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PhD in Development of Sustainable and Smart Battery Cells

PhD in Development of Sustainable and Smart Battery Cells

Project Overview

Electrifying the transportation sector is imperative to achieving net zero targets. Developing next-generation batteries will underpin this transition, particularly for heavier duty transportation, such as larger industrial vehicles, and the marine and aerospace sectors. The global demand for lithium-ion batteries is set to reach ~4.7 TWh by 2030 (currently ~ 700 GWh).

There is a need to construct a robust battery circular economy to sustain this growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market. Currently, the process of triaging a battery pack at end of first-life is expensive, hazardous and time consuming, with limited prior knowledge of the life of the batteries. Smart cells (cells with embedded sensors, e.g., temperature/pressure) placed within a battery pack, can be used to better track state of health (SoH) during the first-life of the pack. Primary objectives of this PhD are to:

- Investigate design optimisations for smart cell sensors, such as construction materials, location, method of insertion, etc., to allow cells to enter a circular economy.

- Identify target sensor measurands, key events to log and an application-focused method to store/present data to ease battery triaging.

- Research design considerations to ready smart cell sensors for deployment in future batteries regardless of cell electrochemistry and format.

This research will be based at the Energy Innovation Centre (EIC), WMG, University of Warwick. This project will be led by Dr Timothy Vincent, part of the Cell Instrumentation Team, with access to the team’s state-of-the-art laboratories in the EIC.

The EIC is uniquely positioned in terms of fundamental electrochemical and battery research capabilities, being the UK’s only academic facility to be able to develop, manufacture and test battery cells at pilot scale.

Essential and desirable criteria

Essential: A good first degree (2:1 or above) in Physics, Engineering, or related disciplines. Strong theoretical and experimental skills.

Desirable: Prior experience of sensor/systems development, data-processing skills, interest and knowledge of circular .

Funding and Eligibility

Standard UKRI stipend for 4 years (currently £18,622) for home fee students only

Funding is available to eligible Home fee statusLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new windowLink opens in a new window and UK domicile EU 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: DTP

Stipend: Standard UKRI stipend for 4 years (currently £18,622)

Supervisor: Timothy Vincent, Erdogan Guk, James Marco

Available to UK nationals and Home fees students

Start date: Ongoing