The Wolfson School of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering has seen 100% of its research impact rated as ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, underlining the wide-ranging positive impacts that our research has on the world (REF, 2021).
In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Doctoral College, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career. Find out more.
Batteries are one of the most promising ways to accelerate global transition to net-zero emissions.
This is particularly due to their ability to promote the uptake of renewable energy sources by compensating for the intermittent nature of renewable energy production and increasing end-user affordability by reducing dependency on the non-renewable power supply. Despite considerable progress in the battery field over the last three decades, batteries are challenged in cost and sustainability due to need for mining, international materials supply chain and recyclability restrictions. There are also unaddressed challenges around battery safety due to flammable electrolytes.
To achieve sustainable global electrification, the international research community is investigating into alternative battery chemistries and material systems to realise solid-state recyclable batteries using readily available raw materials.
One of the field-defining battery initiatives at Loughborough University is to develop a solid-state aluminium-ion battery exploiting the local abundance and established recycling infrastructure of aluminium. A solid-state aluminium battery is recognised in the international scientific community as a sustainable and seminal concept but with major limitations around electrolyte and cathode (Leisegang, T., et al., Frontiers in Chemistry, 2019). Our key achievement in the field has been the discovery of novel chemistries for developing the first of its kind solid-state polymer aluminium electrolyte that can provide the required energy density.
This research project involves working on key elements of the electrochemical cell, packaging, and integrated sensing to develop a seminal recyclable solid-state aluminium-ion battery. The project will optimise the novel electrochemical cell (electrolyte and electrode) to achieve the performance features required by the industry, such as energy density, range, and charging and discharging rates. The project will explore novel, flexible and potentially see-through packaging materials, methods, and geometry, that can give the required structural and thermal stability of the battery.
The project will also integrate a novel electrochemical flexible sensor for state-of-health monitoring and end-of-life prediction. Working together with an established team of scientists and engineers, and leading academic and industry collaborators (UK and international), the outcomes of the project will include a lab-scale prototype that can be taken up for further development into an industry-scale prototype through a future project.
The research will potentially deliver significant impact through the realisation of an affordable, safe, and sustainable battery that can be adopted globally in renewable energy and transportation systems and play a major role in achieving net-zero.
The research will be carried out at the Battery lab established within the state-of-the-art chemical engineering research facilities, fully equipped for synthesis and characterisation (Loughborough Materials Characterisation Centre, a Centre of Excellence).
Primary supervisor: Dr Sourav Ghosh
Entry requirements for United Kingdom
Applicants are expected to have a first class or a upper second class in an engineering or science discipline, preferably with a master’s degree or an equivalent industry experience and need to demonstrate practical lab experience, preferably in a multidisciplinary translational research environment.
A dynamic personality with excellent communication and teamwork skills is desirable. A background in one of the key areas may strengthen your application: polymers, electrochemistry, thermal or mechanical stability design and testing, packaging design, integrated sensors.
English language requirements
Applicants must meet the minimum English language requirements. Further details are available on the International website.
HOW TO APPLY
All applications should be made online. Under programme name, select the Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering. Please quote the advertised reference number P2SAM22-09.
To avoid delays in processing your application, please ensure that you submit the minimum supporting documents.