Nowadays, power converters are required to be smaller and more efficient. For those requirements, wide bandgap (WBG) semiconductors like Gallium Nitride and Silicon Carbide have been utilize in the recent decades. These semiconductors offer higher performance (losses, speed, thermal, etc.) in smaller packages. In addition, power converters are designed to fit in very small and narrow spaces.
These smaller semiconductor areas and design guidelines make cooling design quite challenging. Conventionally when a power converter is design to fit within certain dimensions some characteristics like weight or efficiency needs to be sacrificed. Therefore, the study of shape and dimension optimization as well as the use of novel materials for cooling could improve the miniaturization of power converters.
Consequently this PhD project seeks to explore additive manufacturing (3D printing) and study thermo-electrical models of heat dissipation structures, making emphasis in materials and shapes, for improvement of power loss dissipation in power converters.
Required background: We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and communicative researcher with a Master Degree in Engineering or a related field. The applicant should have obtained excellent study scores.
The candidate should have a strong interest in energy, with knowledge in power electronics, modeling, design, and control of power converters, and experience with experimental setups. Expertise in Matlab/Simulink, Comsol, and Plecs is highly valuated. Applicants should also have good English communication skills. Dutch proficiency is not required; however, its study is encouraged during the PhD program.
KU Leuven, located in Belgium, is among the top European universities, ranked as the top university in the Reuters ranking of Europe's most innovative universities. KU Leuven is a research-intensive, international university that performs both basic and applied research. It is a highly interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary institution focused and committed to international excellence. KU Leuven actively works on this together with its research partners at home and abroad. The university offers an academic education that is based on scientific research of high quality.
This research is to be performed within the framework of EnergyVille in the city of Genk-Belgium. If the selected candidate requires to take courses, these will be given in the city of Leuven or in a Technology Campus in Flanders. Moreover, EnergyVille is one of the top European research centers in Energy. EnergyVille is a collaboration between the Flemish research partners KU Leuven, imec, VITO, and UHasselt towards the research into sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. Their researchers provide expertise to industry and governments in the field of intelligent energy systems for a sustainable urban environment - such as smart grids and advanced heating networks.
- A highly specialized doctoral training in an intellectually challenging environment, making the candidate expert in power electronics
- Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
- The opportunity to be active in an international research environment, engage in research collaborations, and participate in international conferences, workshops, summer schools, etc.
- The opportunity to have a short visit to one of the partner laboratories in Europe, Asia, or America
- An active collaboration with companies in EnergyVille that will boost the possibility of further options after completing the PhD
Required background: Engineering technology, Engineering science
Type of work: 20% modelling/simulation, 20% literature, 60% experimental
Supervisor: Jef Poortmans
Daily advisor: Patrizio Manganiello
The reference code for this position is 2020-069. Mention this reference code on your application form.
Chinese nationals who wish to apply for the CSC scholarship, should use the following code when applying for this topic: CSC2020-31.