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Leader in Integrated ICT Hardware & Systems

PhD in Sustainable Microbatteries

JR-18 PhD in Sustainable Microbatteries

Contract: Full Time/Fixed Term

The Tyndall National Institute and the School of Chemistry in University College Cork are world leaders in the development of energy storage materials and devices for applications in the Internet of Things (IoT). As part of the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre CONNECT (https://www.sfi.ie/sfi-research-centres/connect/), Electrochemical Materials & Energy at Tyndall and the Applied Nanotechnologies Group in the School of Chemistry is currently advertising for the position of Postgraduate Student in Sustainable Microbatteries for IoT applications (PHD Studentship)

Motivation: The number of deployed IoT connected devices is increasing rapidly, having reached ca. 15 billion (Statista.com) to date. A key research challenge in the delivery of sustainable IoT edge devices is the provision of energy to create scalable solutions for integrated energy harvesting, storage, and power management enabling energy-autonomous IoT devices. This project will develop solid-state micro energy storage solutions required to power sustainable IoT devices.

The successful applicant will work on microbattery materials with interface engineering to achieve stable and high power micro energy storage capability. This will include comparison of outputs with cells supplied by commercial partners. Microbattery Comsol simulations will be optimised for the new materials and substrate architectures of the programme. This will include an analysis of novel nanoengineered interface materials. We will extend the materials suite for the microbatteries to include sustainable alternative active electrode and electrolyte materials.

The substrate will also be engineered including 3D printing of support materials to increase the surface area for power and energy enhancement. Solid-state Ionic liquid based polymer gel electrode interfaces will be assessed and engineered to promote higher power capability and long cycle life. The PhD student will through analysis and comparison of the commercial cells with the in-house microbatteries provide data for integration with energy harvesting and power management integrated circuit controlled energy source in package (ESiP) solutions to be developed in the Connect centre.

Activities will include focused research including literature reviews, hypothesis development and identification of novelty associated with the development of peer reviewed publications commensurate with a PhD thesis. The candidate will be expected to write scientific publications associated with their work and travel to international conferences, workshops, industry meetings, proposal project meetings. This will help to strategically position Tyndall as a world-leading in industry-focused applied research in the area of smart system development for sustainable IOT.

Key Responsibilities

  • To work under the direction of the postgraduate supervisory team in Tyndall and UCC School of Chemistry to assist in fulfilling the deliverables associated with the CONNECT Sustainable IOT program of work.
  • In conjunction with the supervisory team, to conduct relevant research activities, including planning, organizing, conducting, and communicating research studies within the overall scope of the research project and PhD requirements
  • To review the state of the art in the relevant literature to identify the opportunities for novel research in this area
  • To develop the specification, design, simulations and materials processing for sustainable microbatteries.
  • To undertake tasks which may include recording results and preparing reports including conclusions and recommendations.
  • To engage in appropriate training and professional development opportunities as required by the Principal Investigator, School or College in order to develop research skills and competencies.
  • To disseminate project outputs, through the interpretation of results and the preparation of manuscripts for peer reviewed publication.
  • To carry out any additional duties as may reasonably be required within the general scope and level of the PhD

Essential Criteria

  • The successful candidate for the position will have or be about to complete an undergraduate degree in chemistry, chemical/physics, physics or materials science.
  • Students must have attained Master’s degree in one of those subject or a 2:1 honours grade or higher in their undergraduate degree.
  • The student must have demonstrated fluency in English (IELTS or equivalent).
  • Knowledge of electrochemistry and energy materials
  • Experience with appropriate lab-equipment, simulation tools and modelling software.
  • An ability to work independently to a schedule.
  • A demonstrated capability in the delivery of research projects at undergraduate level.
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills
  • High levels of initiative, self-management, achievement-orientation, and motivation are encouraged.

Desirable Criteria

  • Good analytical skills and computer skills.
  • Evidence of excellent organizational and communication skills.
  • Evidence of excellent time management skills.

Interviews will be conducted as soon as suitable candidates are identified.

The successful candidate will be expected to commence in Q3 2022.

This is a 4 year fully funded PhD position in conjunction with the SFI Centre CONNECT.

CONNECT is the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centre for Future Networks and Communications. Its mission is to research and develop innovative solutions for the communications challenges facing society today. The Internet of Things, 5G/6G networks and future communications services are the Centre’s main areas of focus.

Over 300 CONNECT researchers across 10 Higher Education Institutes are supported by €90 million of funding from the Science Foundation Ireland Research Centres Programme, the European Regional Development Fund and industry partners.

Sustainable IOT Research in CONNECT: Scalable integrated energy harvesting, storage, and power management, for sustainable IoT edge networks. Low-power IoT platforms based on reconfigurable, software-defined sensing, computation, and communications to support long-term network operation. New security and resiliency mechanisms.

An annual student stipend of €18,500 applies for the successful candidate of this position. Yearly University academic fees at the EU PhD rate will be paid by the Tyndall National Institute.

Informal enquiries can be made in confidence to James Rohan (james.rohan@tyndall.ie) or Colm O’Dwyer (c.odwyer@ucc.ie).

Application Instructions

Step 1 - Click here to download and complete the Application form and indicate the Job Reference JR-18

Step 2 – Return the completed Application form, together with your CV and motivation letter to careers@tyndall.ie. Please ensure that your motivation letter, cv and application letter are submitted in pdf format.

Postgraduate applicants whose first language is not English must provide evidence of English language proficiency as per UCC regulations (https://www.ucc.ie/en/study/comparison/english/postgraduate/). Certificates should be valid (usually less than 2 years old) and should be uploaded with their application. In special circumstances the panel may consider a prior degree in English (e.g. Master thesis written in English) as evidence of English language proficiency.

Please note that Garda vetting and/or an international police clearance check may form part of the selection process.

The University, at its discretion, may undertake to make an additional appointment(s) from this competition following the conclusion of the process.

At this time, Tyndall National Institute does not require the assistance of recruitment agencies.

Tyndall National Institute at University College, Cork is an Equal Opportunities Employer.