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Research Associate

School of Engineering
Salary:   £29,619 to £34,308
Closing Date:   Tuesday 29 November 2022
Interview Date:   To be confirmed
Reference:  0824-22-R

This 12 month post is funded by EPSRC’s Impact Accelerator programme and will deliver knowledge to expedite the commercial and environmental impact of novel battery technology. It will do so in collaboration with 2 key industrial partners (LiNa Energy, https://www.lina.energy/, and Victrex, https://www.victrex.com/en/)

LiNa are a young and rapidly expanding SME who are developing a novel battery system that seeks to replace Li-based technologies across a wide range of high capacity energy storage applications. Their innovative battery configuration has the potential to achieve this, enabled by higher energy densities, lower cost and greatly improved safety (minimal fire risk) compared to competitor technologies. However, in a fast moving market it is essential that LiNa can rapidly progress to a working prototype. A current stumbling block is the development of a material and design for operationally-critical, electrically-insulating end caps to hold the battery cells together, with high reliability, at elevated temperatures (up to 300°C). 

The researcher on this project will seek to identify and understand the operational limits for high temperature polymers (PEEK and variants) for delivering these components, utilising additive manufacturing (FDM), as a means to rapidly develop components for evaluation and testing, from a range of PEEK and PEEK composite materials.  Component testing at temperature will be required and the researcher will lead the design and implementation of accelerated high temperature compression tests to help characterise in-service performance. This exciting project will be supported throughout by LiNa, who will offer design advice, assistance with testing and in-service trials, and it is expected that the researcher will spend some of their time at LiNa’s laboratories (also based in Lancaster). Engagement with Victrex, a world-leading producer of PEEK, is also key. They will provide materials and technical support for existing and emerging PEEK materials and support and advice for additive manufacturing and post-process heat treatments. 

We are looking for someone with good experience of additive manufacturing (FDM), CAD, materials testing and the modelling of the deformation of materials. The post will give the researcher the opportunity not only to develop multi-disciplinary research skills, but to gain experience and work closely with 2 industry-leading partners.

Lancaster University is consistently highly-ranked (~top 10) in the UK university league tables and is in the top 1% of universities globally. It is located on a beautiful campus in the North West of England close to the stunning Lake District National Park.

You should have a PhD in mechanical engineering, manufacturing or materials science, or an MEng / MSc in the same disciplines and relevant industrial experience.

The School of Engineering is committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis, as well as the Athena SWAN Charter, which recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address equality issues in higher education and research, and we warmly welcome applications from people in all diversity groups. 

This is a full time post. You will join us on an indefinite contract however, the role remains contingent on external funding which, at this time, is for 12 months.

Informal e-mail enquiries prior to making an application are welcome, in which case contact Professor Andrew Kennedy (a.kennedy3@lancaster.ac.uk)

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Please note: Unless specified otherwise in the advert wording, all advertised roles are UK based.


The University provides an environment that strongly supports the individual needs of each employee, whilst promoting the importance of wellbeing for all our colleagues. We have a range of support networks available for our employees, and more information on these can be found on the ‘Working at Lancaster’ information page.

 

We are committed to family-friendly and flexible working policies on an individual basis. The University recognises and celebrates good employment practice undertaken to address all inequality in higher education.

 

We warmly welcome applicants from all sections of the community regardless of their age, religion, gender identity or expression, race, disability or sexual orientation, and are committed to promoting diversity, and equality of opportunity.


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