PhD Studentship on the Development of a quantum magnetic imaging array for characterisation of electric vehicle batteries (2021)

PhD studentship in the Quantum Systems and Devices Group

What you get

  • Fully-paid tuition fees for three and a half years.
  • A tax-free bursary for living costs for three and a half years. From October 2021/22 this is expected to be £15560 per year
  • A support grant for three and a half years of £1,650 per year for travel and conferences.
  • If you are not a UK national, nor an EU national with UK settled/pre-settled status, you will need to apply for a student study visa before admission

Type of award

Postgraduate Research

PhD project

Our Research Group

Our team uses neutral atomic ensembles for studying a variety of aspects of quantum physics and quantum technology, across a series of experiments in our laboratories at the University of Sussex.  The research ranges from more applied investigations utilising the sensitivity of atomic systems for magnetic field measurements (of both microscopy of surfaces and materials, as well as the magnetic signals from the brain) to more fundamental studies of complex quantum phenomena in ultracold gases both in and out of equilibrium.

Magnetic sensing for new technologies

From smartphone cameras to deep-space telescopes, being able to capture images now underpins a significant amount of our technology. This project aims to expand this technology to low-frequency magnetic fields by creating sensor arrays capable of producing images of magnetic fields. Developing such a device will allow us to observe a range of interesting systems, such as electric vehicles batteries, magnetic nanoparticles and neuronal activity in the human brain.  The Quantum Systems and Devices (QSD) group at the University of Sussex are active in both developing, and furthering the applications of, quantum magnetic sensors for both research and industry.

The Project

The aim of this work will be to use quantum sensors already in use at the University of Sussex, as well as collaborating with the sensor development team in the QSD group. They will use optically-pumped magnetometers (OPMs), currently the most sensitive magnetometers in the world, to measure fields around a billion times smaller than the Earth’s magnetic field. One particular application of interest is in the use of magnetic field detection to infer electrical current paths in electric vehicle batteries. Knowledge of which will help understand the degradation of electrochemical cells, and be used to monitor battery state-of-health as well as assist the development of new battery technologies and layouts.

This project will involve a combination of experimental, theoretical, and numerical work, and so in addition to a good Honours or Master’s degree, the candidate should have experience in (and enjoy!) experimental physics or a background in atomic and quantum physics with programming skills. From this project, the student will learn a wide range of experimental skills, including optics and lasers, electronics, numerical modelling techniques, and gain a deeper understanding of atomic physics and quantum technology.


Applicants must hold, or expect to hold, at least a UK upper second class degree (or non-UK equivalent qualification) in Physics, or a closely-related area, or else a lower second class degree followed by a relevant Master's degree.

This award is open to UK and International students.


15 September 2021 0:00

How to apply

Apply through the University of Sussex on-line system.

Select the PhD in Physics, with an entry date of September 2021.

 In the Finance & Fees section, state that you wish to be considered for studentship no QSD/2021/04

We advise early application as the position will be filled as soon as a suitable applicant can be found.

Due to the high volume of applications received, you may only hear from us if your application is successful.


Contact us

If you have practical questions about the progress of your on-line application or your eligibility, contact Emma Ransley at

For academic questions about the project, contact Dr Fedja Orucevic,


At level(s):
PG (research)

Application deadline:
15 September 2021 0:00 (GMT)
the deadline has now expired


The award is available to people from these specific countries: