Saiful Islam has been professor of materials science at the University of Oxford since 2022, before which he was professor of materials chemistry at the University of Bath for 16 years. He grew up in London and obtained his chemistry degree and PhD from University College London (under Richard Catlow) followed by a postdoctoral fellowship at the Eastman Kodak Labs, New York, US.
His research encompasses new materials for lithium and sodium batteries, and for perovskite solar cells. He leads the Faraday Institution CATMAT project on lithium cathode materials and has received several awards including the 2022 Royal Society Hughes Medal, 2020 ACS Storch Award in Energy Chemistry and 2017 RSC Peter Day Award in Materials Chemistry. Saiful presented the 2016 Royal Institution Christmas Lectures for BBC TV on the theme of energy, which included a lemon battery world record.