Performance of Thermoelectric Materials for Space Nuclear PowerUniversity of Leicester PhD 3 Years Leicester, UK
Thermoelectric materials are a smart material that converts thermal energy to electricity with no moving parts. Thermoelectric materials and devices have both space applications in nuclear power systems and terrestrial applications in energy harvesting devices that exploit low-grade waste heat. Waste heat can come from a variety of source including nuclear or fossil fuel powered stations, solar or the exhaust systems of internal combustion engines.
The University of Leicester has been leading the development of thermoelectric generators for space nuclear power applications in Europe in collaboration with industry. The particular focus of this project will be novel methods of measuring the performance of the materials and modules under operational conditions. A particular focus will be on developing real-time performance monitoring techniques which would be a major advance for the field, and would have wide potential application beyond just the space sector.
The project would consist of a mixture of experimental and modelling work. No prior experience of thermoelectric materials is required. The project would suit a strong engineering or physics graduate with an interest in aerospace engineering, materials science, or applied physics. There may be opportunities to work with our industry contacts and University colleagues internationally, so the project would suit someone with good team working skills who wants to develop a career in research and development or the aerospace industry. Strong basic laboratory and mechanical design skills, along with the ability to use (or learn) packages such as Matlab for analysis would also be a real advantage.
Supervision of the project will be shared between the Departments of Engineering and Physics & Astronomy to reflect the interdisciplinary nature of the research – this is likely to be very valuable experience for the successful PhD researcher’s later career. The student will become an integral part of the friendly and successful space nuclear power team of engineers and physicists but will also benefit from access to facilities and expertise in both Departments.
Applicants for a PhD should normally have a good Masters level degree in a relevant field or a very good first degree (equivalent to a First Class or Upper Second Class Bachelor of Science Degree)
Standard English language requirements
Available for full-time registration only
Applicants must be able to start on 25th September 2017
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