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PhD Scholarship: Wide Bandgap Semiconductor Materials for High Voltage Power Electronics

School of Engineering, University of Warwick

Application deadline: Apply now.

Start date: As soon as possible.

Duration: 3 years

Are you keen to undertake an industrially-focussed project tackling real-world technical problems that hamper power electronic systems for renewable energy generation? Interested in high-tech electrical engineering (chip design / fabrication) or power electronics? This might be the project for you.

The project: 

This project will work alongside an industrially-led Technology Strategy Board (TSB) sponsored project entitled “Silicon Carbide power electronics: The route to Energy Resilience (SiCER)”. It aims to address technical barriers that effect commercial power electronics that are typically used in hybrid / electric vehicles and renewable energy systems. Power semiconductor devices based on wide bandgap materials such as silicon carbide (SiC) suffer from poor long term reliability in the field. Condition monitoring systems will be developed, to establish lifetime prediction models and address the mechanisms that are causing these wide bandgap (WBG) power devices to prematurely fail. We would like to use the lifetime data acquired to identify key device processing parameters that can be improved to prolong the operation of WBG devices in the field e.g. on an offshore wind farm, saving thousands if not millions of pounds in maintenance. The project will provide a unique opportunity for the PhD student to engage with external industrial specialists from varying industrial sectors and gain working experience in the highly regarded power electronics group at the University of Warwick. We work in a well-established team environment, attending conferences together, publishing high-quality journal papers, applying for research grants and meeting on a regular basis to exchange research ideas. The applicant must be a team player.

Eligibility: UK or EU candidates with a 1st or 2.1 UK Honours degree in either of the subjects: Electrical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Computer Science will find this studentship especially relevant. This project will require a hands-on approach. Excellent circuit design and test, data analysis and computing skills are essential (e.g. programming LabVIEW, MATLAB). Microfabrication cleanroom experience would be preferable but not essential. We are looking for confident, self-motivated candidates with good interpersonal skills, and abilities to perform excellent research leading to high quality research outcomes and publications.

Funding: The studentship covers 100% tuition fees at the UK/EU rate and standard stipend currently £14,254 for three years.

How to apply:

Applicants should send a cover letter outlining motivation and suitability for this project, and a full CV to www.warwick.ac.uk/EngineeringScholarships/mrj16

If you are successful at the interview you will be required to fulfil the entry requirements set by the University of Warwick. You will be invited to complete an online application form. As soon as you have a University ID number you will be required to upload your degree certificate, transcripts, and a personal statement that explains your specific research interests and why you should be considered for this award.