Simran was awarded the Commonwealth Split-Site PhD Scholarship to spend a year at the University of Bath in 2022 while completing her PhD at the Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee (IIT Roorkee). The Split-Site Scholarship enabled Simran to work with Professor Mirella Di Lorenzo on the development of innovative electrode materials for soil microbial fuel cell (SMFC) technology to generate power from the soil.
Simran had several successes during her year on the Split-Site Scholarship. These include generating enough data to publish a research article on her work at Bath in a peer-reviewed international journal in less than a year, disseminating her work at the top international conference in her field of research, ISMET-8 in Crete, with a travel grant sponsored by the Commonwealth, and winning the Images of Research 2022 competition in the Sustainability category with Let Nanoflowers Power Our Future! – Simran Kaur Dhillon (Department of Chemical Engineering).
She says her time at Bath made a huge difference to her, both professionally and personally, and said:
I have developed a lot more confidence with public speaking and presentations through the opportunities at Bath to present and discuss my research. The international exposure also gives me an edge, especially as a future academic.
After successfully defending her thesis with IIT Roorkee, Simran immediately started a Post-Doc at Bath, to continue her research in SMFC to simultaneously decontaminate soil and generate electricity. She has also established collaborations in India with the intention of commercializing her research in the future.