Advanced battery diagnostics for ultra-fast charging

Eligibility: UK/EU graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU)

Duration: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 31st July 2020

Interview date: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2020

For further details contact: Dr Oliver Curnick

Introduction

Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship aiming to develop and demonstrate advanced diagnostic techniques enabling safe, ultra-fast charging of lithium ion batteries.

About the project

Lengthy charging times are a key drawback for Li-ion batteries in consumer applications such as portable electronics and electric vehicles.  Current Li-ion battery chemistries have shown potential for much faster charging (up to around 7x faster than manufacturer’s specifications) whilst still remaining within a safe electrochemical and thermal operating envelope.

However, to operate at these higher charging rates requires diagnostic capabilities beyond those typically offered by battery management systems, which rely on measurements of voltage, current and temperature often based on a fraction of the cells in the system. 

New diagnostic techniques capable of detecting fault conditions in real-time are required in order to advance the state-of-the-art in battery management and enable faster charging.

Electrochemical Harmonic Analysis (EHA) is an emerging technique that has recently been demonstrated for state-of-health estimation  and ex-situ (post-mortem) detection of lithium plating.  This PhD project aims to develop this technique (and others) through a combination of electrochemical modelling and practical experimentation on state-of-the-art instrumented Li-ion cells, in order to demonstrate its feasibility for real-time diagnostics and control of ultra-fast charging processes.

The student will carry out the work at the Coventry University Centre for Advanced Low-carbon Propulsion System (C-ALPS) using the research groups battery manufacturing and testing equipment, in close collaboration with the industrial partner – FEV. FEV are a global automotive engineering consultancy with over 4000 engineers and researchers worldwide (see www.fev.com).

Funding 

Fully-funded project with industrial collaborator This includes fees covered and monthly tax-free stipend as well as consumables and a travel/conferences budget.

Benefits

The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Entry requirements

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    PLUS 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
Additionally

A first degree in electrical or electronic engineering, physics, physical chemistry, electrochemistry, chemical engineering or a closely-related discipline is essential.

A Masters-level degree or equivalent experience in any of the above would be advantageous.

Basic electrical skills (e.g. wiring, soldering) are essential, along with an appreciation of electrical safety hazards.

Familiarity with typical electronic laboratory equipment (e.g. oscilloscopes, signal generators, spectrum analysers) would be advantageous.

Practical experience in testing and characterisation of electrochemical devices, batteries or fuel cells would be beneficial (e.g. use of potentiostats, battery cyclers).

How to apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. 

Apply to Coventry University