Research Fellow (Sodium-ion battery recycling) - School of Metallurgy and Materials

United Kingdom
£30,942 - £42,792
Jan 07, 2021
Feb 06, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

Area: School of Metallurgy and Materials in the College of Engineering and Physical Sciences

Salary: Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792. PLEASE NOTE, due to external funding restrictions, the maximum starting salary available is £36,914 per annum.

Band/Grade: Grade 7

Hours: Full time

Duration: Fixed-term for up to 1 December 2022 (Estimated start date 1 June 2021)

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK

Closing Date: 12 October 2020

PLEASE NOTE: This vacancy is open to internal candidates of the University of Birmingham only.

Due to the nature of the work undertaken in this role all successful applicants will be subject to a satisfactory Occupational Health clearance prior to appointment.

Job Summary

The School of Metallurgy and Materials and the University of Birmingham are part of a successful European H2020 collaborative project Sodium-Ion and sodium Metal BAtteries for efficient and sustainable next-generation energy storage (SIMBA). The main goal of the SIMBA project is the development of a highly cost-effective, safe, all-solid-state-battery with sodium as mobile ionic charge carrier for stationary energy storage applications. Although in many ways SIBs are similar to LIBs, there are still a number of persistent scientific and technical challenges to be addressed. SIMBA aims to solve these challenges and pave the way to market implementation.

To achieve this goal, several aspects need to be considered including material innovations, sustainable electrode and cell manufacturing, improved characterisation and understanding of the electrochemical processes. The work at UoB will encompass Waste management innovations for environmental and cost benefits. We will be investigating the sustainability of the cell systems developed within SIMBA, investigating the life-time performance aspects, design of composite components for longevity, and the disassembly and recyclability of these batteries from manufacturing scrap and at end of life. This work will encompass battery manufacturing, electrode and cells, electrochemical formation and testing and characterisation at different state of charge and states of health. We will also be investigating the reclamation of the materials from scrap and at end of life cells, for recycling and re-use within a battery.

The postholder will work within specified research grants and projects and contribute to writing bids, operating within an area of specialism. They will analyse and interpret research findings and results, contribute to generating funding and contribute to licensing or spin out deals with demonstrated commercial success (such as revenues, asset or company sales, IP generated) and public understanding of the discipline.

Main Duties
  • Conduct own and original research
  • Electrochemical testing and evaluation of liquid sodium-ion cells
  • Formation and conditioning processes for liquid sodium-ion cells with SIMBA materials
  • Optical and electron microscopy analysis of the NIB components at different state of health and state of charge
  • Develop methods for assembly and disassembly of battery components
  • Characterise and test reclaimed sodium-ion battery materials
  • Work as part of a multidisciplinary team with the other project researchers and within the Energy Materials Group at the University of Birmingham.
  • Develop research objectives and proposals for own or joint research, with assistance of a mentor if required
  • Contribute to writing bids for research funding
  • Analyse and interpret data
  • Apply knowledge in a way which develops new intellectual understanding
  • Disseminate research findings for publication, research seminars etc.
  • Supervise students on research related work and provide guidance to PhD students where appropriate to the discipline
  • Contribute to developing new models, techniques and methods
  • Undertake management/administration arising from research
  • Contribute to Departmental/School research-related activities and research-related administration
  • Contribute to enterprise, business development and/or public engagement activities of manifest benefit to the College and the University, often under supervision of a project leader
  • Collect research data; this may be through a variety of research methods, such as scientific experimentation, literature reviews, and research interviews
  • Present research outputs, including drafting academic publications or parts thereof, for example at seminars and as posters
  • Provide guidance, as required, to support staff and any students who may be assisting with the research
  • Deal with problems that may affect the achievement of research objectives and deadlines
  • Promotes equality and values diversity acting as a role model and fostering an inclusive working culture.

Knowledge, Skills, Qualifications and Experience Required
  • Hold, or be close to completion of, a PhD in area relevant to materials and materials characterisation.
  • First degree in science or engineering discipline relevant to the project or equivalent experience or qualifications
  • Prior knowledge, experience and achievements in the electrochemical and physical analysis of battery materials and cells, particularly in sodium ion batteries is highly desirable.
  • Experience of cell manufacturing, and manufacturing protocols such as formation and conditioning is highly desirable
  • Experience in cell disassembly and battery recycling is preferred
  • Fluency in relevant models, techniques or methods and ability to contribute to developing new ones
  • Experience in working in a research laboratory.
  • Demonstrably high-level analytical capability.
  • Demonstrable ability to communicate complex information clearly.
  • Demonstrable ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively.
  • Understanding of and ability to contribute to broader management/ administration processes.
  • Demonstrable ability to contribute to the planning and organising of the research programme and/or specific research project.
  • Demonstrable ability to co-ordinate own work with others to avoid conflict or duplication of effort.

Informal enquiries to Professor Emma Kendrick, or 0121 414 6730

We value diversity at The University of Birmingham and welcome applications from all sections of the community

Valuing excellence; sustaining investment

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