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New project facilitates communication between French universities and the University of Oxford

By EDF | Posted November 17, 2022

EDF R&D UK Centre is supporting a scheme with Oxford University for students to learn and develop a one year project with Oxford University and some of our researchers had the opportunity to visit the Maison Française d'Oxford (MFO) in September and hear about the interesting projects.

The role of the MFO is to facilitate communication between French universities and the University of Oxford. The event was attended by Academics and students from Oxford as well as the director of the Institute and the Science Attaché at the French embassy. It was a great opportunity to learn about this exciting collaboration, the interesting research being developed and the long-standing links between Oxford University and French institutions.

The first project presented by Adrien Morez considered how hydrogen content can be measured within metals to determine potential faults. The research considered Surface Acoustic Waves being applied and measuring small variations in elastic properties that could be detected in the presence of hydrogen. The presence of hydrogen for embrittlement is a significant challenge to developing hydrogen solutions and understanding how to monitor behaviour in metals is an interesting topic of research. The laboratories used to measure the hydrogen content use beams to understand how hydrogen diffuses to and from a metal sample and validated models on the topic. The potential to understand diffusion of hydrogen in metals can create potential applications in maintenance of hydrogen systems, life extension, material selection and proof testing of new hydrogen storage and transport solutions.

The second project presented was from Pierre Lambert who was researching the potential to detect faults in large battery packs. This project was supervised by Stephen Duncan in the Control Engineering department at the University and considered the number of cells with sensors required per module to identify a fault. The research considered the equivalent circuit and the potential variation in resistance for a defective cell. The variation between cells and charging rates with time make this a challenging problem to solve. The research was considering potential applications for Pivot Power and the analysis of data to identify faults in modular designs has potential wider applications within the area of research.

The visit to Oxford was a great opportunity to engage with academics, students and understand the work of MFO to build connections between France and the UK. Shared experiences post Brexit in collaboration between France and the UK could be very valuable to understand moving forward. We are now looking forward to a third presentation from another student that will join on the programme later this year!