As part of SuperSolar Early Career Researcher support activities, here is number 1 in a series of profiles casting the spotlight on the achievements and activities of Early Career Researchers within the SuperSolar community.

Our first profile features Lucy Whalley of Imperial College London

Lucy Whalley is currently Research Assistant in Solar Cells in the Materials Design Group at Imperial College London. In 2019 she successfully defended her PhD thesis, written under the supervision of Prof Aron Walsh, and continues to work in the same group. Lucy explores the use of Density Functional Theory (DFT) to model charge carrier behaviour in hybrid halide perovskite materials and at the time of writing (November 2019) is being funded through the EPSRC-JSPS core-to-core programme to spend time in Japan collaborating with the Prof Oba group at the Tokyo institute of Technology on developing a high-throughput computational framework to calculate the rate of carrier trapping and recombination at defects in PV (and other) materials.

A qualified Mathematics teacher, Lucy helps spread skills for data analysis, computational thinking, and research software development as a volunteer Instructor with the Software Carpentry Organisation. Earlier this year, she was awarded funding to develop sustainable software practices through a Software Sustainability Institute Fellowship and is collaborating with CodeRefinery on resources to help other researchers have the skills in place to publish their code.

Lucy is a self-taught programmer and has published her effmass package in the Journal of Open Source Software, a peer-reviewed journal for research code. Effmass is a Python 3 package for calculating various definitions of effective mass from the electronic band structure of a semiconducting material.

During her PhD studies Lucy attended the SuperSolar Research methods for solar PV Training Day and the SuperSolar sponsored PVSAT conference in 2018. Her profile continues to rise throughout 2019, with several high-profile publications and talks.