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PhD in thermoelectric energy harvesting

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

I am seeking to fill a PhD position appropriate for an ambitious and motivated candidate wishing to carry out PhD research in experimental thermoelectric energy harvesting.

Applicants should have Australian domestic student status and a high-scoring Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in an engineering subject, preferably Electronic, Electrical, Mechanical, Mechatronic or Biomedical Engineering. An interest and experience in thermoelectrics would be a distinct advantage.

Project Topic:

Industry 4.0 (i.40) will transform Australian manufacturing over the coming decade and beyond, enabling improved productivity, efficiency, agility and reduced costs. Wire-free sensors and actuators will be an essential ingredient of i4.0. However, a significant future issue will be how to provide power to these wire-free nodes. Using batteries alone will place a significant replacement/re-charging burden on a factory, when thousands of portable sensors are installed. Extending time between charges, or removing recharging completely, using cost-effective energy harvesting is one solution. Utilising an abundant factory waste product (low-grade heat) as a ‘fuel’ source is a smart way to achieve this, since – in parallel – it improves the factory’s energy efficiency. This project will extensively investigate the feasibility of thermal energy harvesting within the Australian manufacturing sector as a means to augment battery power. The project will benefit from access to NSWs’ only National Industry 4.0 Testbed as a ‘sandpit’ on which prototypes can be demonstrated.

About the Supervisor:

This project will be supervised by Dr Nick Bennett. Nick recently joined UTS as a Senior Lecturer, having worked in the field of thermoelectric energy harvesting for most of the past decade. Previous to UTS, Nick worked at Heriot-Watt University in the UK between 2013 and early 2019, where he built a group, which – in its prime – consisted of 7 PhD/Postdoctoral Researchers. There he led seven projects in all, with total value above $1 million AUD, sponsored by the EPSRC, the Royal Society, the Energy Technology Partnership, the Energy Academy, and the Oil and Gas Innovation Centre, as well as completing research contracts/consultancy for numerous industry partners, including the European Space Agency and Mitsubishi. Dr Bennett is a recognised expert in thermoelectric energy harvesting, having been an invited speaker at some of the world’s foremost conferences on thermoelectrics. He was the co-organiser of the UK’s 2018 annual thermoelectric meeting. The successful candidate will join Dr Bennett’s team as a founder member with the expectation that they produce world-leading research in the field of thermoelectrics. If you have what it takes to meet this challenge, please get in touch!

About the Faculty:

The Faculty of Engineering and Information Technology at UTS is a world-class faculty with a growing reputation for its quality and impact. Our research is highly advanced, industry-focused and part of the lively and rigorous research culture at UTS.

Focused on ’practical innovation’, our researchers are pioneering research solutions with real-world impact. They’re recognised leaders in their fields, responsible for delivering new, better and more cost-effective innovative solutions to current national and international challenges.

About the University:

UTS is a dynamic and innovative university in central Sydney. One of Australia’s leading universities of technology, UTS has a distinct model of learning, strong research performance and a leading reputation for engagement with industry and the professions.

Funding Notes

AU$28,000 per annum stipend (tax free) + tuition fee waiver for domestic candidates for the full 3 years. Opportunities for funding to top-up the stipend will be available across the 3 years.

Applicants should have Australian domestic student status and a high-scoring Bachelor’s/Master’s degree in an engineering subject, preferably Electronic, Electrical, Mechanical, Mechatronic or Biomedical Engineering. An interest and experience in thermoelectrics would be a distinct advantage.

Contact Dr Nick Bennett for informal enquiries or apply, remember to include...
(1) A brief covering letter, (2) Curriculum Vitae, together with (3) a copy of your degree certificate and transcripts.

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