relaxed structures generated by ab initio random structure searching (AIRSS) and related high-throughput methods, with an emphasis on energy storage applications. I develop two open source Python packages, matador and ilustrado. I am a member of the EPSRC CDT for Computational Methods for Materials Science based in the Theory of Condensed Matter group.

Prior to joining the group, I completed an MPhys in Physics with Theoretical Physics at the University of Manchester. I wrote my MPhys thesis on the electronic structure of defects in graphene/h-BN superlattices under the supervision of Prof Francisco Guinea. As an undergraduate, I spent two summers developing software vfmcpp to model the microscopic dynamics of vortices in superfluid helium supervised by Dr Paul Walmsley, and one summer working at the University of Nottingham in the group of Prof Elena Besley on nanotube-encapsulated buckyballs.

Can Koçer

Visiting Post Doctoral Research Associate
Former PhD Student (2017-2021)

I am a former PhD student working on the electronic structure and lithium insertion mechanism of crystallographic shear phases.

Angela F. Harper

PhD Student

I am a PhD candidate in physics from the US. I completed my BS in Physics at Wake Forest University in the US, with minors in Mathematics and Computer Science. In my undergraduate, I have had computational research experience with both bioinformatics and perovskite solar cell modelling. At Wake Forest, I have worked on transistors in an experimental lab, developing green technologies for transistor fabrication.

Within the Morris Group, I work on modelling metal-phosphide anode materials for Li-ion and beyond Li-ion batteries. These materials offer potential applications not only in Li-ion batteries, but also in catalytic reactions. I am using AIRSS to search for new materials and better understand those metal-phosphides already experimentally known.

I completed my MPhil with the Morris group as a Churchill Scholar, and am continuing the PhD in the Morris Group at TCM, as both a Winton and Gates Scholar.

A full list of publications can be found at Google Scholar

My personal website is found here

Andrea Iliceto

PhD Student

I am a PhD student in the Morris Group working in the School of Metallurgy and Materials at The University of Birmingham. I carry out computational-based research on Metal Organic Frameworks using various approaches and tools, the main one being CASTEP, a density-functional theory package.

During my previous studies, I completed an integrated Master’s Degree at the University of York in Theoretical Physics. My Master’s dissertation project focused on atomistic spin dynamics simulations of magnetoresistive random access memory.

Jordan Dorrell

PhD Student

I am a PhD student in the Morris Group working in the School of Metallurgy and Materials at The University of Birmigham. For the duration of my PhD I will be using the plane wave DFT package CASTEP for the purposes of computational structure prediction of energy materials.

I completed my MChem at the The University of Reading. At the end of my third year I was invited onto an EPSRC funded programme where I used nested sampling to calculate the thermodynamics of small water clusters under the supervision of Livia Bartók-Pártay. I later implemented nested sampling for my final year project titled “The validity of Embedded Atom and Modified Embedded Atom Models for describing the thermodynamics of bulk lithium”.

For more information see my ORCID

Chris Owen

PhD student. Former Masters' Student (2020-21)

I am a former Nuclear Engineering student (MEng) at the University of Birmingham, now working towards my PhD.

My research focuses on machine learning potentials and their appliation in high throughput computational modelling of systems relevant to battery cell materials.

Weronika Wiesiołek

UKCP Summer Project Student

I am an MSci Natural Sciences student at the University of Birmingham with a double major in Physics and Computer Science. I am currently working in the Morris Group as a UKCP Summer Project student. The aim of my research is to improve the user experience within the group’s software, ML-tools, and investigate the differences between machine learning potentials created by different neural networks, with a focus on materials relevant to battery cell modelling.

Mario Antonio Ongkiko

PhD Student

I am a PhD student under the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Topological Design at the University of Birmingham starting in 2021. Current research interests are the intersections of topology, density functional theory (DFT), and machine learning.

I did my MSc by Research in Physics at the University of Warwick, where I completed my thesis on GaAs work functions and the structural relaxations of Sb ultra-thin films on unreconstructed InAs(111)B via DFT. I finished my 5-year BSc degree in Applied Physics, with a specialization in Materials Physics, at the University of the Philippines Diliman. My undergraduate thesis focused on a DFT study of small molecule adsorption on graphene.

Previous DFT work utilized Quantum ESPRESSO. However, current work in my PhD will shift towards using CASTEP for electronic structure calculations.

Jatinder Singh

Masters’ Student, Nuclear Engineering

I am an M.Eng. Nuclear Engineering student at the University of Birmingham, currently I am doing my masters’ project with the Morris Group.

Within the Department of Metallurgy and Materials, I have done an internship to design a high-temperature tensile testing device. In my 3rd year, I have a done a group project to simulate the sigma phase in Fe-Cr alloys using MD. This project developed my interest in materials modelling especially in the application of Machine Learning to create new materials.

Monthakan Lertkiattrakul


I’m an undergraduate materials science and engineering student at the university of Birmingham. Currently, I’m working with the Morris Group to carry out my final year project focusing on amorphous coatings for functional materials.

Previously, I did a year in computer science to improve my knowledge in computing as I’m interested in modelling materials to gain a better understanding of their structures and properties.

Previous Group Members

Laura Coakley (2020-2021)

Thomas Baigent (2018-2019)

Kamal Goswami (2018)

PDRA at Lancaster University

Bora Karasulu (2018-2020)

Joseph Nelson (2016-2018)

PDRA in the group of Chris Pickard in Materials Science at the University of Cambridge

Jamie M. Wynn (2014-2018)

FiveAI Autonomous Transport since 2018

Paulo V. C. Medeiros (2015-2017)

Swedish Meteorological Office since 2017

Martin D. Mayo (2014-2017)

Founder @ Sleephack and Senior Development Engineer @ Cheney Design

Monica Chelliah (2016)

Iria Pantazi (2016-2017)

PhD student in group of Dr. Eiser

Connie Hsueh (2015-2016)

PhD at Stanford, USA

Nathalie Vonrüti (2015-2016)

PhD student with Prof. Dr. Ulrich Aschauer, University of Bern, Switzerland