Towards Sustainable Battery Technologies for Resource-efficient and Low-carbon Electric Vehicle Supply Chains at University of Sheffield

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This PhD project aims to revolutionise lithium-ion battery technology and pave the way for sustainable and circular, low-carbon, and highly efficient electric vehicle (EV) supply chains. By focusing on the development of lithium-ion, lithium-sulphur and solid-state batteries, the project will provide crucial insights into interventions and innovative opportunities that can minimise environmental impact and cost implications.

This project will be centred around the creation of a comprehensive, integrated and transparent systems model, encompassing the full life cycle (i.e., materials extraction, manufacturing, use and end of life) of the next generation of sustainable-circular batteries. Particular attention will be paid to their design and manufacturing, and how decisions made at the design stage can affect the total lifecycle environmental impact and cost (including trade-offs), therefore including topics such as recycling technologies, material and energy flow, battery stock utilisation, and the life cycle’s environmental and cost aspects. This meticulous account, coupled with advanced modelling methods, tools, and data, will facilitate strategic decision-making for policymakers and businesses, thereby promoting the sustainability of the battery supply chain and aligning it with the goals of mitigating climate change. Ultimately, this research endeavours to accelerate the adoption of sustainable battery technologies and contribute significantly to a secure, greener and more sustainable future for the electric vehicle industry.

The successful candidate should have the following essential criteria:

  • Have a good honours degree (or equivalent) in a relevant field, for example, but not limited to Materials Science, Mechanical Engineering, Chemistry, Material Engineering, Environmental Engineering etc.
  • Experience in life cycle thinking, material design/modelling and systems modelling or the ability to demonstrate existing skills that can be adapted to such a scenario.
  • Technical knowledge of battery materials and manufacturing/recycling methods
  • Demonstrate experience of using a software programming language, (e.g. Matlab, Python, VBA, etc.) to efficiently and effectively solve an engineering challenge.
  • Be self-motivated, able to effectively manage your own time and make informed decisions in the face of a challenge.
  • Have good attention to detail and be able to apply this within a meaningful context.
  • Have an enduring curiosity and a love of learning.

Potential supervisors:

  • AMRC Supervisors: Jose Casamayor
  • Sheffield Supervisors: Fanran Meng, Serena Cussen, Rachael Rothman, Sol Brown, Joan Cordiner


Funding Details

Home tuition fee (£4,712 in 2023/24) and enhanced stipend for 3.5 years totalling £24,000 per annum.

Contract Type – 3.5 years

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