Dr Howlett's research seeks to apply novel materials science principles, design and methodology to the development of new electromaterials. This mainly relates to electrochemical devices (e.g., batteries) and surface engineering through the manipulation of passivity for application in corrosion engineering. The materials focus of Dr Howlett's research includes ionic liquid and plastic crystal electrolytes as well as a specific focus on the corrosion and electrochemical properties of reactive metals such as lithium and magnesium. His work also includes the use and development of advanced surface characterisation techniques including synchrotron based sources. Dr Howlett has collaborated successfully with colleagues within academia, CSIRO and industry. He has authored over 30 publications and 2 patents, which have been cited more than 600 times.