Two PhD studentships in Structural Power Composites

Applications are invited for two fully-funded PhD studentships in the Department of Aeronautics at Imperial College, the UK's leading Aeronautical Engineering Department. Imperial College is consistently ranked as one of top universities in the world and top 3 universities within the UK, and known for innovation, excellence and employability around the globe. In the last Research Excellence Framework (REF 2021), Imperial ranked top in the UK overall, with a greater proportion of 4* “world-leading” research than any other UK university.

The projects are focused on the development and demonstration of multifunctional materials (structural power composites) that can simultaneously store electrical energy whilst carrying mechanical loads. This emerging field melds the two disparate disciplines of composite mechanics and electrochemistry, presenting compelling technical challenges and offering exciting opportunities to develop and innovate with new materials. These composites will provide enormous weight and/or volume savings for any electrically powered structural system, from mobile phones to aircraft.

PhD 1 (REF AE0030) is funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering under the Chair in Emerging Technologies Award. It is focused on the development and demonstration of structural battery composites, including the development of new structural electrodes (anode and cathodes) and structural electrolytes. These constituents will be assembled into structural batteries, the multifunctional performance for which will be characterized.

PhD 2 (REF AE0030) is funded by the Aeronautics Department and is aligned with the EPSRC funded project ‘Realising Structural Power’, in collaboration with Universities of Durham and of Bristol. This study will be focused on development of new encapsulation strategies, and the assembly and integration of structural power devices into final components.

These positions are in the Structural Power Composites Group at Imperial College London, providing the candidates with opportunities to work closely with our academic and industrial collaborators in the UK and Sweden. Both research projects will entail both experimental studies in the Multifunctional Materials Laboratory and Composite Suite in Aeronautics, and the development of predictive tools for structural power materials. Both candidates will gain experience in:

  • Development of new structural power constituents;
  • Manufacture and characterisation of the structural supercapacitors and batteries;
  • Study into scale-up, such as encapsulation and multicell assembly into final components;
  • Development of multifunctional modelling and design tools for products using these materials.

Candidates with a background in Engineering or Physics, or a related discipline, with experience in materials characterisation and/or electrochemistry are encouraged to apply. The successful candidate will be expected to submit publications to the most prestigious refereed journals and to present research findings at major international conferences.

For further information on PhD 1 and PhD 2, interested candidates should send a CV and a few lines regarding their interest in the position to Prof Emile S Greenhalgh ( and Dr Sang Nguyen (

Start date: October 2023 (flexible)


These studentships are available for 3.5 years and will provide full coverage of tuition fees and an annual tax-free stipend of approximately £19,668. Information on fee status:


Suitable candidates must complete the Imperial College electronic application process: Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Ms Lisa Kelly by email at

Application deadline: until filled

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