Interested applicants should first contact Dr Ali Mohammadi who will be happy to discuss the project in full (email: am3151 @bath.ac.uk).
Micro-electromechanical systems (MEMS) and microelectronic circuits provide a reliable platform for developing integrated sensors in many exciting autonomous system applications such as pacemakers, tire-pressure or exhaust monitoring systems. Supplying electrical power for these sensor nodes by batteries has expensive maintenance procedures. Alternatively, harvesting electrical power from other energy sources is a key enabling factor for autonomous systems, which will mitigate the complications of batteries and develop new features in these systems. For example, mechanical vibrations in the sensing environment, wind and radio frequency waves are among the energy sources that will replace the batteries in future wireless sensors.
In our research team we develop
• Integrated energy harvesting and sensing mechanisms,
• New techniques in MEMS to increase the transducers efficiency,
• Low power, high efficiency electronic conditioning circuits.
In a very time-efficient approach, we design interface electronic circuits and transducer devices using high-end commercial CAD tools such as COMSOL/Coventorware/Cadence and outsource the microfabrication to external foundries. Our labs are equipped with cutting edge characterisation instruments such as high precision optical vibrometers and low-frequency signal analysers.
This PhD project will focus on developing alternative power sources for applications such as automotive industry (https://www.bath.ac.uk/research-institutes/iaaps/) and biomedical implants for in-vivo health monitoring systems, (https://www.bath.ac.uk/research-centres/centre-for-biosensors-bioelectronics-and-biodevices/).
You will join a lively team of academics, postdoctoral researchers, and industry advisors with access to cutting edge laboratory equipment, microfabrication technologies and CAD tools available in the Faculty of Engineering, David Bullett Nanofabrication Facility (http://www.bath.ac.uk/facilities/nanofab/) and external microfabrication foundries. Our group has active research collaborations with international academic institutions such as IMEC, Belgium and Monash University, Australia.
You will travel to international conferences to present the results of this interdisciplinary research. Industry placements in Sensata Technologies and teaching assistantships especially tailored to these PhD programs allow the candidates target successful future careers in academia or industry.
The supervisory team provide comprehensive training and interdisciplinary skills and expertise in electronic readout circuit and MEMS transducer device design, microfabrication and characterisation. Therefore, no prior knowledge of microfabrication or CAD tools is necessary.
Candidates are expected to have or be near completion of an MSc or MEng in Electronics, Mechatronics, Robotics, Mechanical Engineering, Physics or related areas. English language entry requirements must be met at the time of application to be considered for funding, see https://www.bath.ac.uk/corporate-information/postgraduate-english-language-requirements/
Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.
More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:
This project is eligible for inclusion, subject to funding availability, in a funding round with an application deadline of Wednesday 25 March 2020. Early submission is advised. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.
Anticipated start date: 28 September 2020
UK and EU candidates applying for this project will be considered for a University Research Studentship which will cover UK/EU tuition fees, a training support fee of £1,000 per annum and a tax-free maintenance allowance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£15,009 in 2019-20) for a period of up to 3.5 years.
A full reading list can be made available on request to interested applicants. A description of our recent work on this topic can be found here:
A. Mohammadi, S. Sadrafshari, C. R. Bowen and M. R. Yuce, "Time Domain Multiplexing for Efficiency Enhanced Piezoelectric Energy Harvesting in MEMS," in IEEE Electron Device Letters, doi: 10.1109/LED.2020.2965143.
How good is research at University of Bath in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?
FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.50
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