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Research Fellow LiSTAR - Modelling

University of Surrey - School of Mechanical Engineering Sciences

Location: Guildford
Salary: £31,866 to £34,804 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Fixed-Term/Contract
Placed On: 21st April 2021
Closes: 15th May 2021
Job Ref: 021221

Applications are invited for a research position RA1A within the LiSTAR project, with a start date close to 8 June 2021 and duration up to 31 March 2022 in the first instance, with the possibility of extending the appointment for another year depending on project progress and how close the researcher’s skills may match the project plan at the time. The post is funded by the Faraday Institution through the ‘Lithium Sulfur Technology Accelerator (LiSTAr)’ research grant. The Faraday Institution is the UK’s independent institute for electrochemical energy storage research and skills development; with a vision to bring together scientists and industry partners on research projects to reduce battery cost, weight, and volume; to improve performance and reliability (

The LiSTAr programme aims to establish the foremost international programme on Li-S batteries; launching the UK as a global hub for this emerging technology. Li-S is amongst the most attractive post Li-ion chemistries, with notable operational, cost and weight benefits, however fundamental improvements to cycle life and rate are required to realise its potential. Using a multi-disciplinary, ‘whole-cell’ approach, LiSTAr will systematically tackle these challenges, demonstrating transformative improvements during the project. As part of the ‘whole-cell’ philosophy researchers in the University of Surrey will focus on improvements to the cathode, development of spatio-temporal models across a broad range of scales and optimising the engineering of Li-S devices.

Essential requirements for this post are:

1. A first degree in Physics, Engineering or Materials.

2. A PhD or an EngD or equivalent work experience in the areas of materials science and engineering or electrochemical devices, with research focus as specified below in 3a and 3b.

3. Research expertise in the following two areas:

  1. Expertise in simulations and results analysis at atomic level (DFT (density functional theory) simulations and MD (molecular dynamics) simulations).
  2. Programming in Fortran, C, or C++ and model development at continuum level for meso/micro scales. A model, in this case, means developing the full set of equations and the numerical solution for the mass transport problems such as ion transport in batteries and supercapacitors. If such exact expertise is missing, we shall consider candidates with experience in programming/coding for computational fluid dynamics or heat transfer/mass transfer (continuum level).

4. Excellent record of publications of research papers in journals.

5. It would also be desirable to have: Experimental skills in the areas of: materials processing; electrochemical device fabrication and testing; and microstructural, physical and chemical material characterisation (e.g. using XPS, UV/vis, XRD).

The posts will be shared between the following Departments at the University of Surrey: the Materials Group in the Department of Mechanical Engineering Sciences (prime investigator: Professor Tina Lekakou, email: and investigator: Dr Teng Zhang) and the Electrochemical Group in the Department of Chemical and Process Engineering (investigator: Dr Qiong Cai, email:

Please note, it is University Policy to offer a starting salary equivalent to Level 3.6 (£31,866) to successful applicants who have been awarded, but are yet to receive, their PhD certificate. Once the original PhD certificate has been submitted to the local HR Department, the salary will be increased to Level 4.1 (£32,817).

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