CSC–KU LEUVEN SCHOLARSHIPS Category 1
Promotor: Wilmar Martinez
Imec co-promotor: Jef Poortmans (Photovoltaics group)
Title: phd position on LOW-LOSS MAGNETIC COMPONENTS FOR HIGH PERFORMANCE INTERACTION WITH GALLIUM NITRIDE POWER CONVERTERS
Novel approaches in magnetic design for GaN converters for fast and high efficiency operation
Focus of work:
Power loss modelling, circuit design, simulation, and experimentation
Gallium Nitride (GaN) semiconductors have been developed and improved during the last decades. Nowadays GaN devices offer advantages in speed, bandgap, critical electric field, etc. These characteristics make GaN suitable for faster switching (high frequency operation), high current density, low on-resistance and high temperature operation.
Nevertheless when GaN devices are operated in power converters (inverters, rectifiers, dc-dc converters) their potential cannot be fully exploited because of the design of the other components, specially passive components. Among these passive components, the more critical are magnetic devices (transformer, inductors, reactors, motors).
This problem is generated because there is not a common understanding about how these magnetic devices work at the speeds that GaN devices require. Consequently, there is a need in researching and understanding the dynamics of the interaction between conventional and novel magnetic devices and GaN semiconductors.
The aim of this project is to address the implications of having a high frequency operation in power converters without affecting the efficiency and the power density of magnetic devices when Gallium Nitride semiconductors are used.
This PhD project will focus on power converters using Gallium Nitride for applications in renewables (mainly solar) and electric mobility.
The PhD candidate can start from existing power converter models and dedicated expertise available in the research group, and will collaborate with the other research group members.
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 of power converters, control, 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.
Note: In case of being selected, English Proficiency certificate (TOEFL or IELTS) and English translation and apostille of the diploma and official transcripts are required for the admission to 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
- A housing allowance
The imec co-promotor confirms a housing allowance of 400€/month will be provided to the PhD candidate. The responsible for the payment will be directly the imec co-promotor.
Required background: The candidate should have a strong interest in energy, with knowledge in power electronics, modeling, design of power converters, control, and experience with experimental setups. Expertise in Matlab/Simulink, Comsol, and Plecs is highly valuated.
Type of work: 50% modelling, 50% experimental
Supervisor: Jef Poortmans
Daily advisor: Patrizio Manganiello
The reference code for this position is 2020-083. Mention this reference code on your application form.