Hybrid Technologies for Battery Thermal Management Using Smart Materials


   School of Physics, Engineering and Technology

  Dr Mohammad Nasr Esfahani  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

Electric vehicles (EVs) are powered by lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) with many advantages such as high specific energy, long cycle life, wide range of operating temperature, and low self-discharge rates. There is a great interest to use EVs in substituting internal combustion engines considering the current crisis in climate change. EV manufacturers have been competing to enhance the power density of lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) supporting the government policy to overcome the existing carbon emission crisis. However, the battery fire safety and performance have hindered such progress with detrimental impacts on the EV market. Typically, mechanical abuse (i.e., crush and vibration), electrical abuse (i.e., over-charge, over-discharge, short circuits) and thermal abuse (i.e., external heating and flame attack) are the main causes for failure of LIBs, where a large amount of energy stored can be discharged abruptly to heat leading to thermal runaway (TR). In this regard, battery thermal management is crucial to improve fire safety, performance, and cycle life.

This project aims to develop hybrid techniques based on smart materials to improve the thermal management systems in LIBs for EV technologies. Advanced functional materials, such as graphene-based and nanomaterials will be explored to control the temperature of LIB modules. This work will use numerical models to understand LIB thermal behaviour during charging/discharging, thermal runaway and degradation, where novel hybrid cooling systems will be developed and examined for LIBs. This project will provide a guideline for a step change in the thermal management systems to improve LIB performance, life cycle and fire safety for EV technologies.

This project suits applicants with background in Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or a related discipline.

For more details about this project, please contact Dr M. N Esfahani, email:   

Entry requirements:

Candidates should have (or expect to obtain) a minimum of a UK upper second class honours degree (2.1) or equivalent in Engineering, Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Physics, or a related subject.

How to apply:

Applicants should apply via the University’s online application system at https://www.york.ac.uk/study/postgraduate-research/apply/. Please read the application guidance first so that you understand the various steps in the application process.


Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

This is a self-funded project and you will need to have sufficient funds in place (eg from scholarships, personal funds and/or other sources) to cover the tuition fees and living expenses for the duration of the research degree programme. Please check the School of Physics, Engineering and Technology website View Website for details about funding opportunities at York.

Where will I study?