Development of Smart Battery based on Printed Hybrid Sensors

Key Information

Academic supervisor: Prof. Davide Deganello, Prof. Serena Margadonna and Dr Zari Tehrani

Industrial Supervisor: Dr Martin Peacock

Expected Interview Date: As applications are received. Today – 9th September 2022.


Zimmer and Peacock’s business scope centres around manufacturing and developing electrochemical sensors, biosensors, medical diagnostics, In Vitro Diagnostics (IVDs) and agriculture sensors. Their aims are to advance the sensor technology state of the art by developing new and more capable sensor products, based around but not limited to their specialities. Their products are aimed to be easy to use, industrially orientated and with mass market applications.

This project aims to develop novel hybrid sensor solutions for internal battery monitoring. Accurate continuous monitoring of internal conditions within individual battery cells (e.g. internal temperature, pressure, structural stability) would allow maximising their operating envelope; allowing the development of next-generation smart batteries that react to changing conditions, creating to a longer lifespan, higher performance, safer operations, overall a more sustainable energy storage solutions.
In automotive applications, electronic battery sensors are a key part of vehicle energy management: sensors inside the battery would be able to contribute significantly to failure detection and improvement of battery safety and longevity.

The project is developed in collaboration with Zimmer and Peacock (ZP). ZP is a International company dedicated to the development of sensors technologies with expertise in multiple areas (electrochemical sensors, biosensors, medical diagnostics, agriculture sensors), with energy storage as an important market area in development. Through expertise in sensors, hybrid & printed electronic & electrochemical energy storage present at Swansea University (namely Welsh Centre for Printing and Coating WCPC, Centre for Integrative Semiconductor Materials CISM and Centre of Excellence in Energy Storage CAPTURE), the project will benefit from a robust research background.

Project Aims:

The development of hybrid sensor solutions for internal battery monitoring can be distinguished into 2 phases:

  1. Identification and development sensors for internal monitoring electrochemical cell conditions: sensors require to be thin film, small scale, sensitive, low cost; printed & hybrid sensors are expected explored combining silicon technologies with printed electronics. Real-time monitoring of internal battery cell temperature, pressure, electrodes structural condition & conductivity will be crucial for cycle life and developing a Smart battery.
  2. Study of integration sensors within battery cell envelope: developed hybrid sensors require to be integrated within the cell without limiting electrochemical energy storage processes of the battery cell; ideally the sensors would allow to assess ongoing processes and facilitating their optimisation. In terms of sensors location, direct integration of sensors over coated electrodes will be explored, aiming to development of affordable manufacturing process.

    Research to be primarily performed at Swansea University, Faculty of Science and Engineering.


COATED M2A recognises applicants have a variety of backgrounds with different educational and research experiences. We do not expect applicants to be proficient users of any techniques /equipment mentioned, at the time of application. Our focus is to upskill our participants and training will be provided.

COATED M2A in the Faculty of Science and Engineering is a Swansea University initiative which provides postgraduate research training in partnership with industry, providing access to world class laboratories and a wealth of academic and industry expertise. COATED M2A is committed to providing top quality research opportunities within an inclusive environment, funded by the Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO), the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), Swansea University and Industry partners.

Interwoven through the research study are business, technical and entrepreneurial courses, designed to support and prepare participants for a senior role in industry or academia, on completion of their studies.  

The Athena SWAN charter recognises work undertaken by institutions to advance gender equality. The College of Engineering is an Athena SWAN bronze award holder and is committed to addressing unequal gender representation. Applications from women and other under-represented groups are particularly welcomed. All applications will be anonymised prior to short listing. 

Are you considering making an application and have questions you’d like answered? Come and have a 1-2-1 chat with us at our applicant surgeries (Link). We encourage all applicants to review our hints and tips document found here.

Sponsoring Company: Zimmer & Peacock AS


Candidates must normally hold a minimum undergraduate degree at 2.1 level (or Non-UK equivalent as defined by Swansea University), or a combination of degree and equivalent experience to the same level.

Normally, we would expect candidates to have met the University’s English Language requirements (e.g., IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5+ in each component) by point of application.

Full eligibility can be found at 


EngD Only – Fees at UK rate and Stipend £20,000.00, both for the period of four years.

For full details on funding eligibility, please refer to the Materials and Manufacturing Academy (M2A) Website. Student Eligibility | M2A (

Candidates must have the legal right to live/work in the UK at the start of their studies (student visas do not apply).

Closing Date: Applications will be triaged for interview, as they arrive. Please do not wait to send your application. This advert will be withdrawn on 4th September, or earlier if filled.

Start Date: 1st October 2022

Applications and informal enquiries about this studentship should be directed by email to: