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  Designing and developing sustainable battery materials with artificial intelligence

   Department of Engineering

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  Dr M Keshavarz Hedayati  No more applications being accepted  Competition Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU) is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2022.

The PhD student will develop and design an eco-friendly rechargeable battery. Artificial Intelligence will be used to design the system based on existing scientific and industrial data. It is highly desirable to use rechargeable batteries to store energy from renewable sources and in consumer electronics and automobiles. This market is dominated by lithium-ion batteries (LIB) which have high efficiency and long life cycles. LIBs are expensive, scarce, and recycling them has a large environmental impact. Using inverse engineering and deep learning, we aim to design next-generation batteries with minimal environmental impact.

The successful candidate will combine data analyses with Deep Learning methods and experiment with the state-of-the-art fabrication facilities available at Durham. The candidate will have the opportunity to develop a novel model that correlates the properties of batteries to the composition of materials. This model will also consider the environmental impact of all processes in detail. Because the project has industrial support, the candidate will work closely with the company (WeLoop) to assess the life cycle assessment of existing batteries as a tool to design the next generation batteries. To be successful, a broad skill set is essential, as well as an enthusiasm for experimentation, coding/simulation, and practical engineering.

The project is supervised by Dr Mehdi Keshavarz-Hedayati who can be contacted for informal enquiries at [Email Address Removed].

The application closing date is 30th June 2022 and interviews will take place later in the month. Please note that interviews will be online rather than in person due to COVID-19.

Eligibility and How to Apply

Our eligibility requirements are:

•      Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 2:1 (or equivalent GPA from non-UK universities [preference for 1st class honours]); or a Masters (preference for Merit or above); or APEL evidence of substantial practitioner achievement.

•      If required, an IELTS score of 6.5 with no component under 6.0.

·      Two satisfactory academic references.

•      Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Durham or elsewhere.

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system.

  • Create an account and click ‘Postgraduate Apply’ on the top ribbon.
  • Search for ‘EPSRC CDT’ in Course and select Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (EPSRC CDT) starting in 2022/23. 
  • Complete the application form, ensuring the following:
  • On the funding tab select ‘yes’ you are applying for a scholarship, select ‘Other’, write RENU/ Keshavarz in the name of the scholarship, and select 1st October 2022 as the start date. No scholarship documents are required.
  • On the project course details tab write RENU/ Keshavarz in Field of Study.
  • Please include an application letter summarising your motivation and suitability for the project.
  • Please ensure you follow all of these steps to ensure your application is considered.


Funding notes

Home and International students (inc. EU) are welcome to apply. The studentship is available to Home and International students, and includes a full stipend at UKRI rates (for 2020/21 full time study, this was £15,609 pa) and full tuition fees. Also, significant additional funding is included to cover research costs and local, national and international travel such as conferences and exchanges. Note that these studentships will be awarded on a competitive basis between projects. We anticipate that up to 2 awards will be made for projects hosted at Durham. 

Please note there are a limited number of full international scholarships available. Further information about how EPSRC classifies international fee status please see Annex B of

Computer Science (8) Materials Science (24)
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 About the Project