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PhD in the Advanced Manufacture of Instrumented “Smart” Batteries

PhD in Next Generation Smart Batteries for Aircraft Propulsion

Project Overview

The application of battery technologies is set to revolutionise many aspects of our lives, from the wide spread adoption of electric vehicles to the future electrification of aircraft. Considerable engineering effort, including the design of sophisticated control systems, instrumentation and thermal management is often required to ensure the safe operation of the battery system. This “overhead” negatively impacts the ability to employ battery systems in key elements of aircraft propulsion, in which very high levels of safety and robustness are required. A fundamental revaluation of battery technology is therefore required, including the design and manufacture of new “Smart Batteries” – transforming the battery from a passive component to a mechatronic device.

The aim of this PhD is to research methods to design and manufacture a smart battery. This will include integrating novel sensors directly within the battery at the point of manufacture. Potentially, this will improve overall battery performance and extend life. Further, it will be possible to quantify, in real-time, operating parameters that are currently unmeasurable using traditional sensing methods, allowing us to predict the onset of key safety events, such as thermal runaway.

Essential and desirable criteria

Applicants should have a have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65% or above in subject areas a scientific or engineering subject in which experimental or laboratory based research was a strong component. They should have:

  • a good understanding of electrical and electronic engineering principles
  • a good understanding of sensors, data acquisition and control
  • an appreciation of electro-chemistry, the electrical properties of materials
  • an interest in advanced manufacturing concepts would be advantageous.


Funding and Eligibility

Standard Research Council Maintenance Award of £15,285 for 3 years. Funding is available for UK/EU nationals only.


To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV.

Key Information

Stipend: £15,285 for 3 years

Supervisors: Professor James Marco and Dr Mark Copley

Available to UK/EU nationals

Start date: We would ideally like someone to start as soon as possible, but we can offer some flexibility on this - please contact us to discuss.