About the Role
PhD Vacancy
This project represents a unique opportunity to undertake a fully funded PhD studentship, sponsored by the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), in the broad area of lithium-ion battery metrology and diagnostics.

WMG are developing future “smart battery” technology that includes novel sensing, data processing and control methods embedded directly within the structure of the battery. Of particular interest is the in-situ measurement of internal temperature, pressure, mechanical stress and electrode potential. This PhD studentship will expand our current research into larger format prismatic batteries, which are increasingly the format of choice for many applications. Unique challenges exist when scaling-up measurement methods to larger format cells. For example, they exploit fundamentally different cell architectures and manufacturing processes that will drive the creation of different sensor integration methods. Further, the larger size will mean that different sensor technologies are required across a range of use-cases including material characterisation, performance and safety evaluation. Throughout the project, NPL will provide close supervision and access to technology experts on diagnostics, testing protocols and simulation-led design of new lithium ion battery technology and systems.

The focus of this PhD is primarily on experimental research to be conducted within the WMG Energy Innovation Centre with agreed periods of on-site work at NPL (southwest London). The researcher will develop a deep understanding of the workflow to safely integrate sensing technology within large format prismatic cells. They will design and validate novel experimental rigs and methods and will generate new data for proof-of-concept validation.
Standard PhD at UKRI rates: £15,609 plus industrial top up £3000 per annum 4 years.
About You
The ideal candidate will have a background in engineering (electrical/mechanical/electrochemical), achieving a 1st or 2(1) in their undergraduate studies with a focus on engineering design and numerical analysis. A good understanding of sensor selection and instrumentation is essential. You will need to be pro-active, organised, and able to work well with technicians and laboratory support staff.
About The Company

NPL and BEIS have strong commitments to diversity and equality of opportunity, and welcome applications from candidates irrespective of their background, gender, race, sexual orientation, religion, or age, providing they meet the required criteria. Applications from women, disabled and BAME candidates in particular are encouraged. All disabled candidates (as defined by the Equality Act 2010) who satisfy the minimum criteria for the role will be guaranteed an interview under the Disability Confident Scheme.

We’re transforming. As a national laboratory, we’re exploring even more commercial routes to market and that’s presenting us with greater opportunity – for you and us. Our success relies on the diversity and talent of our people, we strive to nurture and respect individuals to ensure everyone feels valued and supported to excel in their chosen field. This value is at the core of our organisation.

We believe in a culture of fairness by treating everyone on the basis of their own individual merits and abilities regardless of their own or perceived identity, background or any other factor irrelevant to a person’s work. At NPL we are committed to the health and well-being of our employees. Flexible working and social activities are embedded in our culture to create a positive work-life balance, along with a broad range of benefitsNPL’s values are at the heart of what we do and they shape the way we interact, develop our people and celebrate success.

As part of our commitment to diversity & inclusion, we signed up to the Institute of Physics' Project Juno in 2015 as a Juno Supporter. NPL were proud to be awarded Juno Practitioner status in 2018. NPL also joined Stonewall as a Diversity champion in 2015, participating in their annual Workplace Equality Index for the equality of LGBT+ community at NPL. In 2018, NPL became a member of the Business Disability Forum and joined the disability confident scheme as level 1 committed employer.

To ensure everyone has an equal chance, we’re always willing to make reasonable adjustments to the recruitment process. If you would like to discuss, please contact us.