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PhD in Wide-Bandgap-Enabled Power Electronics for Smart Grids and Electric Vehicles

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

Help tackle the big issues in global warming by enhancing green energy generation and consumption through next-gen power electronic solutions.

Emergence of wide-bandgap power semiconductor devices, especially Silicon Carbide (SiC) and Gallium Nitride (GaN) power devices has opened pioneering avenues for application of power electronics in power systems and electric vehicles. These devices increase the energy conversion efficiency which in turn reduce the power losses and unwanted heat and so contribute to greener energy.

Due to the large band-gap and high critical electric field, these new devices are able to operate under significantly higher electro-thermal stress. This can then be used in the next generation of modular multi-level (MMC) voltage-sourced converters (VSC) in high voltage direct current (HVDC) stations. As a result, the converter will be simplified which in turn enables simpler control, higher energy conversion efficiency and easier fault detection.

A core focus of this research will be to understand the opportunities and challenges in the application of devices in high voltage grid-level and electric vehicle applications. Developing converters will enable comparison between the devices from a performance and reliability perspective. This PhD offers great opportunities to trial new methods in real-life situations, with opportunity to collaborate closely with industrial partners EA Technology, General Electric and Dynex Semiconductor.

A PhD study offers a unique opportunity to develop in-depth skills and knowledge that will provide a springboard for further career progression. You will be part of the Bristol Electrical Energy Management (EEMG) research group (, a multi-disciplinary team of academic researchers at the University of Bristol. The EEMG have extensive expertise in the design, characterisation, build and testing of high-performance electric machines and power converters for a range of modern, energy efficient applications, such as smart grids, aerospace electric power systems, automotive electric and hybrid drivetrains.

The PhD candidate will be supported by two supervisors with different expertise and will be expected to carry out theoretical analysis and experimentation.

The University of Bristol EEMG PhD experience:
- Enhanced tax-free stipends
- Membership of the top intentional research networks in the field
- Work closely with academic experts; our policy is to limit our PhD intake to no more than two per academic staff ever year
- Access to best in class equipment and facilities
- Research expenses and international conference attendance paid for
- Living in the #1 UK City (Sunday Times 2017)
- Joining an internationally leading group in one of the world’s top 50 and UK top 10 ranked Universities (QS 2020)
- Researching high impact clean energy challenges of the future
- Industry sponsorship and placements
- Training in the state-of-art technologies
- Professional development through our Bristol Doctoral College
- Work and learn in a top 2 UK university with leading employers (High Fliers 2019) and a top 5 UK university for research (THE analysis of REF 2014).

For more information visit or email

The University of Bristol is committed to equality and we value the diversity of our staff and students, we welcome applications from all members of our community and are particularly encouraging those from diverse groups, such as members


Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject, ideally with a Masters.

Candidates can check the eligibility criteria for the award at

How to Apply

Please make an online application for this project using the University of Bristol online application system visit
Please select on the Programme Choice page. You will be prompted to enter details of the studentship in the Funding and Research Details sections of the form.

Funding Notes

UoB Scholarship. EA Technology, General Electric and Dynex Semiconductor.
Funding is subject to competition for the UoB Scholarship program.

The scholarship covers full UK/EU PhD tutions fees (EU applicants who have been resident in the UK for 3 years prior to the 1st day of the PhD) and a tax-free stipend at the current RCUK rate (£15,009 in 2019/20 which is a pre-tax equivalent salary of £20,450). The EU candidates who are non-resident in UK in the past 3 years may also apply but will only qualify for PhD tuition fees.

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