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PhD position on Omni-directional wireless charging for consumer devices

Job description

Are you fascinated by applications of magnetic fields to deliver energy to electronic devices? Do you have experience with power electronics, RF design or electromagnetics?
We are looking for a 4- year PhD researcher to strengthen our research portfolio

The Power Electronics and Electromagnetic Compatibility Group within the department of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) has one vacancy for a Ph.D. researcher funded by the Top Sector funding of the Dutch government to work in the field of wireless charging for consumer applications. The convenience and ease of use of wireless charging systems relative to wired interfaces that create a clutter of cables especially for multiple devices is a major impetus for this project. There is a research need for energy efficient charging of multiple devices using MHz scale power electronics.

The objective of the project is to perform research and develop a MHz scale wireless power transfer system for charging multiple devices using a shared magnetic interface at the primary. The challenges of such a project include high efficiency, high power density power electronics for MHz scale energy conversion, omnidirectional magnetic coupler for the base side, EMC limits, safety etc. The magnetic system consists of a unique segmented coil design that can potentially charge cellphones, tablets, earpods, etc. with a high Q-factor system for a 100 W max IPT system with high efficiency (>95%).

The field of wireless charging is seeing an explosive growth with many electronic devices enabled with such systems. Wireless charging already has widespread applications ranging from bio-medical devices, electronics, EVs etc. In addition, the convenience of charging without any wired interconnects and multiple devices, would mean a reduction of the clutter of cables in homes and office spaces. The PhD student will perform research while designing and developing a MHz, high efficiency GaN based wireless charging prototype to meet the requirements for a cheap, convenient, device-agnostic and relatively low power (100 W max) charging system.

The research topics include and are not limited to:

  • A system level analysis to look at and compare the existing magnetic couplers with the innovative magnetic concept of University of Twente.
  • Compare several methods of wireless power transfer including both NFC and far-field both resonant and non-resonant.
  • Technical requirement capture and optimization of several charger parameters (e.g. power transfer levels, efficiency, current density, min-max range, min-max coil size and weight, coupler misalignment, temperature, EM field limits etc).
  • Multi-objective optimization of the charging system considering the opposing requirements of efficiency and power density, including minimal weight and high Q factor of coils.
  • Design of novel high efficiency (>95%), MHz power electronics (e.g. GaN based class E amplifiers and rectifiers, Class F amplifiers or hybrids) including appropriate load sharing and compensation during misalignment.
  • Development and testing of the prototype with repeatable and traceable measurements.
  • Measurements of H-field and B-fields in the vicinity of the pad and at respective distances to meet the standards for wireless charging of consumer devices.

Your profile

  • We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and curiosity-driven researcher;
  • You have, or are about to get, a master’s degree in power electronics, RF and IC design, electromagnetics, electrical engineering or a related field;
  • You have a background in physical electronics, analytical mathematics and numerical simulations;
  • Prior knowledge and experience with simulation tools (MATLAB, SPICE, FEM Analysis) and power electronics R&D (designing, debugging, testing ) etc is an advantage;
  • You are an excellent teammate in an enthusiastic and hardworking group of scientists and engineers working within the PE group;
  • You are creative, like to push boundaries, and are highly motivated to address major science challenges in power electronics and electromagnetics.
  • You are driven by not only scientific excellence but also the societal impact of technology
  • You are proficient in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits.

Our offer

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO) and include:

  • A fulltime PhD position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating scientific environment;
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits;
  • The salary will range from € 2.434,- (1st year) to € 3.111,- (4th year) per month, plus a holiday allowance of 8%, a year-end bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School in which you and your supervisors will make up a plan for additional suitable education and supervision;
  • The university offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other university staff.

Information and application

Are you interested after reading this vacancy? Please apply via the “apply now” button below before January 12, 2022, and include:

  • an application/motivation letter,
  • a detailed CV (Europass), a publication list,
  • contact details of referees,
  • an academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education.

The selection procedure includes an interview and scientific presentation.

For more information about the positions, you are encouraged to contact Dr. Prasanth Venugopal (power electronics) or Prof. dr. Gert Rietveld (measurements) using pe-vacancies-eemcs@utwente.nl

About the department

Power electronics is nowadays found in almost every system where electricity is used for computing, communication, renewable energy harvesting and transportation. It is a key technology for improving energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.

Many of our projects involve integrating power electronic converters in systems dealing with modelling and optimizing the interaction between the components; such as   batteries, solar cells, electrical machines and electromechanical actuators. Working as an engineer in real life you will often have to solve problems related to  power quality, electromagnetic compatibility and  overheating  while tuning the system for best performance.

Our research focuses is on battery electronics, conducted and radiated electromagnetic interference and power electronic packaging as well as on physical layer of communication systems. One special theme of the program is small solar systems with battery storage to provide off-grid electric services to 3 billion people living in energy poverty. It is a challenging research field because it not only requires innovative and reliable technology, but the solutions need to be sustainable from a socio-economical point of view.   

For further information, click here.

About the organization

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

University of Twente (UT)

University of Twente (UT) has entered the new decade with an ambitious, new vision, mission and strategy. As ‘the ultimate people-first university of technology' we are rapidly expanding on our High Tech Human Touch philosophy and the unique role it affords us in society. Everything we do is aimed at maximum impact on people, society and connections through the sustainable utilisation of science and technology. We want to contribute to the development of a fair, digital and sustainable society through our open, inclusive and entrepreneurial attitude. This attitude permeates everything we do and is present in every one of UT's departments and faculties. Building on our rich legacy in merging technical and social sciences, we focus on five distinguishing research domains: Improving healthcare by personalised technologies; Creating intelligent manufacturing systems; Shaping our world with smart materials; Engineering our digital society; and Engineering for a resilient world.

As an employer, University of Twente offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With us, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customisable conditions.

PhD position on Omni-directional wireless charging for consumer devices
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