Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Experimental Electro-intrusion

University of Birmingham
Birmingham, United Kingdom
£30,942.00 - £42,792.00
Apr 03, 2021
Apr 25, 2021
Organization Type
University and College
Full Time
Position Details

School of Chemical Engineering

Location: University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham UK

Full time starting salary is normally in the range £30,942 to £40,322 with potential progression once in post to £42,792 a year.

Grade 7

Full Time / Fixed Term Contract for up to 3 years

Role Purpose

To demonstrate a high efficiency of (mechanical + thermal)-to-electrical energies conversion via nanotriboelectrification during non-wetting liquid intrusion-extrusion process; to design and construct a prototype device to harvest and store the electricity generated from such intrusion-extrusion process; and to experimentally test the device on an EV. The specific focus is on harvesting the fluctuating electricity generated from nanotriboelectrification in a shock-absorber designed for an electrical vehicle, store the electricity to a portable or stationary energy storage device, integrate such a device to the EV and charge the main batteries of the car during driving.

This is a primarily experimental post for up to 3 years funded by the EU H2020 under the FET Proactive programme.

Main Duties/Responsibilities

The main responsibilities will include:
  • To demonstrate a highly efficient (mechanical + thermal)-to-electrical conversion process of nanotriboelectrification during non-wetting liquid intrusion-extrusion in nanopores;
  • To work with project consortium members to identify components such as transformer, supercapacitor and/or additional battery to harvest fluctuating electricity generated from nanotriboelectrification due to mechanical vibrations via a novel shock-absorber of an electrical vehicle;
  • To design and construct the prototype devices, integrate the devices with the shock-absorber, and experimentally test the devices with/without the electricity from intrusion-extrusion process;
  • To integrate the devices with an EV and charge the main batteries during road-test driving;
  • To interact with both academic and industrial collaborators in the project teams, and build internal & external contacts and networks;
  • To help with training graduate students and other group members who are working on similar areas;
  • To write grant proposals and journal and conference publications;
  • To organise review meetings, seminars and conferences;
  • To supervise students' projects at both undergraduate and postgraduate levels;
  • To assist supervisors to train researchers and students new to the laboratories and to ensure the laboratories meet health and safety requirements.

Person Specification

  • A first degree in a relevant science/engineering discipline, and a PhD (or near to completion) or equivalent experience and qualifications in an area related to the main research responsibilities outlined above
  • A high level of knowledge and hands-on experience in at least one of supercapacitors and batteries
  • Demonstrable hands-on experimental experiences in the design and construction of relevant experimental devices and systems
  • A good level of understanding of integration of mechanical, thermal and electrochemical based energy storage devices on electrical vehicles (EVs)
  • A good level of understanding EV CAN bus control system and associated electrical components and power electronics
  • Demonstrable prior experiences with track record in areas closely related to the main research responsibilities as outlined above
  • An ability to communicate complex information clearly

  • An ability to assess resource requirements and use resources effectively
  • Understanding and experiences of EVs, nanotriboelectrification, and automotive shock-absorbers would be an advantage
  • Candidates with a clean driving licence and experience in driving an EV would be an advantage.

Informal enquiries can be made to Lada Zimina, email:

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

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