We are pleased to annouce a new joint PhD with Protean and NMIS. Full funding (UK home students, opportunities for international students) is available for a 3.5 year PhD with the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering (EEE) at the University of Strathclyde in collaboration with industry collaboration from Protean and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. The project aligns to the EPSRC funded Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub. The aim of the project is to demonstrate alternative methods of manufacture for a wheel mounted electrical machine for an electric vehicle, with a focus on light-weighting opportunities and cost reduction. The research topic fits into the wider research activity in the Institute for Energy and Environment within the EEE department at Strathclyde, on the integration of lightweight, non-metallic materials with electrical power systems.

The PhD project is part-funded by Protean Electric and the National Manufacture Institute Scotland. It will also align with the EPSRC funded Future Electrical Machines Manufacturing Hub.

The PhD is scheduled to start in October 2023, and will be co-hosted between the Institute for Energy and Environment, in the EEE department at Strathclyde, and the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland. The supervision for the project will be provided by:

Dr Catherine Jones (https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/persons/catherine-jones)

Dr Jill Miscandlon (https://pureportal.strath.ac.uk/en/persons/jill-miscandlon).

Aim and background:

The aim of this 3.5 year PhD is to demonstrate and focus on potential alternative methods of manufacture for a wheel mounted electrical machine for an electric vehicle application, with a focus on light weighting opportunities and cost reduction. Current designs of this machine include a rotor and stator casing which account for approximately 28% of the total machine mass. The beginning of the PhD will look at a full review of a case study machine, with key areas highlighted for which alternative manufacturing methods or material choices could lead to lighter components or opportunities for more sustainable designs. One or two components will be selected for further analysis, with a full method of manufacture down-select activity undertaken to systematically select optimal solutions based on key drivers. Full analysis will then be conducted on the selected components, which could include (but is not limited to) full CAD design, structural and electrical analysis, CFD for thermal behaviour, manufacturing process modelling, and cost modelling. Life cycle assessments will also be conducted for the down-selected options to ensure that any final designs provide long-term sustainable solutions. This PhD will aim to provide cost effective alternative manufacturing routes for a wheel mounted electrical machine, and provide recommendations for sustainable future manufacture.

The PhD studentship will be hosted by the National Manufacturing Institute Scotland and the Institute for Energy and Environment in the Department of Electronics and Electrical Engineering at the University of Strathclyde, in collaboration with Protean Electric. Protean Electric are the world leader of in-wheel motor technology for future transport solutions, and a company who strive for continuous innovation. This PhD will aim to develop cost effective, sustainable manufacturing solutions to ensure the continued development of innovative solutions for future transport challenges.

The PhD will have the following main tasks:

· Review of a Protean electrical machine, cataloguing the key requirements for each component, and the interactions between components

· Selection of 1-2 components of the machine for lightweighting optimisation, after review and discussion with Protean engineers

· Manufacturing and materials down-select activity to rank various options based on lightweighting potential, cost reduction opportunities, and optimal manufacturing routes

· Presentation to PhD supervisors and Protean engineers on ranked options, and choice for next stage

· Design of new components for selected Protean electrical machine, including CAD, finite element analysis, computational fluid dynamics, and other applicable modelling work

· Life Cycle Assessment of component designs

· Practical trials for prototype manufacture of component

· Post forming analysis which could include geometrical inspection, grain structure evaluation, mechanical testing, residual stress testing, in-line testing

Applicants must possess (or be on track to graduate in Summer 2023 with) a first class or 2.1 (Honours), or equivalent EU/International qualification, in the relevant discipline of Electrical, Mechanical, or Design Engineering. The candidate should have the following technical experience and personal skills: Self-motivated individual with skills and/or interest in electrical engineering or mechanical engineering, Knowledge of CAD software and CFD would be an advantage A proactive approach, with initiative and ability to work independently, Strength to cope with schedules and deadlines. Excellent organisational and communication skillsExcellent written and spoken English.

For further information and how to apply:

Informal enquiries can be made to catherine.e.jones@strath.ac.uk or jill.miscandlon@strath.ac.uk. Please put the subject of the email as “Protean-PhD”.

To apply please email a CV and covering letter explaining why you would like to apply for the PhD, and how you meet the required technical and personal skills required for the role.

Funding Notes
Funding for home (UK) students for this PhD is secured. For excellent international students, there is an opportunity for funding to cover international fees. Applications for this funding are competitive, and as such international applicants wishing to apply for this funding must have an excellent academic track record.