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iCASE EPSRC Studentship on Highly Efficient HV boosting for xEV

   Department of Chemical Engineering

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  Prof D Brett  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

London United Kingdom Chemical Engineering Electrical Engineering Mechanical Engineering Materials Science

About the Project

Vacancy information

The UCL Department of Chemical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering are both top research and teaching departments in the UK, and leaders in electrochemical power systems research. This iCASE PhD studentship is funded for 4 years as a collaboration with Jaguar Land Rover (JLR). The successful candidate will carry out cutting-edge experimental research in the area of power management systems for lithium-ion batteries and fuel cell vehicle power sources.

Studentship description

As we enter ‘the age of electrochemical power’ and transition from fossil fuels and internal combustion, the development of battery and fuel cell vehicles is key. The electrical systems that connect the power sources to the motors are vital components in determining the efficiency and effectiveness of electric vehicles. The objective of this project is to evaluate the applicability of new DC converter HV architectures to facilitate highly efficient voltage conversion and stabilisation from a vehicle on-board power source such as a fuel cell, or battery. Recipients will have access to multiple networking opportunities, industry visits to the industry partner (Jaguar Land Rover), mentorship, as well as quality experiences that will further develop knowledge, skills, and aspirations. This project will equip the successful student with the experience to enter an academic career or the rapidly electric vehicle industry (the electrification of road transport and pathway to net-zero).


1. To carry out experimental research in the field of electric power converters connected to fuel cells and batteries.

2. To develop new power control and management strategies and hardware for more effective and efficient electric vehicle power systems.

3. To collaborate between the research groups in the Department of Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering (as part of the UCL Advanced Propulsion Lab) and Jaguar Land Rover (JLR).

4. To prepare and present research findings to colleagues for review and collaboration purposes.

5.To contribute to the drafting and submission of articles to appropriate peer reviewed journals and progress reports as required.

6. To contribute to the overall activities of the research team and departments as required.

7. To actively follow UCL policies including Equal Opportunities and Race Equality policies.

8. To maintain an awareness and observation of Fire and Health & Safety Regulations.

To express your interest in this position please email the co-supervisors: Dr Mehdi Baghdadi ([Email Address Removed]) and Professor Dan Brett ([Email Address Removed]) with your CV. In addition, please submit your application through the following link, specifying Prof. Dan Brett as supervisor and including a statement of interest:

Funding Notes: Duration of studentship: 4 years; Stipend: £21,909 per annum; Start date: 1st October 2021

Person specification

The person appointed will have the essential skills, abilities, personal attributes and experience listed below. In your application, you should demonstrate how you meet the person specification, using examples.

Knowledge – including Qualifications

Essential: Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Physics or a related discipline. The Successful candidate requires having and developing background knowledge in the following areas:

• Power electronics and electromagnetics

• Electrochemical power systems

• Control and optimisation techniques

• Practical skills with building and testing electronic circuits

Desirable: Knowledge of electric vehicle architectures, control and optimisation techniques, electromagnetics.


Essential: Proficiency in conducting scientific experiments in engineering or physical sciences. Ability to manage time and work to deadlines. Effective written and verbal communication skills (in English) Ability to present complex information effectively to range of audiences.

Desirable: Experimental experience with power converters, electrochemistry, fuel cells or batteries. Willingness to work at interdisciplinary boundaries. Ability to interact with technical staff efficiency to achieve objectives.


Desirable: Experience of working in/with industry

Personal Qualities

Essential: Commitment to the highest quality research, self-motivated and hard-working. Commitment to health and safety and the well-being of the research team.


The successful candidate must have a Master’s degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Chemistry, Physics or a related field. Prior experience in power electronics, power systems engineering, battery or fuel cell testing is desirable, but not essential. More important is the desire and motivation to think creatively and collaborate widely to achieve project objectives. The studentship is open to both Home and Overseas fee payers.

Funding Notes

Stipend: £21,909
4 years stipend and fees
Start date: 01/10/2021
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