PhD student position in Optimal usage of batteries by adaptive modelling and machine learning

at Chalmers University of Technology
Published December 22, 2022
Location Gothenburg, Sweden
Category Machine Learning  
Job Type Scholarship  


This PhD position gives a unique possibility to reach absolute specialist competence in battery research and combine this with automatic control, both fields with very strong job markets in the foreseeable future. You will be working in an internationally well-reputed group of about 15 researchers developing battery management algorithms improving battery performance and lifetime, and aiming for a more sustainable future.

Project description
The performance and lifetime of battery cells are to a large extent determined by how they are used, which is managed by a battery management system (BMS). At present, they act through more or less fixed constraints on measurable cell-external variables, i.e., current, voltage and temperature, to avoid accelerated aging and risk of thermal runaway. However, the decisive causes of the limitations are internal conditions that cannot be measured. Due to limited computing capacity and poor coupling between the simplistic battery models used and the cell-internal states, this normally results in an underutilization of the cells at the same time as they age prematurely. Previous theoretical studies have shown that a transition to the use of cell-internal constraints provides significant improvements (tens of percent in performance and longevity). The next generation BMS, with greatly improved computational capabilities, opens for use of both machine learning and more computationally demanding physically based models, with observers connecting the measurements to the critical internal conditions. In this project, you will derive such models, optimal control that uses them, and verify your results in experiments.

The project is part of the Swedish Electromobility Centre, and is a collaboration between Chalmers, Uppsala University, and several industrial partners (Volvo AB, Volvo Cars, CEVT, Epiroc and ABB), with one PhD student employed at Chalmers and one industrial PhD student, funded by Volvo AB. Interested applicants are encouraged to apply for both. To apply for the industrial PhD position, please use the link below.
Link to position at Volvo AB

Information about the division and the department
The position is with the Automatic Control group, comprising about 30 researchers at the division of Systems and Control, which has about 100 employees and is the largest division of the Department of electrical engineering. Aiming for a sustainable world, the group is involved in many research projects on energy savings using automatic control methods. In general, the projects are carried out in collaboration with other research groups, institutes and industry, and often in interdisciplinary constellations. The BMS (battery management system) team, within Automatic Control, is the leading team on BMS research in Swedish academia, with a successful focus on modelling, estimation and control. For its battery research, the team has received the Volvo Car Technology Award and has published over 40 top tier journal papers and several patents in the area. The working environment is international and characterized by openness.

Major responsibilities
Your major responsibility is to pursue research in line with the project, publish, and present scientific articles, and take part in discussions. As part of your PhD you will receive further education by courses relevant for your research, research project, automatic control in a wide sense, and your future career. You will also be expected to participate in teaching activities in the field of Automatic Control (up to a maximum of 20%).

Master's degree, preferably in control, electric power engineering, computer science, engineering physics or similar. Mathematical talent and interest. Fluent in written and spoken English. Previous experience of battery management systems, machine learning and power systems is a merit.

Contract terms
The position is a full-time temporary employment for four years of PhD studies extended up to five years to accommodate teaching performed at the department.

We offer
Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring working environment in the coastal city of Gothenburg.
Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

Chalmers aims to actively improve our gender balance. We work broadly with equality projects, for example the GENIE Initiative on gender equality for excellence. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.

Application procedure
The application should be marked with Ref 20220706 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as PDF-files, as below. Maximum size for each file is 40 MB. Please note that the system does not support Zip files.

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
• CV
• Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
• Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
1-3 pages where you:
• Introduce yourself
• Describe your previous experience of relevance for the position (e.g. education, thesis work and, if applicable, any other research activities)
• Describe your future goals and future research focus

Other documents:
• Copies of bachelor and/or master’s thesis.
• Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, e.g. TOEFL test results.

Please use the button at the foot of the page to reach the application form.

Application deadline: January 29, 2023

For questions, please contact:
Prof. Torsten Wik, Automatic Control, Department of Electrical Engineering
Phone: +46 (0)31 772 5146

*** Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***
Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our six Areas of Advance; Energy, Health Engineering, Information and Communication Technology, Materials Science, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!