Research Studentship in Thermal Modelling and Characterization of Lithium/Sulfur Batteries

4-year D.Phil. studentship

EPSRC Industrial CASE Studentship with Siemens

Supervisor: Prof Charles Monroe

This studentship is being jointly offered by the University of Oxford and Siemens under the EPSRC Industrial CASE award scheme. The project will aim to produce numerical simulations that can be combined with advanced lock-in thermography (LIT) data to understand lithium-ion battery performance and aging. Battery cells generate substantial heat during operation – some irreversible (ohmic, kinetic) and some reversible (reaction heat). These thermal signatures may evolve over time as cells age or degrade. In prismatic pouch cells, coupling of the in-plane distributions of temperature and current density has been shown to cause thermal instability – and if heat-transfer rates from surfaces are low, the temperature within a cell can increase significantly as it discharges or charges. Concerns also accompany ‘cold start’: constituent materials perform poorly at low temperatures. It may be possible to get materials data for next-generation battery chemistries with LIT techniques.

The selected student will be a member of the Energy and Power Group and will be supervised by Prof Charles Monroe. Further information about  the EPG is online at http://epg.eng.ox.ac.uk, and the Monroe group website can be located at http://monroegroup.spc.ox.ac.uk.

Eligibility

This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Industrial Cooperative Awards in Science & Technology (CASE) Award Scheme and is open to both UK students (full award – fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award – fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford college fees (c. £7,432 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further three years.

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Chemistry, Engineering, or Physics with advanced level courses in mass or charge transport, heat transport, or fluid mechanics; 
  • Experience of energy science or battery engineering, demonstrated by a publication at an international conference, in a journal, or via a first class final year project report; 
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills; 

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  • Ability to program in Matlab, Python, or C;
  • Experience of COMSOL or similar multiphysics software package;

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Charles Monroe (charles.monroe@eng.ox.ac.uk).

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 18ENGIN_13CM in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline:  noon on 19 January 2017

Start date: October 2018