Josh Makepeace


I am gay and I am a chemistry lecturer researching sustainable energy storage.//


I’m a Lecturer in Materials Chemistry at the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom, having previously studied at Flinders University in my home town of Adelaide, Australia, and the University of Oxford.

Together with a great team of researchers, I work on designing and understanding next-generation energy storage materials, particularly focused around catalysts for synthetic fuels like hydrogen and ammonia, as well as new battery chemistries. Being a chemist allows me to combine my curiosity about the world around me with the thrill of making new materials and my desire to contribute to the transition to a sustainable energy system.

I’ve not always found it the easiest to be open about my sexuality at work, but now that I am I can say that it makes me a happier and better researcher to be able to bring my full self to work. I know how important the scant visible LGBTQ+ chemists were to my ability to see myself belonging as a scientist were, so I’m proud to be part of this initiative.