HARWELL, UK (30 July 2020) The Faraday Institution has selected its first six Industry Fellowships in an innovative new programme to strengthen ties between battery researchers working in industry and academia.
Each fellowship will enable academics and industrialists to undertake a mutually beneficial, electrochemical energy storage research project that aims to solve a critical industrial problem and that has the potential for near- and longer-term benefit to the wider UK battery industry.
The funding to be provided by the Faraday Institution in this first round of industry fellowships totals £270,000, with the projects lasting between 6 and 24 months.
"This is the Faraday Institution's latest initiative to deliver application-inspired battery research as part of our mission to accelerate breakthroughs in energy storage technologies." said Ian Ellerington, Head of Technology Transfer at the Faraday Institution. "The programme joins our Entrepreneurial Fellowships, Industry Sprints and our main research projects, all targeted at achieving industry-defined goals."
Introducing the Fellowships:
Coventry University will work with CB2Tech - a spin-out from Prof. Clare Grey's group at the University of Cambridge - to demonstrate the high-power potential of niobium tungsten oxides in prototype lithium-ion battery cells of standard commercial sizes. These new anode materials show potential in improving fast charging capabilities without reducing battery lifetime.
Imperial College London will work with Ilika Technologies to deploy its physics-based battery modelling expertise, including that developed within the Faraday Institution Multi-scale Modelling project, to help Ilika's cell developers optimise and develop larger format solid-state batteries.
Cranfield University will work with Delta Motorsport to explore potential applications of artificial intelligence to develop novel temperature prediction techniques that improve the performance of battery thermal management systems, bringing possible benefits to battery performance and lifespan.
The University of Sheffield will work with PV3 Technologies to develop processes to control particle morphology and size for next-generation high-nickel cathode materials in a continuous manufacturing process, as part of a long-term aim of maximising battery performance and reducing manufacturing costs.
The University of Sussex will work with CDO2, a business incubator and centre for research commercialisation, to characterise and understand the capability of a newly developed device based on quantum magnetometer technology that could potentially be used to improve the prediction of state-of-health and state-of-charge on-board electric vehicles.
The University of Strathclyde will also work with CDO2 to design a micro-electrochemical system (MEMS) fabrication process for a new type of magnetometer to enable its miniaturisation and potential use as a low-cost sensor in battery management systems, helping to estimate state-of-charge and -health and to detect faults early.
Ian Ellerington continues, "We are particularly pleased that four of the successful applicants are new to the Faraday Institution programme: Coventry University, Cranfield University, University of Sussex and the University of Strathclyde."
Each fellowship will enable a university researcher to work in an industry setting, or a scientist employed in industry to work on a project within a university department. The projects will begin at an appropriate time as laboratories reopen after the enforced lockdown period.
Three of the six projects will enable early career academics to gain valuable career development experience in industry. The personal and corporate links established by the fellows are likely to seed longer-term collaborations between the two sectors.
Applications for future Industry Fellowships remain open: Application form. Guidelines. Contact for applications: Craig Chapling.