PhD on permanent-magnet-free electrical drives for heavy-duty applications

Research / Academic

In contrast to conventional internal combustion engines, electric traction vehicles offer a more environmentally friendly solution for mitigating global warming. Due to their high power density, permanent-magnet-based electrical machines are commonly used in electric vehicles. However, these machines have several disadvantages, such as the high cost of the permanent-magnet (PM) material and decreased performance at higher temperatures. Specifically, the electrification of heavy-duty vehicles, such as agricultural tractors, requires a large amount of rare-earth material to satisfy the high-torque demand. One of the strong candidates for PM-free high-torque electrical drive is the variable flux reluctance machine (VFRM) because of its robust and cost-effective structure. There is a high demand for a comprehensive exploration of motor control techniques applied to high-torque VFRMs in order to enable high-performance PM-free electrical drive solutions for heavy-duty applications. Therefore, the aim is to experimentally investigate optimal control algorithms to control VFRMs using a VFRM and its driver prototypes. In addition to the experimental studies, a complete simulation framework will be developed, including both the VFRM model and the voltage-excited power electronics model. This PhD trajectory focuses on the performance improvements of VFRMs using various control algorithms.

The work will demand the following affinities:

  • Multi-domain modeling of electrical machines, including electromagnetic, thermal, and structural properties,
  • Coupling of nonlinear material properties in the simulation models,
  • Electrical machine simulations coupled with power electronics drive,
  • Motor control simulations and real-time motor control prototyping (Imperix, dSPACE etc.),
  • olid practical skills in programming (Matlab, Simulink, Phyton, Ansys, Altair, Comsol etc.),
  • Knowledge of and experience in these fields is a big plus:
  • Reluctance machines for traction applications,
  • Parameter identification of electrical drive systems,
  • Classical and modern control theory and related optimization techniques,
  • Electrical machine simulation programs (Analytical, semi-analytical, and numerical modeling techniques).

Your findings will also contribute to the active projects within the EPE group and TU/e research institutes (HTSC - and EAISI-Responsible Mobility as possible input for the use-cases relevant with electrical drives in high-tech and mobility. Besides the research, you will also contribute to education within the department.

Fig. 1. EPE group research laboratory Flux 0.560About the EPE group

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering, science, and technology. Within the Department of Electrical Engineering, Electromechanics and Power Electronics (EPE) group has one of the most advanced electromechanics and power electronics laboratories in the Netherlands, shown in Fig. 1. It contains state-of-the-art facilities for testing and validation of electromechanical and power electronics systems. The EPE group consists of two full professors, two associate professors, and eight assistant professors, several postdocs, about 30 PhD candidates, and technical support staff. The EPE group has been one of the leading institutes in researching electrical mobility with specialized, unconventional, high-performance electromechanical actuation systems for transport applications. In order to keep pushing the envelope of the physical limits of these mechatronic systems to meet and realize the ever-increasing various industrial and societal demands, we have adopted a multi-physical, multi-disciplinary research philosophy, in which we have not shunned to start and successfully realize ambitious and radical research projects.


We are looking for candidates matching the following profile:

  • MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Control Engineering, Aerospace Engineering, or Mechatronics,
  • A very strong analytical background, with solid mathematical skills in control theory and excellent problem-solving abilities for electrical drive systems,
  • Ability to independently organize your own work, to solve problems, to cooperate, and to achieve desirable goals,
  • Ability to participate in the teaching process in BSc and MSc programs (both taught in English),
  • Strong command of the English language (knowledge of Dutch language is a plus),
  • Excellent scientific writing skills, preferably proven with peer-reviewed publications,
  • Project management skills are a plus.

Salary Benefits:

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:

  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates. 
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


De Rondom 70