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PhD Studentship in Automotive Power Electronics

University of Nottingham

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Nottingham
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students, International Students
Funding amount: Not Specified
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 13th November 2022
Closes: 31st December 2022
Reference: ENG1594

The UK aims to cut carbon emissions by at least 68% from the 1990 level by the end of 2030. New cars and vans solely powered by diesel and petrol will be banned for sale from 2030. Electric vehicles will take the leading role in achieving this emission target as the latest models provide a number of advantages including superior driver comfort and lower emissions. However, there are a number of technical challenges which still impede their widespread adoption such as the cost, range anxiety and charging infrastructure.

Power electronics is one of the enabling technologies for electric vehicles. The aim of this project is to develop new power electronics drive topologies and new control strategies for a 48-V smart actuator system. Wide bandgap power semiconductors, particularly Gallium Nitride (GaN) which have advanced electrical properties compared to Silicon (Si) will be used in these converters. The target is to ensure a step improvement in terms of efficiency, power density, operating limits, and reliability.

Applicants are invited to undertake a full-time PhD programme to investigate the design and development of smart actuator system for electric vehicles. The research will focus on: high frequency converter topologies with reduced size passive components, improved digital control, more compact fabrication techniques and enhanced thermal management. The project will be partially funded by Infineon Technologies AG.

The successful candidate will be based at the Power Electronics, Machines and Control (PEMC) Group, within the Faculty of Engineering of the University of Nottingham. The group has state of the art experimental facilities for power electronics and electrical drives and is renowned for its ability to conduct pure and applied research at realistic power levels (up to 1MW continuous). Depending on how eligibility criteria are met, UK / Home candidates will be entitled to full award (stipend at the UKRI rate and full tuition fees). UKRI 2022/23 rate is £16,062. A Research Training Support Grant will also be awarded towards consumables and travel for the PhD project. The successful candidate is expected to have short secondments at Infineon competence centres in Germany or Austria. Additional funding will be available for these secondments.

Candidate requirements:

The successful candidate is expected to be highly motivated and must hold/achieve a minimum of a 2:1 Bachelor's level degree (or international equivalent) in Electrical or Electronic Engineering or a related discipline and with good knowledge of Power Electronics Converters, Semiconductor Devices, Magnetic Components and Control. It is desirable that the candidate has good knowledge of circuit design software (SPICE, PCB layout etc.), programming skills (MATLAB, Simulink, C etc.) and DSP / FPGA based control.

Please contact Dr Rishad Ahmed or Dr Rebecca Burns for further information. Email: Rishad.Ahmed@Nottingham.ac.uk; rebecca.burns@nottingham.ac.uk

Please apply here https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/how-to-apply/apply-online.aspx and choose ‘Power Electronics: Sustainable Electric Propulsion PhD’ as your course. Details of the course can be found below- https://www.nottingham.ac.uk/pgstudy/course/research/2022/power-electronics-sustainable-electric-propulsion-cdt-phd

The following documentation is required as part of the application:

  • CV
  • Covering letter explaining why you are applying for the CDT
  • Degree transcripts and certificates
  • If English is not your first language, a copy of your English language qualifications

When applying for this studentship, please include the reference number (beginning ENG1594 and Dr Rishad Ahmed) within the personal statement of the application. 

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