PhD Studentship Safety within lithium batteries

Supervisor: Dr Rohit Bhagat (WMG) and Chris Lyness (JLR)

Project Overview:

Manufacturers recommend that their lithium batteries be operated in a restricted operational range i.e. state of charge (e.g. 30-75%), temperature (e.g. 10-50°C), pressure, compression etc. When taken past these limits the lithium batteries can fail with gas evolution, distortions in the structure and a total loss of performance.

Understanding the modes of failure and the risk of the failure occurring is the main aim of this project.  Understanding the mode of failure will involve characterisation of materials, analysis of electrochemical reactions and analysis of gaseous phases being evolved. Understanding the level of risk will lead to mitigation strategies and inform decision-making at JLR.


  • Identify failure modes for current lithium batteries
  • Assess the likelihood of the failure occurring during particular operation conditions
  • Develop strategies to mitigate risk and severity of failure
  • Determine the impact of operating a battery outside its safe operational range for a short time
  • Determine the failure modes and risk for emerging lithium chemistries

Awards available: 1 award available

Funding Details: Fees and maintenance at RCUK Level

Length of Award: 3 years (PhD)

Eligibility: Due to funding requirements the applicant should be eligible as a UK/EU student.

Application Details: 

Applicants should have a First Class UK honour degree or equivalent, in a relevant discipline such as Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Material Science or Engineering.

Experience of thermodynamics, batteries, electrochemistry or a MSc in a relevant subject is highly desirable.

For further information please email

Deadline: 30 September 2013 

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