PhD Studentship: Safety Issues relating to Fuel-Cell Technologies

Loughborough University

Application details:
Start date: October 2017
Closing date: 24th August 2017
Interview date: 1st September 2017

Primary supervisor: Prof Andrew Morris
Secondary supervisor: Ruth Welsh

Loughborough University is a top-ten rated university in England for research intensity [REF2014] and an outstanding 66% of the work of Loughborough’s academic staff who were eligible to be submitted to the REF was judged as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’, compared to a national average figure of 43%.

In choosing Loughborough for your research, you’ll work alongside academics who are leaders in their field. You will benefit from comprehensive support and guidance from our Graduate School, including tailored careers advice, to help you succeed in your research and future career.

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Project Detail:
As new technologies, with potential application in vehicles, and more broadly, fuel cells and hydrogen have a range of safety concerns that must be addressed.

It is likely that as the use of fuel cell technology accelerates, many applications will involve installing equipment into existing workplace environments rather than into new purpose-designed areas. The safe ‘retro-fitting’ of fuel cells into areas with little prior experience of hydrogen, especially domestic environments, will raise a multitude of new issues. When used specifically within vehicles, hazards from fuel cell and hydrogen power include danger of electrical shock and the flammability of fuel.  Some fuel cell vehicle motors will run on voltages exceeding 350V –in excess of the voltages normally used in current electric vehicles. In addition, on-board reforming of different hydrogen sources, such as alcohols, methane, propane and even regular gasoline, can create gaseous hydrogen in the vehicle itself and a unique set of flammability issues.

This PhD programme will examine the safety concerns with fuel-cell technologies, with particular reference to their use within vehicles. It will look at how such safety concerns could be overcome through effective design of the vehicle itself, establishing requirements for structures intended for storage, and best practice for refuelling and repair of these vehicles. The study may also make use of reported incidents and accidents [both national and international] to inform design and best practice.

Find out more: [2004]

Entry requirements:
e.g. Applicants should have, or expect to achieve, at least a 2:1 Honours degree [or equivalent] in Engineering, Human Factors/Ergonomics or a related subject. A relevant Master’s degree and/or experience in one or more of the following will be an advantage: Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Ergonomics and Human Factors

Funding information:
The studentship is for three years sponsored by the EPSRC Centre of Doctoral Training in Fuel Cells and Their Fuels. The studentship provides a tax free stipend of £14,553 per annum for the duration of the studentship plus tuition fees at the UK/EU rate. Due to funding restrictions, this is only available to those who are eligible to pay UK/EU fees. In order to qualify for a full award, all applicants must meet the EPSRC eligibility criteria including the minimum UK residency requirement, details can be found: Due to funding restrictions, the studentship is only open to European/UK Students.

Contact details: 
Name: Professor Andrew Morris
Email address:
Telephone number: 01509 226981

How to apply:
All applications should be made online at Under programme name, select Design School

Please quote reference number: AAE-RC-1709

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Midlands of England