Meet Our PhD students

Since the official launch of the FEMM Hub, we have been joined by 10 new PhD students. Find out more about their research by clicking on their photographs below.

Hao Chen

PhD - Sheffield

PhD title: Advanced condition monitoring techniques using fibre optic sensors.

Hao Chen received the B.E. degree from Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan, China in 2018 and the MSc degree from the University of Sheffield, Sheffield, U.K. in 2019. He is now working towards the Ph.D. degree in the University of Sheffield, U.K. His current research interest is developing advanced electric machine condition monitoring and fault detection techniques using FBG sensors.

Ze Zhang

PhD - University of Sheffield

PhD Supervisors: Professor Ash Tiwari and Professor Geraint Jewell

More information to follow.

Reece Eblet

PhD - Sheffield

PhD title: Manufacture and use of soft magnetics materials for high performance applications within electrical machine and drive systems.

This project will be concerned with research at the nexus of machine design, material modelling and manufacturing process development. It will be focused on the research challenges associated with employing high-performance Cobalt-Iron soft magnetic alloys in next-generation aerospace propulsion machines. Although offering the highest levels of magnetic performance, these alloys are stress-sensitive and difficult to process following heat treatment. This project, which will be performed in collaboration with Rolls-Royce will explore the design for manufacture aspects of machines to exploit these properties in the context of hybrid propulsion systems for next-generation aircraft.

Leigh Paterson

PhD - AFRC Strathclyde

Leigh’s PhD is concerned with alleviating the environmental impact from the component parts of an electrical machine by looking at implementing a circular economy design route. She graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2014 with a first class honours degree in Product Design & Innovation. After working as a product development engineer within the medical industry for a number of years, she returned to the University to undertake this PhD in a topic she is passionate about.

John McKay

PhD - AFRC Strathclyde

PhD topic: Optimisation of coil winding

I graduated from the University of Strathclyde in 2015 with an Meng in Electronics and Electrical Engineering. I pursued a number of different interests afterwards, from attempting to gain funding from the university to develop my final year project into an actual product/company to pursuing interests within the software and financial industries. I eventually went back into engineering and worked for a manufacturing company which manufactured high-speed data communications equipment for google, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Softbank etc. I then took up the PhD in high-performance electromagnetic coils due to the ever-increasing need for electrification in the world and an interest in electric vehicles and electric flight.

Qi Ji

PhD - Sheffield

PhD title: Modular high-performance permanent magnet hub machine for electric vehicles.

Ji’s PhD research is on the design and analysis of high-performance permanent magnet hub machines for electrical vehicles. He received the B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the School of Electrical Engineering, Southeast University, Nanjing, China, in 2016 and 2019, respectively. He is currently a PhD student at the University of Sheffield.

Wei Liang Choong

PhD - Sheffield

PhD title: Novel Rotor Design for Cost Optimised, High Temperature, High Speed Aerospace Applications

Choong's PhD centers on high performance and lightweight electrical machine rotors, which combine magnetic materials with advanced carbon-fibre composite technology in collaboration with Rolls-Royce plc. He graduated with a BEng and MSc in Mechanical Engineering from The University of Sheffield, then held several industrial positions in aerospace manufacturing, where he gained valuable experience from Non-Destructive Testing, machining dynamics, quality adherence of gas turbine components during casting and coating, as well as industrialisation of aerospace electrical components. Upon returning to academia, he will be steering his research efforts to further enable decarbonisation within the aerospace industry.

Ioan-Alexandru Herdea

PhD - Sheffield

PhD Supervisor: Prof Ashutosh Tiwari

Alex's PhD is about monitoring the process of making terminations for electrical machines. He completed his MEng in Robotics and
Mechatronics with a first class degree from the Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering at the University of Sheffield. He attended a placement year with the electrical machine manufacturing company ZF in Birmingham. He also undertook a summer placement for Nuclear AMRC. He enjoys playing squash for the University and is involved in the squash club committee for the University.

Daniel Harper

PhD - Sheffield

PhD title: Metallic Rotor Containment Sleeves for Permanent Magnet Machines

Daniel’s PhD is exploring the containment process of the magnetic components within electrical machines, with research mainly into the material properties and selection. He first graduated from Sheffield Hallam University in 2018 with a BEng in Automotive Engineering then changed fields where he graduated from the University of Leeds with an MSc in Medical Engineering.

Before higher education Daniel has had the honour of working with both Newcastle University and Pajunk Medical Products GmbH, and is aiming to apply his engineering knowledge from each of his backgrounds into his current research.

Simon Goodwin

PhD - Newcastle

PhD Supervisor: Dr Glynn Atkinson

Title: High Frequency Soft Magnetic Composite Machines and Optimised Drives

While much research is conducted on improving electric motors and inverters with fundamental frequencies in the range of 600 Hz to 1.2 kHz, traction systems operating above 2.5 kHz fundamental frequency are becoming more prevalent. To close this gap and provide insights into the design of such drive systems, this research will focus on a high frequency electric drivetrain built around an SMC electric motor and will aim to optimize the inverter topology, its modulation strategy and filtering to achieve the highest system efficiency and system power density whilst taking advantage of the high frequency capability of SMC. A major part herein will be to balance losses between the motor core, the inverter and potentially a filter in a way that suits the whole system while considering the use case defined by the WLTP cycle.