PhD Studentship in Power Semiconductor Devices for Smart Grid Systems

University of Cambridge - Department of Engineering

A PhD studentship is available to address the design, modelling, test and characterisation of a new type of power semiconductor devices based on wide bandgap materials.

The adoption of renewable energy is promoted as a measure to help mitigate the problem of global warming. The generated power output from renewable energy however, is often difficult to control and if adopted in large quantities may cause frequency and voltage fluctuations throughout the entire power system threatening the stability and reliability of the power supply. A smart grid is a system that reduces the effect on the entire power system from the mass adoption of renewable energy and ensures a stable supply of electrical power. Power Electronics are widely recognized as the critical enabling technology for smart grids. The current target of the power electronics industry is to have an efficiency of 80% moving towards 90% or greater. These are very tough targets and they can only be achieved through careful design and optimization of power switches and electronics. The future of power semiconductor switches is therefore driven by the need for power efficient modern electronics and governmental regulations to improve power quality and efficient limits. In particular, SiC is a very promising material for high voltage electronics; at the R&D level, SiC based devices have shown to offer considerable reduction in size (at least 10 times smaller) for equal performance in terms of voltage and on-resistance rating. The project will involve the design, modelling and 2D and 3D device structures simulations of the static, dynamic and mixed-mode behaviour. The performance of the developed devices will be verified through the realisation of optimised solar and HVDC converters topologies that will contain the packaged devices.

Applicants should have (or expect to obtain by the start date) at least a good 2.1 degree (and preferably a Masters degree) in Electrical Engineering or Physical Sciences or equivalent from an overseas institution. The candidate will be expected to have a background/keen interest in modelling and experimental investigation of solid state devices.

To express an interest in this position or to obtain further information please contact Dr. Marina Antoniou (

This studentship will pay full University fees and a maintenance allowance for UK students. EU citizens are eligible for a fees only award.

Overseas students are not eligible for this Studentship and should not apply.

Applications should be submitted via the University of Cambridge Graduate Admissions web pages, with Dr. Marina Antoniou identified as the potential supervisor.

The University values diversity and is committed to equality of opportunity.

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South East England