PhD Position in Power Electronics Modularized and Reconfigurable SiC DC/DC

Trondheim, Norway
18 Sep 2020
End of advertisement period
22 Oct 2020
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Department of Electric Power Engineering (IEL) at NTNU has a vacancy for a full-time 100% position as a PhD candidate within the field of power electronics Modularized and reconfigurable SiC DC/DC converters for charging infrastructure. 

The PhD candidate will work in a 12.5 MNOK internationally joint research project entitled “Modularized, Reconfigurable and Bidirectional Charging Infrastructure for Electric Vehicles with Silicon Carbide Power Electronics (MoReSiC)”, which is funded under the POLNOR programme of the EEA and Norway Grants framework. 

The PhD candidate will collaborate with researchers from Warsaw University of Technology and Markel that is among the leading power converters manufacturers in Poland.The prospective candidate will work in the research group Power Electronic Systems and Components (PESC), .

The position reports to the Head of Department.

Duties of the position

Job description

The objective of the PhD education is to qualify for scientific research of high international standard. The PhD education has a nominal duration of three years of full-time study and includes required coursework or similar academic training comprising a minimum of 30 credits. The most important component of the PhD education is an independent scientific research project carried out under academic supervision, which results in the PhD thesis. The PhD degree is conferred based on these two elements and the doctoral examination, which consists of a trial lecture and a public defense of the scientific thesis.

The candidate is expected to fully complete the course work and the PhD thesis within the period of employment, which could be 3 or 4 years. The doctoral examination may take place after the period of employment. The option of 4-year employment would imply 1 year of duties as Teaching Assistant for the Department and may be offered to a candidate with clear motivation and ability for such work, if the Department sees the need. This will be clarified during and after any interview.

Project description

Electrification is the key enabling technology for decarbonizing the very polluting ground transportation sector. Given the incentives offered to the owners, the fleet of electric vehicles, worldwide, has been increased during the last decade. However, the expansion of charging infrastructure has not followed the same increasing trend. Charging stations employ power electronic converters and they are designed to operate in a single mode that is the fast charging operation of a single vehicle at a given time. This operating principle limits the operating flexibility of the charging stations and leaves no room for charging multiple vehicles simultaneously or providing grid support. 

The MoReSiC project aims at developing advanced power electronic converters employing Silicon Carbide (SiC) power semiconductors that will be utilized to build modularized and reconfigurable charging stations for electric vehicles. The developed power converters may be properly reconfigured in order to perform either fast-charging of a single vehicle or slow-charging of multiple vehicles. In addition to the charging operations, the bidirectional power flow capability of the charging station will allow grid support either from the onboard storage of vehicles or by utilizing the local energy storage. Among other power converters employed in the reconfigurable and modularized charging station, a key component is a high-power, multiport DC/DC converter. This converter will interface the local DC bus in the charging station with the electric vehicles and the local energy storage system.

This PhD project will focus on the design of a multiport, isolated and high-power DC/DC converter employing SiC MOSFETs exhibiting efficiencies well above 97%. In particular, the PhD student will design, implement and experimentally test this power converter. The key tasks to be performed are to: 

  • Deliver the most optimal topology for multiport and isolated DC/DC converters.
  • Develop a proper modulation and control scheme for the converter suitable for every operating mode of the charging station.
  • Develop electrical and thermal modelling of the DC/DC converter and investigate the overloading capability of the employed SiC MOSFETs.
  • Optimise the overall converter design for maximum efficiency and enhanced power density.
  • Design and construct a lab prototype of the multiport DC/DC converter together with professionals from Markel.
  • Perform experimental validation of the converter at various scenarios of loading conditions in collaboration with researchers from Warsaw University of Technology.
  • Regularly publish results in scientific journals and conferences, and present to project stakeholders.

