A machine stands in a laboratory setting

Online and in situ detection of process failures in dissimilar material laser welding for electrical vehicle battery manufacturing

Eligibility: UK/International (including EU) graduates with the required entry requirements

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

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

Application deadline: 27 May 2023

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2023

To find out more about the project, please contact Dr Huang Yuze 


Coventry University (CU) is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship. This project focuses on online monitoring of remote laser welding for electrical vehicle battery manufacturing.

The successful applicant will be based at both the Centre for Manufacturing and Materials (CMM), and the award-winning Institute for Advanced Manufacturing and Engineering (AME) reside within the Institute for Clean Growth and Future Mobility (formerly known as the Institute for Future Transport and Cities) at Coventry University.

Project details

Driven by lower carbon emissions, electric vehicles (EVs) have an increasing market share, boosting the demand for fast and reliable EV battery manufacturing. EV battery assembly requires joining of a large number of interconnects with dissimilar materials. Deep penetration (or keyhole) laser welding with industrial lasers (near-infra-red wavelength) has been used for joining dissimilar materials due to its large speed and high joining strength. However, when joining the thin (~ 300µm) battery tabs and busbars by keyhole laser welding, the resultant unique weld pool characteristics: (i) high-aspect (depth-to-width) ratio with small opening (~ 30 µm); (ii) fast dynamics (2 – 10 kHz), create challenges for existing monitoring systems. We aim to develop an online monitoring system for EV battery laser welding to identify and reduce defect formation by combining our state-of-art optics sensing (max. sampling rate 50 kHz), physics-modelling and machine learning, providing a critical tool to ensure weld quality in a cost-effective way. This project also promotes interdisciplinary collaboration (e.g., welding, data processing, metallurgy, computed tomography, physical modelling and computer programming) with supports from co-supervisors (CSM, Coventry Univ.; ME, University College London), and also supports student to work closely with industry-partners (e.g., Unipart Manufacturing/Hyperbat, TWI) to translate research into practice.


Tuition fees, a bursary and additional allowances. 


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical (e.g., laser safety training, laser welding, monitoring, data processing and programming), personal (e.g., career development) and professional skills (e.g., academic writing).

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. 

Candidate specification

  • A bachelor’s (honours) degree in a mechanical/ materials/ manufacturing/ aerospace/ electrical, electronic engineering or an equivalent classification. Applications are also welcome from graduates with an applied physics or computer science degree. The relevant discipline/subject area must meet with a minimum classification of 2:1 and a minimum mark of 60% in the project element (or equivalent), or an equivalent award from an overseas institution.


  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within 3.5 years
  • An adequate proficiency in English must be demonstrated by applicants whose first language is not English.  The general requirement is a minimum overall IELTS Academic score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each of the four sections, or the TOEFL iBT test with a minimum overall score of 95 with a minimum of 21 in each of the four sections.

 For further details please visit:  https://www.coventry.ac.uk/research/research-opportunities/research-students/making-an-application/research-entry-criteria/

Additional requirements

Applicants are welcome with experience in optics (e.g., photodiode, optical camera) or acoustic sensing, data processing or laser material processing (e.g., laser welding, laser metal additive manufacturing or laser shock peening).

Willing to work closely in a team and be capable to design and conduct experiments with the support of our laser manufacturing technician and the supervisory team from Coventry Univ. and University College London.

How to apply

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Huang Yuze (yuze.huang@coventry.ac.uk)

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter, plus an up-to 2000-word supporting statement. For this project, the supporting statement should include the applicant’s experience and expertise related to the topic AND a brief research proposal (ideas for EVs battery laser welding monitoring methods, data processing etc.).


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