Dr. Reshma R. Rao obtained her PhD in June 2019 at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, USA, where she worked with Prof. Yang Shao-Horn. She moved to Imperial College London, UK in January 2020, where she conducted her postdoctoral research with Prof. James Durrant and Dr. Ifan Stephens. In October 2022, she started her independent research career as a Royal Academy of Engineering Research Fellow in the Department of Materials at Imperial College London.
Her research focusses on studying reactivity at solid-liquid interfaces using X-ray spectroscopy (absorption, photoemission), surface X-ray diffraction, time-resolved optical spectroscopy and surface enhanced infrared absorption spectroscopy. Using this insight, her group develops active and stable catalysts for electrochemical energy conversion technologies including (i) oxygen evolution, hydrogen evolution reactions (for water splitting in electrolysers) (ii) hydrogen oxidation and oxygen reduction reactions (for fuel cells) and (iii) selective hydrocarbon oxidation for production of value added fuels and chemicals. Her research spans from model single crystal and thin films surfaces to more technologically relevant nanoparticles.