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PhD Studentship in Integrated thin-film power generation technology for supporting full-life monitoring of IoT products

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  • Full or part time
    Dr W Yang
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Number of awards:


Start date and duration:

September 2019 for 4 years.


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 described below 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.

To meet the urgent need of the Internet of Things (IoT) industry, this project will make use of recent advances in flexible and compact-structured power generation technology to integrate multiple types of thin-film, power generating cells into sensor devices. These self-powerig sensor devices will enable the full-life monitoring of IoT products across industries and areas. The initial step will be to assemble a dual solar cell/piezoelectric device based on ZnO nanowires, using Newcastle’s spray-coater and/or SILAR robot, then subsequently develop the concept by testing other combinations of thin-film based energy conversion technology. Finally, the overall stability will be addressed by coating the devices with a weather-proof layer applied using the vacuum-based techniques by Kurt J. Lesker Company.


Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) (

Name of supervisor(s):

Dr Wenxian Yang and Dr Elizabeth Gibson from Newcastle University;

Dr Neil Beattie from Northumbria University;

Mr John O’Donnell and Dr John Naylor from Kurt J. Lesker Company;

Dr Zhou Zhou from XEMC Wind Power Group Ltd

Eligibility Criteria:
•Academic excellence 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.
•Academic excellence in an appropriate subject area relevant to proposed project.
•The award is available to UK/EU applicants only. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria (, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. If English is not your first language, you must have IELTS 6.5 overall (with a minimum of 5.5 in all sub-skills).

How to apply:

You must apply through the University’s online postgraduate application system by creating an account ( To do this please select ‘How to Apply’ and choose the ‘Apply now’ button

All relevant fields should be completed, but fields marked with a red asterisk must to be completed. The following information will help us to process your application. You will need to:
•click on programme of study
•insert 8208F in the programme code section and click search
•select Programme name ‘PhD in Energy Materials’
•insert renu195 in the studentship/partnership reference field
•Attach a covering letter and CV. The covering letter must state the title of the studentship, quote reference code renu195 and state how your interests and experience relate to the project.
•Attach degree transcripts and certificates and, if English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications.


For further details, please contact:

Dr Wenxian Yang ( and Dr Elizabeth Gibson, from Newcastle University

Dr Neil Beattie, from Northumbria University

Email: [Email Address Removed]; [Email Address Removed]; [Email Address Removed]

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full UK/EU fees (eligibility criteria applies to EU students) and an annual living allowance of £14,777 (at the 2018/19 UKRI rate).

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