This project represents a unique opportunity to undertake a fully funded PhD studentship, sponsored by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in the broad area of lithium-ion battery metrology and diagnostics.
WMG are developing future “smart battery” technology that includes novel sensing, data processing and control methods embedded directly within the structure of the battery. Of particular interest is the in-situ measurement of internal temperature, pressure, mechanical stress and electrode potential. This PhD studentship will expand our current research into larger format prismatic batteries, which are increasingly the format of choice for many applications. Unique challenges exist when scaling-up measurement methods to larger format cells. For example, they exploit fundamentally different cell architectures and manufacturing processes that will drive the creation of different sensor integration methods. Further, the larger size will mean that different sensor technologies are required across a range of use-cases including material characterisation, performance and safety evaluation. Throughout the project, NPL will provide close supervision and access to technology experts on diagnostics, testing protocols and simulation-led design of new lithium ion battery technology and systems.
The focus of this PhD is primarily on experimental research to be conducted within the WMG Energy Innovation Centre with agreed periods of on-site work at NPL (southwest London). The researcher will develop a deep understanding of the workflow to safely integrate sensing technology within large format prismatic cells. They will design and validate novel experimental rigs and methods and will generate new data for proof-of-concept validation.
Essential and desirable criteria
The ideal candidate will have a background in engineering (electrical/mechanical/electrochemical), achieving a 1st or 2(1) in their undergraduate studies with a focus on engineering design and numerical analysis. A good understanding of sensor selection and instrumentation is essential. You will need to be pro-active, organised, and able to work well with technicians and laboratory support staff.