Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship: Development of Power Management and Storage and Efficient Detection and Wireless Transmission for Structural Health Monitoring Systems (PhD Studentship)
Reference Number: R657
***This project is now closed***
Key Studentship Information
This is a Cardiff University President's Research Scholarship, part of a new £4M investment to coincide with the inauguration of Professor Sir Martin Evans (Nobel Prize for Medicine 2007) as Cardiff’s new President. All of the University Schools and Research Centres offering opportunities under the programme have demonstrated the real potential of the Scholarships to contribute to research excellence through significant, challenging and original PhD research projects and excellent PhD supervision and support. Other attractive features of the Scholarships include the presence of multiple President’s Scholars in each of the research areas and the guaranteed exposure of President’s Scholars to innovative technologies, theories, methodological approaches, and debates. More information on the President's Research Scholarships scheme is available here: www.cardiff.ac.uk/presidents
Project Title: Development of Power Management and Storage and Efficient Detection and Wireless Transmission for Structural Health Monitoring Systems
To fully realise a Structural Health Monitoring (SHM) system based on energy harvesting a number of challenges in power management and storage and system efficiency need to be realised. Current work has focussed on the generation of energy and previous work has shown that useable power levels can be generated in typical flight cycles from thermoelectric devices. However, realising the harvested energy to power a detection system has not been achieved due to the complexity of power management at very low power levels.
Further issues associated with power management exist in the current power consumption of detection systems. Current commercial sensor systems like strain gauges or acoustic detection acquisition systems have no consideration of power consumption. Although, for example, Physical Acoustics are developing a lower power system for bridge monitoring, the consumption is still high when compared with achievable aircraft harvesting powers. Furthermore the sensors and amplifiers offer another opportunity for power reduction. Initial research has shown that considerable savings can be made by producing efficient sensor front-ends which can then be further improved by ‘tuning’ to a specific application.
In detail the work will comprise the following aspects:
- Circuit simulation (including source modelling for various thermoelectric sources).
- Design and layout of multi-stage switching power supplies and power storage units for thermoelectric generators.
- Investigation of circuits and storage with respect to aeronautic environment (low operational temperatures, frequent temperature changes, charge/discharge cycles, vibration, etc.).
- Consideration of hardware integration aspects.
Supervisor: Dr C A Featherston, Dr J Lees and Dr R Pullin
Start Date: 1st October 2011
The award will cover tuition fees at the Home/EU fee rate and will provide a stipend at the UK Research Council rate (£13,590 in 2010/11) plus an enhancement of £1,000 per annum. Please note that overseas candidates will be required to fund the balance of fees at the overseas fee rate themselves.
Number of Awards Available: 1
Academic Criteria: Candidates should have (or expect to achieve) a 1st Class honours degree, or a 2.1 in a relevant subject plus a distinction at Masters level (or their equivalents).
Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent).
The successful candidate will spend one third of their time at EADS Innovation Works in Germany. Applicants should therefore preferably have an A-Level in German (or equivalent). Applicants with GCSE (or equivalent) in German may be considered, but would be required to attend intensive language training during the first year of their PhD.
Residency: Full awards (fees plus maintenance stipend) are open applicants of any nationality. Non UK/EU students would be required to cover the difference between UK and Overseas fees themselves.
How to Apply
Applicants should apply using the Online Application Service at www.cardiff.ac.uk/apply, ensuring that you include the follwowing information:
1. Please state in the 'funding' section that you wish to apply for the President's Research Scholarship in Engineering.
2. PLEASE ENSURE YOU QUOTE THE STUDENTSHIP REFERENCE PS4-CF-2011 ON YOUR APPLICATION. For online applications, please put reference in the 'Prospective Supervisor' section.
Applicants are advised to contact Dr Carol Featherston (see below) for more information regarding these projects.
For more information contact Dr Carol Featherston: