PhD Studentship: Fault Diagnostics of Electrical Motor Using Magnetic Flux Sensor

Cranfield University

Funding for: Self-funded Students

Duration of study: Full Time- three years fixed term

Start date: October 2016 (ideally, or as soon as possible)

Application deadline: Ongoing until a suitable candidate is identified

Supervisors: Dr Zakwan Skaf and Prof Ian Jennions


Induction motor is inherently reliable and requires minimum maintenance. However, many companies are still faced with unexpected system failure and reduced induction motor lifetime. This gives rise to the need for maintenance strategy based on condition monitoring, which can be addressed by monitoring and analysing the real-time signals of the induction motor. Different faults of induction motors are generally classified as either electrical or mechanical faults. Also, different types of condition monitoring using vibration and electrical signals have been implemented. However, these methods are still immature enough for accurate diagnosis. Therefore, the fault diagnosis problem of electrical motor is still as open area for research. Magnetic flux sensor is a potential solution for detection and diagnosis of electrical faults because it is very sensitive to electromagnetic field.

This PhD project will focus on developing, evaluating, and demonstrating a fault diagnosis solution of electrical motor using magnetic flux sensors to enhance reliability, maintainability and readiness. A comprehensive test-bed for in-depth studies will be used for experiments for demonstration and evaluation.
The student will have the opportunity to work with experts in the prognostics and condition monitoring field, as well as being part of our strong and dynamic research centre at Cranfield

The Integrated Vehicle Health Management (IVHM) Centre is a major collaborative venture at Cranfield, started in 2008, with funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA); a consortium of core industrial partners, (Boeing, BAE Systems, Rolls-Royce, Meggitt, Thales, MOD and Alstom); and from EPSRC. The investment, over the first 5 years of operation, was approaching £10M. We are now in our eighth year of operation and the Centre has grown into other sectors (rail, energy, health and agriculture), and is financially self-sustaining; many of the partners (and others) are funding Applied Research projects and there is a growing revenue from EPSRC, TSB and EU funded work

Entry requirements:

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area (e.g. aerospace, automotive, mechanical, electrical, chemical, computing, and manufacturing) with a minimum 60% mark in the Project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average.
  • the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a three-year period of study.
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 6.5).

Also, the candidate is expected to:

  • Have excellent analytical, reporting and communication skills
  • Be self-motivated, independent and team player
  • Be genuine enthusiasm for the subject and technology
  • Have the willing to publish research findings in international journals 


This studentship is available to all UK/EU and International students.

How to apply:

Before completing the application documentation please contact Dr Zakwan Skaf for an initial informal discussion about this opportunity. Please include the keyword PhD Studentship-Self Funding in the subject field.

If you are eligible to apply for this research studentship, please complete the online application form

For further information contact us today:
T: 44 (0)1234 758008

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South East England