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  Dr Zhenan Jiang  Applications accepted all year round  Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

About the Project

We have a fully funded PhD scholarship available for research into experimental and numerical study of energy dissipation (AC loss) in high temperature superconducting (HTS) rotor windings for fully superconducting rotating machines aimed at aircraft applications.

Background

Reducing global carbon emissions from heavy freight and passenger transport requires the switch to electric propulsion for rail, shipping, and aviation. But these applications require new high-power lightweight motors which are beyond the design-envelope accessible by existing technologies. It is widely recognised that superconducting machines offer the only feasible route to realising large-scale hybrid electric aircraft. Aviation poses perhaps the biggest challenge of all, as entirely new technology must be developed and deployed within a strict regulatory regime.

This project is part of a larger MBIE funded programme  ‘High Power Electric Motors for Large-scale Transport Programme’ [1] which involves researchers from across New Zealand, international collaborators from Cambridge University, KAIST (Korea), Kyoto University and Ohio State University, and is undertaken in conjunction with commercial partners United Technologies, Airbus and Boeing.

Project Description

You will target experimental and numerical AC loss studies in 2G coated conductors, Roebel cables/twisted stacks/CORC cables assembled with coated conductors and operating in the temperature range of 40 K – 77 K carrying DC current while exposed to an AC magnetic field. Experimental work will be carried out using the AC loss measurement system currently in development at the Robinson Research Institute. This equipment incorporates an AC copper magnet operating in liquid nitrogen and is able to generate a 0.5 T AC magnetic field at frequencies up to 200 Hz. The sample, located in a cryogenic vacuum chamber, will be separately cooled to temperatures between 40 K and 80 K by two powerful cryocoolers.

Simulation work will be carried out using FEM (finite element method). 3D FEM models will be built considering the complicated 3D structure of Roebel cables/twisted stacks/CORCs using COMSOL- Multi-Physics. The 3D simulation model will be validated by experiments and the model will be used to predict AC loss in field windings operating within the actual rotating machine environment.

Eligibility

You should have an engineering or science degree equivalent to the 4-year Honours degree in New Zealand, with 1st class Honours, or an MSc/MEng or postgraduate Diploma with high grades. We are seeking a highly motivated person with an excellent academic record with passion to contribute the cutting-edge technology development. A strong background in electrical engineering or applied physics, and experience with working with COMSOL Multiphysics would be advantageous.

You should satisfy the requirements for admission as a PhD candidate within the Faculty of Engineering, Victoria University of Wellington and ensure you can satisfy the English language requirements. [2]

Application Process

Please send an email titled “Re: PhD - AC loss in HTS rotor windings” to 

Applicants should include the following:

  • Curriculum Vitae/Resume
  • Academic record
  • A statement detailing why you are interested in this project
  • Contact information for two potential referees

Funding Notes

Fully funded PhD scholarship includes $30,000 NZD per annum for three (3) years, and all tuition fees and student levies.

References

[1] https://www.electrictransport.co.nz/
[2] https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/fgr/apply
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