PhD to research the development of advanced solid state transformers technology

Research / Academic
The Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy in the European Horizon 2020 project 'Advanced Solid State Transformers' ASSTRA. The ASSTRA project is a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network and is looking for:

One PhD students to research the development of advanced solid state transformer technology in medium voltage DC-equipped energy supply systems.

The research will be conducted within the Electromechanics and Power Electronics (EPE) group, Department of Electrical Engineering, in close cooperation with ABB Corporate Research Center in Switzerland.  

Research challenge

Smart DC-equipped energy supply systems will play a major role in the future renewable approach of energy generation, distribution and consumption. This futuristic electrification network has in its core a flexible power conversion unit, often called the 'Solid-State-Transformer' (SST), distributing electrical energy from sources to loads in a similar fashion as today's internet hubs distribute information from senders to receivers. Specifically, this power conversion unit integrates state-of-the-art technology in order to implement power electronics building blocks and magnetic components featuring breaking through performances, which will ultimately enable its industrial deployment. The main magnetic component of the SST is the Medium Frequency Transformer, which supports the operation of the power electronics and provides galvanic isolation between the primary and secondary sides of the converter.

The research will focus on the medium frequency transformer, in order to keep up with recent advances of power electronics and move the whole converter technology to a superior level of efficiency, power density and insulation. Special attention will be devoted to the state-of-the-art modelling approaches for electromagnetism, as well as advanced magnetic materials and manufacturing techniques. The research will be carried out in close collaboration with another PhD candidate currently working on electromagnetic modelling and insulation coordination.

The project involves a two-partner network comprising the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands and ABB Corporate Research Center in Switzerland. The ASSTRA project started in January 2018 and will run until the end of 2021. During the project, the PhD student will spend at least 50% of his/her time at ABB in Switzerland. The PhD students will have access to excellent research and training facilities at both locations, and will be guided by experienced supervisors, one academic and one industrial.

The PhD project will last for 4 years. The time which will exceed the duration of the ASSTRA project will be fully financed by TU/e.

Electromechanics and Power Electronics group

The EPE-group research activities span all facets of Electromechanics and Power Electronics, in particular linear and rotary electrical machines, multi-level power converters, and their design tools for automotive and high-precision applications. The PhD student will join the group and collaborate intensely with the other members of the EPE group (around 50 researchers), where he/she will participate in an industrial research activity. The aim of his/her PhD research project is to research accurate loss calculation methods that are characterized by high dynamic performance, high power density and high efficiency, where research within the EPE Group is characterized by personal supervision.


For this project, a candidate with MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Physics or Mathematics will be selected and hired as doctoral student in the Electromechanics and Power Electronics Group ( for a 4-years period. The candidate should have:
  • an excellent knowledge and background in power electronic converters and magnetic components;
  • affiliation with high power applications;
  • a very strong mathematical background;
  • fundamental knowledge of power electronic converter systems;
  • previous experience with  electromagnetic modelling of inductive components with the use of FE tools.

To be eligible for the position you may NOT have been resident in The Netherlands for more than 12 months in the past three years, and may have a maximum of four years full-time equivalent research experience. You will closely cooperate with the other researchers involved in this international project.

Salary Benefits:

  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university and a stimulating internationally renowned research environment;
  • full-time temporary appointment for 4 years;
  • gross salary between € 2325,00 and € 2972,00;
  • an extensive package of fringe benefits (e.g. excellent technical infrastructure, the possibility of child care and excellent sports facilities).
Work Hours:

38 hours per week


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