Processing of smart porous electro-active materials for sensor and energy harvesting applications

   Department of Mechanical Engineering

   Sunday, April 21, 2024  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

The Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Bath is inviting applications for a fully funded 4-year studentship for the project Processing of smart porous electro-active materials for sensor and energy harvesting applications.

Please note that this advert may close early if a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore encouraged.


A PhD position is available with the aim to develop new processing methods based on directional freezing to produce porous piezoelectric and pyroelectric materials with a range of porous architectures. This will include the fabrication of multi-layer porous structures and the creation of complex structures by combining freeze casting with additive manufacture. Materials produced will be characterised in detail for electrical, thermal and mechanical properties. Applications for these new materials will include mechanical/thermal sensing and energy harvesting.

The PhD will include the development of fabrication method, characterisation of material formed, and production of demonstration device. There is also potential to develop modelling methods to predict the properties and performance of the materials. The PhDs are part of a prestigious five-year Fellowship project and there will be interaction with academic supervisors, post-doctoral researchers and other PhDs working in this area, along with potential for international visits to collaborating partners and presentation of data at international conferences.

The Department has extensive facilities to undertake the research, including freeze casting and ceramic processing equipment, characterisation/measurement set up and modelling tool; funds are available to adapt and upgrade the existing facilities to achieve the PhD outcomes.

Candidate Requirements

Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or good Upper Second Class Honours degree (or the equivalent). Areas of interest include Materials, Chemistry, Physics, Manufacturing Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or similar. A Masters degree would be advantageous.

Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.

Enquiries and Applications

Informal enquiries are encouraged! Direct these to Prof Chris Bowen -

Please make a formal application should via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Mechanical Engineering

In the 'Funding your studies' section, please select 'ESPRC DTP' from the first drop-down menu. In the 'Your PhD project' section, please ensure that you state the project title and supervisor name in the appropriate boxes.

Failure to complete these steps will cause delays in the processing of you application and may result in you missing the application deadline.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found on our website.

Funding Eligibility

To be eligible for funding, you must qualify as a Home student. The eligibility criteria for Home fee status are detailed and too complex to be summarised here in full; however, as a general guide, the following applicants will normally qualify subject to meeting residency requirements:

  • UK nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland)
  • Irish nationals (living in the UK or EEA/Switzerland)
  • Those with Indefinite Leave to Remain
  • EU nationals with pre-settled or settled status in the UK under the EU Settlement Scheme.

This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Additional information may be found on our fee status guidance webpage, on the GOV.UK website and on the UKCISA website.

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

We value a diverse research environment and strive to be an inclusive university, where difference is celebrated and respected. We encourage applications from under-represented groups.

If you have circumstances that you feel we should be aware of that have affected your educational attainment, then please feel free to tell us about it in your application form. The best way to do this is a short paragraph at the end of your personal statement.

The Disability Service ensures that individuals with disabilities are provided the support that they need. If you state if your application that you have a disability, the Disability Service will contact you as part of this process to discuss your needs.

Keywords: Materials; Modelling; Sensors; Energy; Manufacture; Ceramics; Chemical Engineering; Energy Technologies; Environmental Engineering; Inorganic Chemistry; Manufacturing Engineering; Mechanical Engineering; Nanotechnology; Polymers

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24)

Funding Notes

Applicants will be considered for a studentship fully funded by EPSRC. This full funding covers tuition fees at the ‘Home’ rate, and a stipend at the UKRI rate (£18,622 p/a in 2023/24), for a period of 4 years. The successful students will also have access to a research budget.
You will likely need to hold UK or Irish citizenship, EU (Pre-)Settled status in the UK, or another form of indefinite leave, to be eligible for Home fees.


See our recent review: Porous ferroelectric materials for energy technologies: current status and future perspectives, Energy Environ. Sci., 2021, 14, 6158

How good is research at University of Bath in Engineering?

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

Register your interest for this project

Where will I study?

Search Suggestions
Search suggestions

Based on your current searches we recommend the following search filters.