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PhD Studentship: Advanced Battery Diagnostics for Ultra-fast Charging

Coventry University - Institute for Future Transport and Cities (URC)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Coventry
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Bursary plus tuition fees.
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th September 2020
Closes: 15th November 2020
Reference: FTC-OC-FEV-CALPS-01-21

Eligibility: UK/EU/international graduates with the required entry requirements

PhD funding award: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Start date: January 2021 

Duration of study: Full-Time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline date: 15 November 2020

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Enquiries may be addressed to: Oliver Curnick, oliver.curnick(at)  

Lengthy charging times are a key drawback for Li-ion batteries in consumer applications such as portable electronics and electric vehicles. Current Li-ion battery chemistries have shown potential for much faster charging (up to around 7x faster than manufacturer’s specifications) whilst still remaining within a safe electrochemical and thermal operating envelope. 

However, to operate at these higher charging rates requires diagnostic capabilities beyond those typically offered by battery management systems (BMS), which rely on measurements of DC voltage, current and temperature often made on only a fraction of the cells in the system. 

New diagnostic techniques capable of detecting fault conditions in real-time are required in order to advance the state-of-the-art in battery management and enable faster charging.

Electrochemical Harmonic Analysis (EHA) ), also known as Non-Linear Frequency Response Analysis (N-FRA) is an emerging technique that has recently been demonstrated for state-of-health estimation  and ex-situ (post-mortem) detection of lithium plating.  This 3 ½ year PhD project aims to develop this technique (and others) through a combined approach employing electrochemical modelling and practical experimentation on state-of-the-art instrumented Li-ion cells, in order to demonstrate its feasibility for real-time diagnostics and control of ultra-fast charging processes.

Coventry University (CU) has a new eMobility Group based at the Centre for Low Carbon Propulsion Systems (C-ALPS), which is part of the Institute for Future Transport and Cities.  The Group brings together existing CU expertise with academics in energy storage, power electronics and electric machines. In total the new group comprises of 21 full time academics making it one of the largest UK based academic teams conducting E-mobility research.

The main focus of the Group is de-carbonisation of transport, with electrification of propulsion systems as a key aspect. This is where the C-ALPS expertise lies, together with the energy storage systems design, assembly and evaluation facilities.

Recent investment into C-ALPS facilities includes:

  • Li-ion cell manufacturing equipment
  • battery characterisation lab
  • electronics labs
  • power electronics and e-machines labs
  • thermal fluids lab

These facilities enable wide range of research activities– from cell assembly, through formation to battery grading and diagnostics, performance and safety evaluation. In parallel, novel sensor design and application supports the battery diagnostics activities.

C-ALPS also hosts the UK headquarters of FEV, who are a key partner and industrial sponsor of this PhD studentship. FEV’s activities in the automotive sector will provide valuable industry exposure to the successful candidate.

How to apply:

To find out more about the project please contact Dr Oliver Curnick oliver.curnick(at)

To apply on line please visit: 

All applications require full supporting documentation, a covering letter, plus a 2000-word supporting statement showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project.

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