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  High Voltage Performance of Printed Circuit Boards for Electric Vehicle Applications

   Cardiff School of Engineering

  ,  Applications accepted all year round  Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

3.5 Year self funded project

Project Summary

The push towards green energy and reduction in CO2 emissions, combined with advancements in power electronics and battery technology has led to increasing power demands and higher operational voltage requirements for automotive and aerospace transport solutions. Together with environmental factors, this can lead to complex ionisation effects that can degrade the insulation material of a PCB which may eventually lead to complete breakdown and failure of the system. Measurement and characterization of small electrical discharges knows as partial discharge (PD) can be a leading indicator in early diagnosis and prevention of such failures.

The project will involve a detailed study PD phenomena occurring within PBCs for electric transport applications using a range of new analytical approaches, with the aim of improving the diagnostic techniques available to manufacturers and operators, while suggesting improvements to manufacturing processes and standards to mitigate degradation under the harsh environmental conditions experienced by such systems.

Overall aims of the studentship will be to:

1.      Develop novel approaches to PD measurement and calibrate a range of new sensors.

2.      Design and implement appropriate high voltage test configurations.

3.      Conduct experiments to quantify PD varying with environmental factors.

4.      Propose novel approaches to analysis of measured data.

5.      Propose PCB design improvements to minimise or eliminate PD effects.

6.      Contribute to the development of standards through appropriate working groups.

7.      Publish results in international conferences and peer-reviewed journals.

The successful applicant will have access to extensive laboratory facilities, relevant research expertise and a vibrant research environment within Cardiff University’s Advanced High Voltage Engineering research group. In addition to personal development opportunities, practical training will be provided on the operation of all test equipment. Completion within 3.5 years is expected.

Academic Criteria

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in an area of Electrical / Electronic Engineering. Knowledge in electrical engineering, digital signal processing, dielectric breakdown / partial discharge are desired. Optional – experience in design of experiments, high voltage testing, knowledge of PCB standards and fabrication techniques.

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

Contact for further information

Please contact to informally discuss this opportunity

How to apply

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( ) including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of April 2024 or July 2024.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised project, reference AR SF 23

Deadline for applications

We will close the opportunity when a suitable candidate is identified.

Open ended. Due to the difficulty in finding capable self funded students, please make this available for as long as possible. (1 year?) 

Engineering (12)

Funding Notes

This is a self funded project and is is available to home or international candidates.

Register your interest for this project

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