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PhD in Instrumented Cells for Degradation and Thermal Runaway Studies

Instrumented Cells for Degradation and Thermal Runaway Studies

Project Overview

Looking for a battery related career that contributes to creating a sustainable future? Keen to join a dynamic community of pioneering battery researchers seeking to find solutions to support a fully electric future? The Faraday Institution Cluster PhD project at WMG, University of Warwick will focus on understanding the root-cause of battery degradation and safety issues in state of the art Li-ion batteries.

The performance of Li-ion batteries of degrades over time, even with advanced materials components, and conventional electrochemical testing only provides limited information about the modes of degradation. Degraded batteries are also more susceptible to rapid thermal runaway events with catastrophic safety issues. Research on battery degradation and thermal runaway require forensics studies of disassembled cells to determine their chemical and structural properties in order to identify the underlying failure mechanism. However, these post-mortem (or ex-situ) studies are limited and ultimately real-time (i.e. operando) studies are required. Typically, operando studies require the adaption of cell formats that are far removed from practical industry-aligned formats. This aim of this project is the development of instrumented pouch cells for real-time studies of degradation and the onset of thermal runaway.
This Faraday Institution (FI) Cluster PhD project is closely aligned with the Battery Degradation and SafeBatt FI Consortia and will focus on developing novel approaches to better characterize real-time events that occur during the cycling. Of particular interest is the early detection onset of degradation and cross-talk between the electrodes that accelerates degradation in state-of-art Ni-rich battery chemistries. Our approach will involve the development of instrumented cells with fibre optics and reference electrodes in industry-like pouch cells, supported by electrochemical testing and operando characterization methods recently installed at Warwick University.

The FI is the UK's independent institute for Electrochemical Energy Storage, bringing together scientists and industry partners on projects with commercial relevance underpinned by excellent science. This PhD presents and exciting opportunity to be involved in two key FI consortium projects, and contribute to the advancement of operando battery studies. This project will be based in the Energy Directorate within WMG at the University of Warwick and will take full use of WMG's Energy Innovation Centre, the UK's National Facility for Battery Research. the Project will be Supervised by Prof. Louis Piper and Associate Prof. Melanie Loveridge in the Electrochemical Materials Division of the Energy Directorate. Applicants should have a top-level degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials or related subject. Experience with lithium-ion battery characterisation and testing is desirable but not essential. To discuss the project informally, please contact Professor Piper email: louis.piper@warwick.ac.uk

In order to apply for a Faraday Institution PhD position, you need to do both of the following:

  1. Complete a Faraday Institution expression of interest form
  2. Follow the university application process as follows:

To apply please complete our online enquiry form and upload your CV, certificates and transcripts. Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Essential and desirable criteria

Applications are welcome from home and international students (although places for international students are limited. Please see UKRI guidance for more details).

Prospective candidates are expected to have a minimum 2.1 undergraduate (BEng, MEng, BSc, MSci) and/or postgraduate masters’ qualification (MSc) with 65% or above. Applicants should have a top-level degree in Chemistry, Physics, Materials, or related subject. Experience with lithium-ion battery characterisation and testing is desirable but not essential.

Funding and Eligibility

£20,000 for 4 Years

Funding is available to eligible Home fee statusLink opens in a new window and Overseas fees Students.

To apply

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

Please ensure you meet the minimum requirements before filling in the online form.

Key Information:

Funding Source: Faraday Institute

Stipend: £20,000 for 4 years

Supporting company: Faraday Institution

Supervisor: Prof Louis Piper

Available to UK nationals and Home fees students

Closing Date: August 2022

Start date: October 2022