Associate Professor Ruth Knibbe

ARC Future Fellow

School of Mechanical and Mining Engineering
Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology
+61 7 336 54500


My research interests are in materials for energy generation and storage with specific interest in electrochemistry and electron microscopy

I joined the School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering at UQ as a Lecturer in 2016 and was promoted to Senior Lecturer in 2020.

I received my PhD from UQ in Chemical Engineering in 2007. Since completing my PhD I spent 4 years at DTU-Energy (Danish Technical University) and subsequently 5 years at the Robinson Research Institute at Victoria University of Wellington.

My interests are concerned with: in-situ methods for characterising fuel cell and battery materials, the application of machine learning in new material design, development of new materials for novel battery systems (including solid state batteries) and understanding degradation mechanisms in fuel cell and battery systems.

Research Interests

  • In-situ electron microscopy methods for characterising battery materials
    Being able to characterise a material in close to operating conditions allows for a real and unique insight into the material behaviour. In electron microscopy, in-situ characterisation is complicated as the electron microscope operates in a strong vacuum. For in-situ observation of battery systems (with a liquid electrolyte) this requires that the cell is encapsulated, while still remaining electron transparent. This work is experimentally challenging, but the unique insight into in-situ nano-scale phenomenon allows battery developers to design improved battery systems.
  • Machine learning in new material design for high temperature solid oxide cells
    I am interested in the field of machine learning and the application of this to oxygen electrode development for high temperature solid oxide cells. Countless studies into new oxygen electrode materials have been reported with still the most popular system for commercial application being the old La-Sr-Mn-O system. From all of this experimental work can a new material be designed? I am interested in collaborators for this work.
  • Degradation phenomenon in battery and fuel cell systems
    Thousands of new electrode materials have been designed, but what holds back many of these new electrode materials from real-life application is the long-term degradation. Degradation phenomenon are system and operating condition dependent. I am interested in researching and understanding how to limit degradation either through material, microstructure or operational design.
  • New electrodes for Li-S batteries
    The energy density of the Li-ion battery is limited be the capacity of the cathode material. Li-S batteries are considered a suitable alternative due to a higher theoretical energy capacity and the low cost of the electrode materials. However, the solubility of the sulphide reaction products and the accompanying problem with cycling stability is an issue for these cells. We are interested into developing new electrolyte systems that reduce the long-term degradation of the Li-S battery.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland


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Featured Publications

Book Chapter

  • Khan, Muhammad Shirjeel and Knibbe, Ruth (2023). Fuel electrode materials for solid oxide electrolysis cells (SOECs). High temperature electrolysis. (pp. 91-115) edited by Miguel Angel Laguna-Bercero. Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-031-22508-6_5

  • Knibbe, Ruth, Li, Ming and Ran, Lingbing (2023). Advanced Electron Microscopy Characterization of Sodium-Ion Battery Materials. Handbook of Sodium-Ion Batteries: Materials and Characterization. (pp. 589-624) edited by Rohit R. Gaddam and X. S. (George) Zhao. New York, NY United States: Jenny Stanford Publishing.

Journal Article

Conference Publication

Other Outputs

Grants (Administered at UQ)

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

Completed Supervision