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PhD Studentship: Energy Harvesting from Smart Beams using 3D Printing

University of Southampton - Institute of Sound and Vibration Research, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Southampton
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £14,777 The funding covers UK/EU fees and stipend at the standard EPSRC rate
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th March 2019
Closes: 31st May 2019
Reference: ISVR-SPCG-555

Energy harvesting is of broad current interest due to its potential for powering small, wireless autonomous devices in a variety of settings. Significant developments in the field of vibration energy harvesting have seen these technologies applied for bespoke commercial applications, however, it is still not straightforward to design an energy harvester that can be readily applied in variety of applications. This project, therefore, will develop a smart and lightweight energy harvester with the capability of harvesting energy from any vibrating structure. For example, the device could be applied to structures in the civil, aerospace, rail and marine sectors to harvest vibrational energy to power sensors for health monitoring or for active control.

To achieve broad applicability of the developed energy harvester, the successful applicant’s research will focus on using design optimisation methods to develop the novel device through the use of numerical modelling. This design process will investigate, for example, how the tuning of the device can be controlled via its shape and constituent materials. Prototypes of the developed harvester will ultimately be manufactured using rapid prototyping 3D printing technology and their performance will be experimentally verified in both the lab and in practical applications.

This project is part of a recently awarded EPSRC Prosperity Partnership with multiple industrial and academic partners. This broad, collaborative research environment will provide the successful applicant with a wide range of potential opportunities. In particular, the strong industrial connections will help to ensure that the research will have a direct impact on real-world engineering. The research will be carried out in the Signal Processing and Control Group of the Institute of Sound and Vibration Research and the successful applicant will join a strong group of PhD researchers.

The successful candidate will have a background in mechanical or acoustical engineering, but should have specific knowledge in dynamics, control and signal processing. Experience with Matlab or other similar programming languages, ANSYS/COMSOL or other Finite Element modelling packages, and in carrying out experimental testing would all be beneficial.

If you wish to discuss any details of the project informally, please contact Dr Jordan Cheer, SPCG Research Group, Email:, Tel: +44 (0) 2380 593 082.

Funding and Eligibility

This 3 year studentship covers UK/EU level tuition fees and provides an annual tax-free stipend at the standard EPSRC rate, which is £14,777 for 2018/19.

The funding available is competitive and will only be awarded to an outstanding applicant. As part of the selection process, the strength of the whole application is taken into account, including academic qualifications, personal statement, CV and references.

For further guidance on funding, please contact

How to Apply

Click here to apply and select the programme - PhD in Engineering and the Environment. Please enter the title of the PhD Studentship in the application form.

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