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 Siemens. The student will form part of Cohort 5 and commence in September 2023.
About the project
All modern electronics products and industrial drives need power electronics circuits and their performances have direct impacts on energy economics. The UK aims to cut carbon emissions by at least 68% from the 1990 level by the end of 2030. Improving energy efficiency in UK’s strong manufacturing industry is a fundamental step in achieving net-zero goals. Reliable power converters are essential to reduce product return rate and to improve life-cycle performance in terms of energy efficiency and cost.
This project will propose new techniques for assessing degradation of power electronics converters especially considering industrial drive applications. The main aim of this project is to develop health management techniques for industrial drives considering the use of wide bandgap power semiconductor devices. Predictive techniques such as machine learning will be utilised for condition monitoring and prognostics of semiconductor devices and DC-link capacitors in industrial motor drives. The target of this research is to ensure better reliability in industrial motor drives without compromising efficiency, cost, and operational limits. Life consumption prediction could enable intelligent performance derating to protect the hardware and reduce chances of a breakdown and plant shutdown.
Applicants are invited to undertake a full-time PhD programme to investigate the condition monitoring and prognostics issues of industrial motor drives. The work will begin with an extensive analysis, simulation, optimisation and modelling phase. Once successful solutions are identified, laboratory-based testing will begin to allow practical validation of ideas followed by implementation of the prototype test hardware in our dedicated laboratories at the power electronics and machine centre of the University of Nottingham. The project will be partially funded by Siemens PLC.
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 2MW continuous). Depending on how eligibility criteria are met, candidates will be entitled to full award (stipend at the UKRI rate and full tuition fees). UKRI 2023/24 rate is £17,668 per annum (tax free). 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 Siemens competence centres in Germany or UK. Additional funding will be available for these secondments.
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:
- 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 Siemens-01-2023 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’ > ’2023 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.
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.
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.
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.