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PhD in Automotive Power Electronics Reference ENG1581


   Centre for Doctoral Training in Sustainable Electric Propulsion

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  Dr Alexander Sommer, Dr Rishi Ahmed  No more applications being accepted  Funded PhD Project (UK Students Only)

About the Project

This PhD project is part of the CDT in Sustainable Electric Propulsion. The successful PhD student will be co-supervised by academics from within the Power Electronics, Machines and Control (PEMC) Group at University of Nottingham and work alongside our external partner Infineon Technologies. The student will form part of Cohort 4 and commence in September 2022.

About the project

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: [Email Address Removed]; [Email Address Removed]

How to apply

You should complete an application by submitting the following mandatory documents via University of Nottingham portal. You must ensure that you include the title of the project and reference number quoted above in the project title field in the covering letter:

  • 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 ENG1581 and Dr Rishad Ahmed) within the personal statement of the application.

Please ‘Create a new account’ on the postgraduate application system. During program selection, select ‘Postgraduate Research’ > ’2022 Academic Year’ > Search with Keyword: ‘CDT’, Subject Area: ‘Engineering’, and choose ‘Doctor of Philosophy - Power Electronics: Sustainable Electric Propulsion’. Confirm by checking the course code is ‘U8PPESEP’. In the covering letter please ensure you quote Professor Mark Johnson, Co-Director of the CDT and state how your interests and experience relate to the CDT.

Eligibility criteria

Available to Home UK students for a PhD at University of Nottingham.

Applicants should have at least a 2:1 Bachelor level degree in an Engineering or Science discipline

About the CDT

The overall vision of the CDT is the creation of a new generation of UK specialists driving the electric revolution in the transport sector. As this sector is reliant on a reliable supply of low carbon electricity, development of wave energy is seen as a potentially important part of this sector.

We aim to create a new school of thinking amongst engineers and scientists, capable of leading the transformation from fossil fuel transport to sustainable and environmentally friendly electric transport.

Our partners 

A collaboration between two of the UK's largest and most forward-thinking research groups in electric propulsion: the Electrical Power Group at Newcastle University and the Power Electronics, Machines and Control Research Group at the University of Nottingham.

The CDT is supported by over 30 industrial and network partners to deliver unprecedented high-quality research and comprehensive training.

Training

We have developed a radical new training programme that will equip our students with a new school of thinking for solving problems to ensure maximum research impact. 

Highlights of the training programme include:

  • Fusion-Training-Units - a revolutionary new training method combining technical knowledge with professional skills. 
  • Supervisor-on-Demand scheme - students will get support from their main academic and industrial supervisor and also from a pool of experts throughout training and research.
  • A large choice of taught modules and laboratories - subjects in engineering, science, business tailored to students' needs.

Funding Notes

This project is a funded studentship for 4 years in total and will provide UK tuition fees and maintenance at the UKRI Doctoral Stipend rate (£16,062 per annum). A budget for Travel and Consumables for the PhD project is also available to the student.
Please refer to the CDT website for further information on mandatory documents required as part of the application process.
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