PhD Studentship in Electrical Materials for Power Transformers
University of Southampton’s School of Electronics and Computer Science
United Kingdom

PhD Studentship: Electrical Materials for Power Transformers

Electrical Power Engineering

Location: Highfield Campus

Closing Date: Friday 31 August 2018

Reference: 980818FP

Project title: Electrical Materials for Power Transformers

Supervisor: Dr James Pilgrim

Co-supervisor: Prof Paul Lewin


Project description

Industrially funded PhD studentships in Electrical Power Engineering Applications are invited for a PhD studentship for a start date of no later than July 2018. This scholarship will fund students for their tuition fees (UK/EU rate only), a bursary to cover living expenses (£14,553 per year) and a Research Training Support Grant for research consumables and conference attendance. The successful candidate will be based at the Tony Davies High Voltage Laboratory (TDHVL) within the Electronics and Computer Science Department. TDHVL is one of the premiere high voltage research facilities in Europe, with a long track record of delivering research/innovation projects to industrial clients.


The PhD position is associated with a wider programme of work, funded by National Grid plc (TOPICS2 Innovation Project). This PhD project will investigate the impact of degradation of paper insulation on the remaining life of large power transformers.The project will require a range of practical and laboratory skills, including the design of bespoke test rigs to assess changes in the electrical and mechanical properties of the papers.The ideal candidate will have an engineering or physics background, enjoy practical work in a laboratory setting, and be willing to acquire new skills in material science. The PhD student will join an interdisciplinary team, with researchers from both TDHVL and Chemistry.


The ideal candidates should have, or be expected to gain, a BEng/MEng (or MSc, MPhys as appropriate) with first class honours in a related subject. The position will require the ability to work across disciplines, bringing together knowledge relating to high voltage/power engineering with materials science and chemistry. As the project is industrially funded, candidates will also be expected to demonstrate excellent communication skills, including the ability to clearly and concisely present detailed technical information to the client on a routine basis.


TDHVL will provide research experience in one of its programs, training, laboratory facilities and access to its seminar and lectures. Students would also be strongly encouraged to present papers at three major international conferences during their period of study and would have access to all university facilities for wider study, including the libraries, and recreation.


Prospective candidates are encouraged to contact Dr James Pilgrim (<>) or Prof Paul Lewin (<>) directly for further details.


Key facts

Entry requirements: first or upper second-class degree or equivalent


Closing date:applications should be received no later than 31 August 2018 for standard admissions, but later applications may be considered depending on the funds remaining in place.


Duration: four years (full-time)


Funding: full tuition fees, for UK/EU students, and a tax-free stipend of £14,777 per year


Assessment: Nine month and 18 month reports, viva voce and thesis examination


Start date: typically September



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