Postgraduate research opportunities Innovations in lightweight, resilient, systems of paralleled power electronic converters for transport applications


Key facts

  • Opens: Friday 11 June 2021
  • Deadline: Wednesday 30 June 2021
  • Number of places: 1
  • Duration: Three and a half years
  • Funding: Home fee, Equipment costs, Travel costs, Stipend


This is a three-year industry-funded PhD project focussed on the design, build and testing of novel power electronic converter systems. It is offered by the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at Strathclyde University, and funded and supported by a global technology partner.
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To be considered for the project, candidates must:

  • possess an undergraduate MEng or postgraduate MSc degree in electrical engineering. Exceptional candidates with a BSc/BEng qualification (1st or 2:1) may also be considered
  • have a strong understanding of electrical power systems
  • have a good understanding, skills and experience of electrical systems modelling and simulation and practical laboratory skills
  • hold a British passport
THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner
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Project Details

Applications are invited for a funded three-year PhD scholarship in light-weight, resilient, systems of paralleled power electronic converters for transport applications.

The successful candidate will work as a member of the established aero-electrical research team within the Institute for Energy and Environment, alongside a wider team of specialists in power electronic and electrical power systems.

Collaboration with an industrial partner

The research will be conducted in close collaboration with an industrial partner, providing significant insight into electrical power supplies for transport applications. As part of the project, the successful candidate will also benefit from the training delivered as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development.

Power electronic converter technologies underpin all modern power systems. The power electronics industry is a fast-paced, research-intensive industry where regular innovations at both the device and system level are made to achieve increased system performance and efficiency, and reduced system weight and volume.


The research student undertaking this PhD will be seeking to make innovations in systems of paralleled power electronics that contribute to the following goals:

  • volume and/or weight reduction of power conversion systems and associated filter components
  • efficiency improvements in power conversion systems
  • unlocking of new functionality/roles of power conversion systems
  • improving the fault-resilience and ride-through capabilities of power conversion systems

The research will focus on the identification and/or design of new converter topologies, filters and connection arrangements particularly suited to a paralleled system concept, coupled with innovation in the systems-level control, switching and configuration management of the converters.

In addition, the student will be encouraged to maintain a whole-systems focus as it is anticipated that exploitation of complimentary, synergistic subsystem-level innovations may yield greater system-level rewards.

The PhD student will be expected to apply associated innovations to benchtop test rigs in order to validate their effectiveness and value, providing an excellent opportunity for guided personal skills development.


Distance-study may be considered for the first few months of the PhD to accommodate Covid-related relocation difficulties.

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Funding details

This position provides an enhanced stipend of £17,500 as well as a small allowance to cover conference and meeting travel costs, and lab test consumables.

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Dr Patrick Norman

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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Dr Rafael Pena Alzola

Electronic and Electrical Engineering

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Candidates should email with reference “PhD-power” in the subject line. A detailed CV should be attached with contact information for two academic referees, and a covering letter highlighting their suitability for the position.

The project is available for a start from September 2021.

If you wish to discuss any details of the projects informally, please email Dr Patrick Norman ( quoting reference “PhD-power” in the subject line.