THE PROJECT

THE TEAM

Stuart McBain is an entrepreneur with a serious interest in sustainable energy. The partnership between his company Charging Around Britain Ltd and the University of Newcastle, Australia, where physicist and solar energy researcher Professor Paul Dastoor leads the Centre for Organic Electronics, has resulted in Charge Around Australia. Together, Stuart and Professor Dastoor have assembled a dynamic, interdisciplinary team to take this innovative project forward.

Encompassing leading lights in the fields of chemistry, physics and the synthesis of conducting polymers, the team is tackling the challenge of generating renewable energy for long distance electric car travel.

Project Director and Driving Project Lead

Stuart McBain

Stuart is an entrepreneur and the director of his own well-respected accountancy firm Stuart McBain Ltd. He serves on the Liverpool board of the Institute of Directors and is widely known among the city’s sustainability conscious community. Drawing on broad knowledge gained from more than 40 years of keen interest in sustainable energy, Stuart has advised many organisations.

To date, he has undertaken two successful ‘Charge Around’ challenges to disprove the ‘range anxiety’ associated with electric vehicles, one around the coast of the UK, the other around Iceland’s coastline.

Stuart will research the Charge Around Australia route, identifying key charging stations and stopping off points that offer significant educational and commercial opportunities. He will be the lead driver for the trip.

Research Project Co-ordinator

Professor Paul Dastoor

PhD in Surface Physics, University of Cambridge
BA degree in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

PhD in Surface Physics, University of Cambridge
BA degree in Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge

Paul is a physicist and solar energy researcher at the University of Newcastle, Australia.

He has been researching plastics known as semiconducting polymers since the mid-1990s. By breaking these materials down into tiny particles, he has developed a method of suspending them in water and subsequently of producing solar ink or paint that can be printed onto surfaces.

He is currently Director of the Centre for Organic Electronics, which he established at the University of Newcastle, Australia in 2007. The innovative printed solar panels that Paul and his team have developed have the potential to revolutionise sustainable energy generation.

Paul will co-ordinate the research and manage the entire development and installation for the project.

Driver

Dr Thilo Kober

PhD in Theoretical Medicine, University of Cologne (Germany)
Master’s degree in administration, School of Health Service Administration, University of New South Wales (Australia)

PhD in Theoretical Medicine, University of Cologne (Germany)
Master’s degree in administration, School of Health Service Administration, University of New South Wales (Australia)

Thilo is a retired health scientist with a multi-faceted career in health and medical research administration. He held senior positions in the academic, government and non-governmental sectors, including roles in the former Australian Cancer Society (now Cancer Council Australia), The Cochrane Collaboration, The University of Cologne, and the Australian Department of Health and Ageing (now Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care).

Prior to this, Thilo qualified as an upholsterer and decorator, served three years in the German Army (Bundeswehr), worked on major hydro-electric infrastructure projects in Australia, and retrained as a registered nurse (Germany/Australia).

For several years, Thilo worked as an independent contractor in the field of knowledge brokerage (health/medical) and in the Gig Economy (food rescue, Uber ride-share, courier services).

More recently, Thilo is a contented ‘house husband’ and often explores Australia on two and four wheels.

ALSO INVOLVED

Dr Xiaojing Zhou
Provider of key expertise in device design and development and performance analysis.
Dr Ben Vaughan
Provider of key expertise in supporting the fabrication and manufacture of the printed solar cell panels.
Dr Michael Dickinson
Provider of key expertise in the generation system design and development.

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