The converter prototyping and the initial phase of experimental validation will be carried out in the Power Electronics Laboratory at the Department of Electric Power Engineering at NTNU. The laboratory is equipped with advanced high-frequency and high-accuracy measurement instruments (e.g. high-bandwidth oscilloscopes and impendence analysers), high-power and medium-voltage variable electric power sources and electronic loads, as well as, power semiconductor modules testing (e.g. power cycling testers and I-V curve tracer) and building facilities (i.e. die-attaching and bond-wiring equipment). The second phase of experimental validation will be performed in the power electronics laboratory at Warsaw University of Technology and at the premises of Markel in Poland.

The PhD student will be a member of the Power Electronics Systems and Components research group (PESC) at NTNU. The supervisor of the PhD student will be Associate Professor Dimosthenis Peftitsis.

Required selection criteria

The candidate should be an Electrical or Electronics Engineer and hold a Master’s degree in Power Electronics with a grade of B or better in terms of NTNU’s grading scale. Experience and a strong interest in laboratory work on power electronics, as well as a record of scientific publications in international journals and conferences are merited. 

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, post doctor and research assistant.

Other qualifications

Applicants must have very good English language skills, written and spoken. Applicants from non-English speaking countries outside EU/EEA/Switzerland must provide preliminary documentation of English language proficiency, in terms of an approved test. The following tests can be used: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE).

Further assessment of both written and oral English language skills and the ability to communicate fluently will be conducted in the continued selection process and during any interviews for all applicants.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of the candidates, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as personal motivation for the position, in terms of the qualification requirements specified above. We look for candidates who show clear signs of independence, original thinking and scientific mindset.

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and the salary is NOK 479 600 before tax per year. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electrical Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

As a PhD candidate, you will have to successfully complete the PhD academic training programme; the training includes mandatory course work and other obligatory activities. Within the first three months of your employment, you must formally qualify for admission to the PhD programme at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. 

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criteria in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

It is a prerequisite you can be present at and accessible to the institution daily.

The Department of Electric Power Engineering works closely with key players in the Norwegian electricity supply sector, who manage critical infrastructure. A comprehensive risk assessment of the candidates' research interests and potential activities related to national threat assessments will therefore also form basis for the final selection of candidates.

About the application

The application must contain: 

  • A cover letter where the applicant describes his/her personal motivation and how he/she intends to fill the position and contributes to the research topic with his/her skills
  • Curriculum vitae (CV) which includes information about the candidate’s prior education, work experience, academic merits and any scientific publications.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study programme and grading system.
  • The required documentation of English language proficiency.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

Emphasis will be placed on the quality of the cover letter and the ideas and/or originality of the draft research proposal in shortlisting of candidates. Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Joint works will be considered. If it is difficult to identify your contribution to joint works, you must attach a brief description of your participation.

In the final assessment of the candidates, strategic considerations at the Department Electric Power Engineering will also be taken into account. We aim for better gender balance, and when qualifications are approximately equal among qualified candidates, female applicants will be preferred.

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

General information

Working at NTNU

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. 

The city of Trondheim is a modern European city with a rich cultural scene. Trondheim is the innovation capital of Norway with a population of 200,000. The Norwegian welfare state, including healthcare, schools, kindergartens and overall equality, is probably the best of its kind in the world. Professional subsidized day-care for children is easily available. Furthermore, Trondheim offers great opportunities for education (including international schools) and possibilities to enjoy nature, culture and family life and has low crime rates and clean air quality.

As an employee at NTNU, you must at all times adhere to the changes that the development in the subject entails and the organizational changes that are adopted.

According to the Information Act (Offentleglova), your name, age, position and municipality may be made public even if you have requested not to have your name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Dimosthenis Peftitsis, or to Head of Department Prof. Ole-Morten Midtgård

Please submit your application electronically via with your CV, diplomas and certificates. Applications submitted elsewhere will not be considered. Diploma Supplement is required to attach for European Master Diplomas outside Norway. Chinese applicants are required to provide confirmation of Master Diploma from China Credentials Verification (CHSI).

Application deadline: 22.10.2020.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Electric Power Engineering

The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of the seven departments at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering. Our department is Norway’s leading in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital, green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other universities and research organizations internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance for the society, addressing industrial needs and global challenges.

Deadline 22nd October 2020
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service NTNU Campus Gløshaugen

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