Professor Tim Mays is Professor of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University. He was awarded this year's Vice-Chancellor’s Research Medal for his research expertise in the field of sustainable, zero-carbon fuels, including hydrogen.

Professor Mays’ research has been instrumental for the production, storage and distribution of future, zero-carbon fuels, and in helping advance the UK's transition to a sustainable Net Zero.

After completing his PhD in the 1990s, Tim built his career at Bath as a postdoc, Lecturer, Senior Lecturer and Professor.

His research has covered new developments in many engineering materials including nuclear graphites, aerospace composites, steel-making refractories and novel adsorbents for gas purification and storage. His work has led to 160 publications in journals, conferences and book chapters and he has been involved in over £50 million of grant and leveraged research funding from government and industry.

Over the past 20 years, Tim’s research has focused on advanced, nanoporous materials such as metal-organic frameworks for storing hydrogen in low-carbon energy systems. This area is commonly seen as one of the most challenging in delivering a sustainable hydrogen economy to support the UK in meeting its Net Zero 2050 emissions target. Tim has shown great tenacity in retaining his enthusiasm for this technology over a period of two decades – contrary to the views of many. His tenacity has, however, paid off and the potential for hydrogen is now widely recognised. One of his most important contributions has been the development of the knowledge and understanding of ultrahigh-capacity storage materials. This is paving the way for new hydrogen storage options in transport, heating and electricity generation.

Since 2003, Tim has led multi-million-pound research consortia on sustainable hydrogen energy, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council. He is currently Director of UK-HyRES, the UK Hub for Research Challenges in Hydrogen Alternative Liquid Fuels, and of GW-SHIFT, a Place-based Impact Acceleration Account to build a “hydrogen supercluster” in the South West. Tim is also a Co-investigator and Research Challenge lead of ZENITH, a Prosperity Partnership between the University and GKN Aerospace to explore future aircraft fuelled by liquid hydrogen.

Alongside Tim’s sustained achievements in Research and Scholarship, he is committed to Teaching. He received the Mary Tasker Award for Excellence in Teaching at the University in 2001. Tim has also held many Management and Leadership roles at the University including an extended six-year term as Head of Department of Chemical Engineering (2013-19). He continues to have a number of senior external roles in higher education many via his Fellowships of both the Institution of Chemical Engineers and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Professors Mays was presented with his Research Medal during the winter degree ceremonies in January.

Vice-Chancellor and President Professor Ian White said: "I am greatly inspired by Tim’s unwavering commitment, dedication and passion for the future of sustainable hydrogen energy. His research has been instrumental in positioning the University of Bath as a multi-disciplinary hub of research excellence, impact and stakeholder engagement in future, zero-carbon fuels. He has made a huge contribution in his field, and his work has ensured that the University is now recognised as an expert leader in hydrogen research."

The Vice-Chancellor's Research Medal was established in 2009 and is awarded annually in recognition of sustained research excellence and impact.