PhD Student

Last application date
Sep 15, 2022 00:00
TW08 - Department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering
Limited duration
Master in electromechanical or electrical engineering
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

Topic: Electromagnetic and thermal design of permanent magnet machines with additively manufactured magnetic materials

Ghent University is a top 100 university worldwide and one of the major universities in Belgium, with more than 44,000 students and 15,000 staff members. At the department of Electromechanical, Systems and Metal Engineering (ESME), the modeling and optimization of electromechanical drive trains is an important research topic.

The Electrical Energy Laboratory (EELAB) at UGent is involved in a Marie-Curie-Doctoral-Industrial project (HORIZON-MSCA-2021-DN-01) with the title “New Generation of Electrical Machines Enabled by Additive Manufacturing – EMByAM”.
Permanent magnet machines are used in a myriad of industrial and traction applications. This is thanks to their high power density, power factor and efficiency. Nevertheless, these machines rely in the rotor on rare-earth magnets which are expensive and categorized by the EU as critical raw materials. Several attempts have therefore been initiated to reduce the rare-earth amount without sacrificing the performance of the machine. However, conventional manufacturing techniques always rely on separately produced permanent magnets. These magnets are mounted in the rotor, mostly combined with a soft magnetic core material. The goal in this project is to develop a methodology for electromagnetic and thermal design of permanent magnet machines with minimal rare-earth content, exploiting the geometric and material property freedom offered by Additive Manufacturing (AM). The design goal is to improve the performance (power density, efficiency and torque ripple) of these permanent magnet machines.

As a PhD student, you will contribute to the development of this methodology for electromagnetic and thermal design of permanent magnet machines with minimal rare-earth content, focusing on designing a more complex geometry of hard magnetic regions (permanent magnets) than with conventionally produced magnets. The purpose and novelty compared to the state of the art is also to implement a spatial magnetic gradient, so that soft and non-magnetic regions have a gradual spatial transition to hard magnetic regions. Strong collaboration with the PhD student on multiphysics modelling and with material-related PhD student in the framework of EMbyAM is necessary to finetune printing of such materials with a magnetic gradient. Eventually, a prototype will be constructed to validate the theoretical studies. The work of this PhD student will actively contribute to sustainability and recyclability of electric machines, as it will reduce rare-earth consumption in electric machines to a minimum.

The candidate is responsible for the complete implementation of the previous described work and will be enrolled in a PhD program at Ghent University. The candidate will be hired for half the PhD – program (18 months) by a university and the other half by an industry partner. The candidate will also be enrolled in a variety of workshops and training programs of the EMByAM project.
The initial contract duration will be one year, in which you are hired as a PhD researcher. The contract can be extended under the condition of a positive evaluation after the initial period. Ghent University offers an attractive salary with additional benefits, a positive and inspiring working environment and training possibilities. You will work at the Electrical Energy Laboratory in the Tech Lane Ghent Science Park in Zwijnaarde.

Job profile

  • You hold a master of science in engineering, preferably in electromechanical or electrical engineering.
  • You are motivated, creative and have a passion for academic research. You have an affinity with both experimental research and simulation software.
  • You have a strong technical knowledge, expertise and experience in the domain of electromagnetic and thermal analysis of electric machines.
  • You have good communication skills in English.
  • You like challenging scientific research in a multidisciplinary and international context.

How to apply

Send your CV and motivation letter to before the 15th of September 2022. If you pass the pre-selection, you will receive further instructions on the selection process and will be invited for a job interview, possibly via Teams.