EngD Studentship: Battery Design for Performance, Reliability, Cost and Recyclability

University of Warwick – EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Materials and Manufacturing

Supporting Company: TBS Engineering Ltd.
Academic Supervisors: Dr. Mark Ellis, Dr. John Low, Prof. Dave Greenwood
Industrial Principal: Steve Sharpe, Technical Director, TBS

University of Warwick and TBS Engineering Ltd. are seeking a top class candidate to undertake battery research leading to the award of an International Engineering Doctorate 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 University of Warwick and TBS Engineering Ltd., 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.

Project

This is a fantastic opportunity to work with WMG, University of Warwick; the foremost UK facility for battery innovation, research and development, in association with TBS, the world leader in automated machinery for the lead acid battery industry – providing equipment for assembly of batteries in Ford, VW, BMW and Mercedes products to name but a few.

Energy storage is a rapidly growing market, with emerging demands from almost all industrial sectors. Whilst Li-Ion chemistries are emerging as the chemistry of choice for electric vehicles, there are many opportunities where innovations in lead acid battery technology could deliver a more cost effective and highly recyclable alternative Lead-acid batteries are already a multi-billion dollar industry, ubiquitous for electrochemical energy storage. They are deployed on-board all types of vehicles, and in medium and large UPS systems in operation around the world. With development, they could challenge Li-Ion in emerging applications such as mild-hybrid vehicles and standby power.

This project focuses on innovation in battery cell and pack design for lead-acid battery. You will have the opportunity to research, learn and practice the latest advances in cell and pack design, including advanced sealing and welding technologies, with a view to supporting TBS to bring these to the market in the near term.

As an Engineering Doctorate, the emphasis of your role is on research and innovation that addresses real-world issues. Your time will be approximately 50% split between research (WMG) and industry (TBS), including regular knowledge exchange and supervision from senior industrial principals and world-leading academics in this field. You will also have full access to state-of-the-art facilities in WMG’s Materials Manufacturing Centre, and the ability to take learnings from different battery types, and different manufacturing sectors to develop innovative solutions for this project.

Business Need and Opportunity

The current technique to seal a lead-acid battery is relevant for today’s approach. But, newer generations of lead-acid battery demand higher accuracy, faster processing and better methodologies for manufacture. TBS wants to consider a discovery-driven research in cell design, including sealing and welding technologies on route to realising newer generation of lead-acid battery.

Entry Requirements

Qualifications

Candidates should have a minimum of an upper second (2.1) honours degree (or equivalent) in materials and/or engineering subjects including materials, mechanical engineering, metallurgy, battery, manufacturing or electrochemical energy storage.

Attributes

  • High levels of innovative thought and lateral thinking
  • Experience of product design methodologies
  • 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

Due to funding regulations this project is currently open to UK/EU students only.

The Studentship

Qualifying students receive 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 TBS Engineering Ltd. For 2018 this totals approximately £20,000 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.

More information about the centre is available on the CDT website.

Apply

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