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Multi-Physics Diagnostics for Battery Degradation

Queen's University Belfast

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Belfast, Hybrid
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Studentship covers tuition fees and include a maintenance stipend of £18,622 per annum
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 29th January 2024
Closes: 4th March 2024
Reference: MAE2024/25JL(2)

Overview

It is projected that between 2020-2030, the global demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) will increase elevenfold, reaching 2 TWh in 2030. This is being driven by the growth in the electric vehicle (EV) market. However, further expansion of the LIB market is significantly hindered by the limited safety of LIBs. In recent years, a string of LIB recalls has occurred due to explosion and fire accidents, resulting in significant financial losses and damage to the reputation of LIBs. To ensure safe battery operation, battery diagnostics has been developed to monitor battery performance, identify battery states, and predict potential catastrophic failures.

Battery diagnostics involves applying a set of experimental and modelling techniques to measure, assess and analyse battery parameters (voltage, current, impedance, temperature, etc.) that are important to reveal the performance, health, and condition of batteries. The employment of battery diagnostics is essential to optimise battery performance, extend lifespan, enhance safety, and ensure reliable operation, hence it plays a pivotal role in ensuring the reliability and longevity of various battery systems in EVs, consumer electronics, and grid-scale energy storage.

Project details

The PhD in this project is expected to enjoy a multi-disciplinary research environment in battery energy storage and learn about multi-physics diagnostics and modelling with a number of key objectives:

  • Develop a new, cell-level multi-physics diagnostic tool for EV batteries, enabling non-invasive and real-time measurement of a battery’s thermal and mechanical effects associated with underlying electrochemical reactions.
  • Establish a fast-response battery multi-physics model with numerical simulations to interpret the measurements and characterise important physicochemical properties.
  • Combined, this diagnostic tool and model will be used to monitor battery degradation and failures, and eventually facilitate cross-scale understanding of the correlation between battery microscale electrochemical processes and macroscale multi-physical performance at different states-of-health.

The successful candidate will be co-supervised and mentored by a few academic and industrial experts who have been working on the same field, to work at Queen’s University Belfast. There may also be opportunities to collaborate with research teams from University College London and University of Oxford and visit them for short terms.

Funding Information

A UK studentship is available to UK and Republic of Ireland (ROI) nationals, and to EU nationals with settled status in the UK, subject to meeting specific nationality and residency criteria. The studentship covers tuition fees and include a maintenance stipend of £18,622 per annum. This project offers an additional top-up stipend of £5,000 per year, and together with the maintenance stipend will give a take home pay of £23,622 per annum.

Applications are also welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are willing to apply for other available sources of funding.

Requirements

We are particularly interested in students from an engineering, chemistry, or material science related discipline. Applicants with a good understanding of electrochemistry, thermodynamics, and heat and mass transfer are strongly encouraged to apply.

The minimum academic requirement for admission to a research degree programme is normally an Upper Second Class Honours degree from a UK or ROI HE provider, or an equivalent qualification acceptable to the University.

How to Apply

If you are interested in this project, please contact Dr. Jie Lin on j.lin@qub.ac.uk in the first instance. A formal application will also need to be submitted using our online application system.

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