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PhD Studentship: Developing Digital Twin and Digital Product Passports for High-value Electric Machines to Support their End-of-life Decisions

University of Sheffield - Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering (ACSE)

Qualification Type: PhD
Location: Sheffield
Funding for: UK Students, EU Students
Funding amount: £18,622
Hours: Full Time
Placed On: 2nd November 2023
Expires: 31st January 2024

In support of the research activities of the recently launched EPRSC-funded Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub, the University of Sheffield is offering a funded PhD scholarship to undertake research in the development of a digital twin and digital product passports for high-value electric machines to support their end-of-life decisions.

The research project will focus on utilising new digital approaches to improve the manufacturing and remanufacturing process of electrical machines. This project includes: (1) Utilising variety of sensors (for example machine vision, IR sensors) to track the manufacturing processes of making terminations (2) Developing a digital twin model of the electric machine manufacturing process of making hot crimped terminations (3) Create digital passports for the terminations based on the digital twin model of the hot crimper. (4). Utilising the digital passport for appropriate end-of-life decisions for the electric machine or component and choosing the appropriate circular strategy.

This research has the potential to demonstrate real impact in a growing area of sustainable manufacturing and the circular economy, where lifecycle assessment and decisions support play a crucial role for many high-value products, systems and infrastructure.

The market for electric motors is experiencing a step-growth due to their adoption across a range of industrial sectors. This increased demand also highlights the importance of end-of-life management of electric motors and the requirement for appropriate strategies for the high-value materials embedded in them.  Many countries are targeting the delivery of a Net Zero future, and in order for the UK to meet its target of 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050, there is an immediate necessity to accelerate the move to a more sustainable, resource-efficient circular economy (CE). The research will involve collaboration with the Universities of Newcastle and Strathclyde as well as with a number of industrial partners. Further details are available at: https://electricalmachineshub.ac.uk/electrical-machines-phd-scholarships/ 

This project will require candidates to have excellent engineering and computational skills. It will be an advantage if the candidates have a relevant Master’s degree (or equivalent) in any of the following: computer science, data science, systems engineering, software engineering, or a related engineering subject.

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