PhD Studentship: Automated Identification of Auxiliary Faults and Divergent Behaviour in Large Power Transformers

University of Southampton

Supervisor: Dr James Pilgrim

Co-supervisor: Prof Paul Lewin

Project description

Industrially funded PhD studentship in Electrical Power Engineering

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship for a start date of no later than July 2018. This scholarship will fund students tuition fees (UK/EU rate only), a bursary to cover living expenses (£14,553 per year) and a Research Training Support Grant for research consumables and conference attendance. The successful candidate will be based at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) within the Electronics and Computer Science Department. TDHVL is one of the premiere high voltage research facilities in Europe, with a long track record of delivering research/innovation projects to industrial clients.

The PhD position is associated with a wider programme of work, funded by National Grid plc as part of the ConCEPT Innovation Project.  This PhD seeks to develop algorithms which can automatically detect unexpected thermal behaviour in power transformers, with the aim of detecting degradation related failures more quickly and improving the asset management of the transformer fleet.  The work will involve analysis of data from National Grid sites, which will be compared against both historical data and the outputs of bespoke models.  Candidates will ideally have interests in both electrical engineering and analytics, and will join a research team comprising two research fellows and one other PhD student.

The ideal candidate should have, or be expected to gain, a BEng/MEng (or equivalent) with first class honours in Electrical Engineering or a closely related subject.  The position will require the ability to work across disciplines, bringing together knowledge relating to high voltage/power engineering with materials science, chemistry and machine learning/"big data" techniques.  As the project is industrially funded, candidates will also be expected to demonstrate excellent communication skills, including the ability to clearly and concisely present detailed technical information to the client on a routine basis.

TDHVL will provide research experience in one of its programs, training, laboratory facilities and access to its seminar and lectures. Students would also be strongly encouraged to attend three major international conferences during their period of study and would have access to all university facilities for wider study, including the libraries, and recreation.

Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr James Pilgrim (<>) or Prof Paul Lewin (<>) directly for further details. 

Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 June 2018 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.

Duration: four years (full-time)

Funding: full tuition fees, for UK/EU students, and a tax-free stipend of £14,553 per year

Assessment: Nine month and 18 month reports, viva voce and thesis examination

Start date: typically September

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