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Funded PhD projects

See below for some of our PhD Funded Projects:

Student name: William Ferguson

Starting Date: 09/2016

Funding source: EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership 

Attaching piezoelectric materials to engineering structures undergoing dynamic strains are an idea method to provide sustainable power supply for wireless health monitoring sensors. However, this kind of strain energy harvesters usually suffers from low electric power output because the strain level in most of the engineering structures is very low. This project investigates the use of auxetic structures to increase the power output of strain energy harvesters. The preliminary proof of concept using a single re-entrant hexagon as the auxetic substrate under the piezoelectric element has demonstrated 14.4 times the power obtained using an otherwise comparable solid substrate, under the same excitation. This method thus shows promise for increasing the power output of future energy harvesting transducers.

View the publication related to this project.

Student Name: James Graves

Starting date: 09/2017

Funding source: EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

High latitude oceans are amongst the most hostile areas of the planet. They are of
increasing importance - commercially because of their resources, scientifically because there is so little data, and environmentally due to the critical part they play in climate change, and in response to pressures such as illegal fishing.

AutoNaut unmanned surface vessels (USVs) is wave propelled and already storm-proven as a long endurance USV. It is capable of gathering and transmitting data from ocean surface with electric power provided by solar panels. However, in Arctic and Antarctic regions, it might be too dark for the solar panels to work. This project aims to harvesting the motional energy of the USV to provide electric power, enabling the long-term deployment of USVs in the high latitude oceans.

Student name: David Prichard

Starting date: 04/2016

Funding source: EPSRC Doctoral Training Partnership

This project develops wearable energy harvesters that are able to produce enough electric power to charge modern portable electronics. The energy harvesters will be designed to capture the footfall energy during walking by using electromagnetic transduction. The impact of the energy harvester on the wearer will be investigated and minimised.  

Student name: Tingwen Ruan

Starting Date: 05/2014

Funding source: Innovate UK

Energy harvesting (EH) powered wireless sensor systems (WSSs) are gaining increasingly popularity because they are maintenance-free, enabling the long-term and large-scale deployment even in remote areas. However, the mismatch between the energy generated by the harvesters and the energy demanded by the WSS to perform the required tasks is always a bottleneck. In addition to increasing the power output of the energy harvesters, another important solution to overcome this challenge is to reduce the power consumption of the wireless system and increase the efficiency of the energy usage. This research develops energy-aware approach for wireless sensor motes (WSMs) and wireless sensor networks (WSNs), including hardware energy-aware interface (EAI), software EAI, sensing EAI and network energy-aware approaches to enable the operation of the system even when the energy mismatch is present.