PhD Studentship:

Next Generation Supercapacitors

Location: Coventry
Funding amount: £19,000 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Contract / Temporary
Placed on: 1st November 2016
Closes: 1st February 2017

Supporting Company: Johnson Matthey

WMG and Johnson Matthey are seeking a top class candidate to undertake research leading to the award of an International Engineering Doctorate (EngD(Int) - awarded jointly by the Universities of Warwick, Exeter and Cranfield.

As a ‘research engineer’ on our International Doctorate programme you will have unrivalled access to some of the best teaching and industrial expertise in the world, across three universities. While you will be based at WMG at the University of Warwick, and Johnson Matthey, you will also spend time at Exeter and Cranfield Universities to give you the broadest possible experience. You will emerge from the four-year programme more confident and better equipped to make a difference to your company and the global marketplace.

This opportunity also provides a substantial tax free stipend equivalent to many graduate jobs.


Over the last decade, there has been tremendous growth in the use of energy storage solutions, including widespread adoption within complex, portable electronic devices; significant expansion in the electrification of the automotive sector; and increased storage of harvested energy from renewable sources. Within all of these, there is continuous demand to improve key features of the storage devices such as their performance, energy density, lifetime, and cost (and this is a feature of both the materials used and their fabrication).

Supercapacitors are one such energy storage solution that is attracting increasing interest, due to the high power performance and long lifetimes that they are able to deliver. However, the overall energy density of such devices is considerably lower than batteries, thus preventing wider adoption. This project aims to explore how the materials used, and the design and processing of them into a cell, can be optimised to improve overall supercapacitor performance, for a variety of real world applications.

Business Need and Opportunity

Johnson Matthey is a global speciality chemicals company underpinned by science, technology and its people. As a leader in sustainable technologies, many of our products enhance the quality of life of millions through their beneficial impact on the environment, human health and wellbeing. For example, Johnson Matthey is a major supplier of functional materials and systems to the lithium-ion battery industry, with a focus on automotive applications.

The development of new electrochemical devices that are able to deliver improved performance and lifetime could open up a range of new applications. Within this project, we are looking to explore the potential that improved supercapacitor technology could have and how this could enable new solutions for tomorrow’s global challenges.

Entry Requirements Qualifications

Candidates should have a minimum of an upper second (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in a Chemical/Material Science/Physical Science or Engineering-based discipline. A strong understanding of electrochemical processes is desirable.


  • High levels of innovative thought and lateral thinking
  • Excellent analytical and reporting skills
  • Excellent communication skills
  • Strong computer skills and the ability to learn new software quickly
  • Self-motivated, capable of working with minimal guidance and supervision, and within a team.
  • Enthusiasm for the subject – A desire to understand how and why things work and a drive to make them work! Due to funding regulations this project is open to Home/EU students only.

The Studentship

Qualifying students an attractive enhanced stipend which could be tax and NI free depending on your personal circumstances, paid by the Centre and topped up by a contribution from Johnson Matthey. For 2016 this totals approximately £19,000 tax free per annum.

The funding is for four years and will also cover University tuition fees and all course fees as well as a travel allowance to attend courses.


To apply please complete our online enquiry form  and upload your CV.