PhD Studentship: Second Life Batteries; From Electric Vehicles to Building Applications




A fixed annual bursary of £15,009 for three years and fees up to the Home/EU level

School of Architecture / School of Engineering, Computing & Mathematics

Bursary: £15,009 pa (with no inflation increase) for three years

Fees: Tuition fees up to Home/EU level will be paid by the University                                                

Start date: January 2021

The School of Architecture at Oxford Brookes University is offering a 3-year full-time PhD Studentship. This is an interdisciplinary study that cuts across the Architectural Engineering research group and the High Voltage and Energy Storage Laboratory.

The studentship includes a fixed annual bursary of £15,009 for three years and fees up to the Home/EU level. Any international student awarded the studentship would need to cover the difference between international and Home/EU fees (fees increase by 4% annually).

Project description

With the increase in demand for electric vehicles, manufacture of Li-ion batteries is increasing. The scaling up of the manufacture of these battery packs comes with increased environmental impact associated with their relatively short cycle of use. Typically at the end of life of a battery, from a transport perspective, these batteries still have significant residual capacity remaining (as high as 80% depending on the battery cell chemistry and its manufacturer). This suggests that these batteries can still be utilised, in a ‘Second Life’, for other, less demanding, applications such as in domestic or commercial buildings. Second life use of the batteries can significantly reduce the overall life cycle environmental impact of the batteries and enable greater uptake of renewable energy technologies via more economical energy storage systems.

However, challenges remain for development of Second Life battery packs designed with specific applications in mind. These challenges are to be investigated in this PhD study and include:

  • Design optimisation according to residential/commercial pattern of use
  • Understanding the impact of continued battery cell degradation phenomenon in different usage scenarios
  • Modelling of second life batteries at pack and cell level in relation to building performance
  • Assessment of environmental impact reduction through Second Life use
  • Integration of second life battery cells with varying residual capacities and cell chemistries
  • Optimisation of Second Life battery supply chains

The successful candidate will be supervised by Dr Shahaboddin Resalati, Prof Denise Morrey and Dr Paul Henshall.


Candidates would be expected to have at least an upper second class degree (or equivalent) and/or Masters in a related subject (e.g. Environmental Science or Energy related engineering background with sufficient knowledge of renewable technologies, electric storage systems (essential) and their environmental impact assessment (desirable)). They should be fluent in spoken and written English. The selection criteria will focus on academic excellence, suitability of research experience/ skills, and subject knowledge.

Contact details

Please contact Dr Resalati ( for informal enquiries.

How to apply

For further information on how to apply, please email for an application pack, quoting “Second Life Batteries” in the subject line.