Li-ion batteries nowadays are widely used in portable, mobile and power applications. They normally are assembled into battery packs, containing many cells connected in series and/or in parallel. Such packs need complex Battery Management Systems to operate safely and reliably. Core of these BMS has to be an accurate, physics-based, model of Li-ion batteries, sufficiently advanced and complete to capture all details of battery functioning. Finite element models (FEM) of Li-ion batteries represent the current state-of-art in battery modelling. FEM give insight into the smallest details of battery behaviour. This enables the highest degree of freedom in design. The thickness of the porous electrodes can be changed, the influence of specific electrolytes can be modelled and the heating behaviour can predicted very precisely. Also the effect of special experiments like external and internal short-circuits can be simulated. However, these models are usually quite computationally demanding. It is therefore important to have a fast implementation of full scale FEM, which will be suitable for application in sophisticated BMS. This enables for example electrode controlled charging.

This PhD is focused at fast electrochemical modelling of Li-ion batteries based on physics-based equations for transport and charge transfer reaction rates. This is a powerful approach of modelling complete batteries. The core of the PhD is optimization of already available FEM, obtaining good parameterisation of selected Li-ion batteries and implementing parametrized models into a suitable BMS platform. The main mathematical software will be chosen based on calculation speed but also on implementation ease. This may also lead to a combination of languages, like Matlab, Python, Julia and C(++). The parameters have to be obtained from measurements on Li-ion batteries. Such data can be obtained on test facilities at both VITO and Forschungszentrum Jülich, thanks to collaboration between these institutions.

Collaboration with Forschungzentrum Jülich

Registration deadline 15/07/2021

More information:

  • You hold a Master's degree in Engineering Science
  • You are fluent in English, both oral and written

•A competitive salary
•A range of benefits including adjustable holiday package
•Flexible working hours and workplace
•Innovation is our core asset, therefore it goes without saying that we give our employees the opportunity to undertake additional training and keep up to date in their field of expertise
•The chance to be part of an organization with an international reputation, known for its advanced technological research and scientific consultancy
•The possibility to actively contribute towards sustainable developments at local, national and global level