Candice Francis - Graduated 18/12/2018

Profile image Candice Francis


Date commenced:

13 April 2015

Full name:         

Candice Francis

Study/Department Area:


Profile Type:

PhD Candidate


Bachelor of Chemical and Biological Engineering (UQ)



Candice holds a Bachelor of Chemical and Biological Engineering from the University of Queensland. She has been conducting test programs on lead-acid and li-ion developmental projects at PMB. Candice is commencing a PhD investigating the design of lithium-ion batteries and the impact they could have on health and safety in submarines.


Research Project/s summary/description 


Current lithium-ion batteries are considered unsafe for application to poorly ventilated spaces occupied by humans. Standard lithium-ion batteries use polyolefin-based polymer separators. Commercial separator designs fail under abuse conditions leading to the development of thermal runaway within the cell. Thermal runaway can ultimately cause cell failure, rupture and release of toxic vapours which will impact health and safety in an unventilated space.


In order to enhance the safety of li-ion batteries, this project seeks to evaluate new separator materials and designs. The design will be developed for use in lithium-ion batteries containing a new class of electrolytes based on ionic liquids. As such, we seek to design a new separator that will improve the safety of lithium-ion batteries and potentially make them acceptable for use in enclosed environments.


The student will be undertaking research to understand the physical and mechanical properties of proposed separator materials to evaluate them for functionality and safety within a lithium-ion cell. Separators will be examined based on low rate performance, safety under abuse conditions and suitability for use with ionic liquid electrolytes. Examined separators will be compared and contrasted with state-of-the-art separators currently used in commercial lithium-ion batteries.   

PhD Thesis Title


Separator Design and Thermal Study of Ionic Liquid Electrolyte Lithium-ion cells 

Research Supervisors:

Assoc Professor Karl Sammut, Dr Andrew Lammas, Dr Adam Best, Rosalie Louey, Peter Chaplin