Investigating the Dielectric and Electrical Properties of Superhydrophobic High Voltage Outdoor Insulators

   School of Computing, Engineering & the Built Environment

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

About the Project


Please refer to and select reference number SCEBE-21SF-SHVOI-Arshad


High voltage outdoor insulators play an important role in the safe and reliable transmission of power. Although the cost of insulators in an overhead transmission line project may be as low as 5% of the total cost of the network, their performance is of vital importance in power system. In recent years, superhydrophobic coatings have been developed with intrinsic properties of self-cleaning, self-healing, icephobicity, high thermal conductivity, and relatively higher permittivity and dielectric strength. The self-cleaning and low wettability properties of superhydrophobic surfaces can be exploited to reduce surface contamination on outdoor insulators. Although there is a lot of interest in investigating techniques and methods for preparation of superhydrophobic coatings for different applications, there is very little research on the feasibility of superhydrophobic coatings for outdoor high voltage insulation.


This project will look at the performance of superhydrophobic coated outdoor high voltage insulators under different electrical, chemical and environmental conditions. The dielectric properties of superhydrophobic coated insulators such as flashover voltage, leakage current, surface resistance will be investigated under various environmental and polluted conditions. The project will also look at the comparative performance of different high voltage insulator such as glass, ceramic and polymer when coated with superhydrophobic materials. 


The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate a solid background in at least one of the aspects: electrical power engineering, high voltage engineering, material sciences or relevant. Candidates with experience in a high voltage lab setting will be given preference. However, full training will be provided for working in the high voltage lab.

Previous experience of publishing in journals or international conferences is not essential but advantageous.

How to Apply

This project is available as a 3 years full-time or 6 years part-time PhD study programme. 

Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisors for the project before applying. 

Please note that emails to the supervisory team or enquires submitted via this project advert do not constitute formal applications; applicants should apply using our Application Process page, choosing Engineering and their preferred intake date.  

Please send any other enquires regarding your application to:

Chemistry (6) Engineering (12) Materials Science (24) Physics (29)

Funding Notes

Applicants are expected to find external funding sources to cover the tuition fees and living expenses. Alumni and International students new to GCU who are self-funding are eligible for fee discounts. See more on fees and funding. View Website


For further information, please send an informal email to the supervisory team below. Please note that this is not considered a formal application and you would need to officially apply to be considered:
Director of Studies
Name: Dr. Arshad Arshad
GCU Research Online URL:
2nd Supervisor
Name: Dr. Azam Nekahi
GCU Research Online URL:

Register your interest for this project