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PhD position in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Project PETER

The EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) group is part of the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science (EEMCS) faculty.

Job description

ESR13 - EMI Risk Management Applied to the Next Generation Vehicular Communication Devices

Objectives:

  • Analysis of emission and immunity of conventional and expected (GALILEO, 5G) systems for V2V, V2I, V2X
  • Definition of resilience level and Safety Integrity Levels for critical systems
  • Analysis of anti-jamming technologies, techniques and fall-back scenario’s for hardening at system level

Sophisticated electronic technologies are increasingly used in mission- and safety-critical systems where electromagnetic interference (EMI) can result in significant risks to people and/or the environment. Currently, EMI engineering follows a rule-based approach, which is unable to cope with complex modern situations. With this rule-based approach, during the design stage, guidelines are prescribed, which result in the application of a set of mitigation techniques, which are verified in the finished product against standards. This rule-based approach results in high costs, but with no guarantee of the required performance. This is very much the case for highly sensitive medical applications or the full-autonomous systems that are becoming ever-more common in our society. What is needed is a risk-based approach, which is what PETER, the Pan-European Training, Research & Education Network on Electromagnetic Risk Management, will provide. PETER will train 15 young engineers in research topics related to the development of high-tech systems that maintain reliability and safety over their full life-cycle, despite complex EMI, such as in hospitals or around transport systems. This will be achieved using best practices and state-of-the-art EM engineering, reliability engineering, functional safety, risk management and system engineering, thereby creating the novel risk-based EMC approach. The coordinated multidisciplinary multinational doctoral training program will provide the researchers with experience and at the same time allow them to develop and eventually lead their chosen area of research. PETER is closely aligned with the high-priority areas of the EU, addressing many Horizon 2020 thematics, e.g., Industrial Leadership (Advanced manufacturing and processing), Societal Challenges (Smart, green and integrated transport; Secure, clean and efficient energy) and Excellent Science. But the most important output of PETER will be 15 highly qualified people who have been trained to tackle many of the problems now being faced by European industry.
Currently, the problem of EMI is tackled using a “rulebased” approach. What this means is that during the design phase for a piece of electronic equipment a number of guidelines/standards are prescribed, resulting in the default application of a set of mitigation techniques (filtering, shielding, cable routing, etc.). But as the examples above illustrate, such an approach has some serious flaws when it comes to modern high-tech systems and high-criticality applications like medical systems and remote vehicles. This is because tackling the problem by applying rules leads to too many failure scenarios being overlooked and giving us a very false sense of security when it comes to how reliable and safe a new system actually is. Therefore, in order to make sure that people’s safety is not compromised in this way, the PETER consortium will initiate a novel and much more robust “risk-based” approach to EMI management.

The weakness of the rule-based approach is that although it instinctively feels right, it has several major shortcomings. Firstly, we have no certainties when it comes to knowing whether these mitigation strategies, or rules, are really sufficient. Even if we could be sure of this, most of us know from experience that standards always lag behind technological developments and are based on economic and technical compromises. Perhaps the biggest worry is that immunity testing in electromagnetic compatibility standards only covers one EMI disturbance at a time, meaning that simultaneous EMI effects are not addressed. Added to this we have the problem that the testing of large installations is limited to just the sub-systems being evaluated when they are brand new. But of course EMI is a “whole system” property with many of the effects resulting from environmental factors like ageing, vibration, and temperature, as well as manufacturing variability or the impact of maintenance, repairs and upgrades.

What is needed is a truly interdisciplinary – but also revolutionary – approach to this very serious problem. A safer environment based on assessing risk requires bringing together expertise from 4 key areas – electromagnetic compatibility, reliability engineering, functional safety and risk management – and the implementation of a risk-based approach. The PETER project will consider the complete system over its whole lifecycle, i.e., from the earliest concept to the final decommissioning. The risk-based approach, which will eventually replace the out-dated rule-based approach in high tech systems, involves 3 steps: hazard-and-risk analysis, risk reduction, verification and validation.

Your profile

Applications are invited for this PhD position on EMI Risk assessment applied to the next generation vehicular communication devices  to be funded by the Marie-Sklodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network “PETER – Pan-European Training, Research & Education Network on Electromagnetic Risk Management” within the Horizon 2020 Programme of the European Commission. The PETER Beneficiaries are 6 high-technology companies, including Barco and Melexis (BE), Nedap and RHM (NL), MIRA (UK), and Valeo (FR), 2 non-university research institutes, WIS and FHG (GE), and 5 universities, KU Leuven (BE), LUH (GE), UTwente (NL), UoY (UK), and ESEO (FR).
The consortium is completed by 6 Partner Organisations that include 4 companies, a hospital and a university (see Figure 1).
Overall, PETER has some of the best of European industry and the key academic players, guaranteeing an exciting interdisciplinary, intersectoral research-and-training programme.

  • We are seeking highly motivated persons with an excellent background and a MSc. degree in electrical engineering.
  • You enjoy communicating your work verbally and in writing. You enjoy working as part of a team, and yet are capable of working independently.
  • You are curiosity-driven, but you are committed to deliver by hard deadlines too.
  • Your involvement in the team inspires progress and you have clear scientific communication skills.
  • We prefer applicants with strong English language proficiency. 

Our offer

We offer a PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week).

  • An outstanding scientific environment: our research group was ranked 1st in the last national research assessment.
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
    Gross salary PhD student: ranging from € 2.325,00 (1st year) to € 2.972,00 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • Extensive opportunities for professional and personal development.
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.
  • A green and lively campus, with excellent sports facilities and many other activities.

Besides the salary, you will receive a living allowance, a mobility allowance and a family allowance (if married) for the first 36 months.
All fellows will benefit from further continuing education, which includes internships and secondments, a variety of training modules as well as transferable skills courses and active participation in workshops and conferences.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

PhD position in the EU Horizon 2020 Marie Sklodowska Curie Project PETER
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