PhD Opportunity: Sustainable Biological and Synthetic Pathways for the Production of Future Automotive Energy Storage Media (or Fuels)

Application Deadline: 30 June 2016


This project is an EPSRC Case Award studentship between the University of Bath and a leading car manufacturer. The student will be undertaking research into fuel use within vehicles over a life cycle perspective. This will require the student to have or to build knowledge in life cycle assessment, fuels and emissions testing. We are looking for an engineer or suitable scientist with a passion for understanding how to reduce vehicle impact.

The project will breakdown into the following objectives as follows:
– Developing a catalogue of fuels and processes, summarizing key criteria for each.
– Undertake (streamlined attributional) LCA on an agreed number of these fuels and processes.
– Using the LCA data identify key feed-stocks and pathways that support sustainable future products.
– Further study into the more promising processes or groups of processes identified during the previous phase, focusing on fuller LCA and end use scenarios.
– Through links with another possible WTW Analysis project, look at how lifetime vehicle operation can be impacted and optimised by alternative fuel options.
– An investigation comparing a selection of processes and how geographical location on a national / international basis can affect their overall sustainability performance and cost trade-off.
– Creation of relevant data that can be used in various models to predict the LCA impact of different worldwide bio, synthetic and conventional fuel use scenarios.
– Undertake consequential LCA of the wider impacts of the most promising options.
– Understand the suitability of selected candidates for prescribed automotive end use scenarios, e.g. for internal combustion engine, turbine, reformer or fuel cell use.

The student will be based in the University of Bath within the Powertrain and Vehicle Research Centre, but with additional supervision and input from the Sustainable Energy Research Team. The student will also work closely with the linked industrial partner.

Funding Notes

This project is an EPSRC Case Award studentship between the University of Bath and a leading car manufacturer.

The awardee must be a UK or eligible EU citizen (have lived in the UK for three years prior to the start of the programme).
The award will cover tuition fees, training support fee and a stipend at least equivalent to the Research Council minimum (£14,296 2016-7 rate)

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