PhD in AC-loss phenomena in superconductive coils for motion systems

PhD in AC-loss phenomena in superconductive coils for motion systems

Published Deadline Location
5 Jan 19 Apr Eindhoven

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Job description

Productivity is a key competitive differentiator in many industrial manufacturing processes and a compromise between throughput and quality has to be reached. Many manufacturing processes rely heavily on complex electromechanical motion systems. The physical limitations of these systems have been reached and caused advances in productivity to have stalled in recent years. To still overcome these limitations a new research field is emerging in electromechanics that explores the application of coils comprising superconductive tapes to boost performance levels beyond the current state-of-art, i.e. cryomechatronics. Superconductive materials which allow coils to generate higher magnetic field strengths than currently achievable with permanent-magnet technology, result in a potential boost of force levels up to 3 times higher compared to permanent-magnet based technology. AC loss and quench phenomena in superconductive tapes however hamper the potential performance gain of motion systems. To fully unlock this potential a better understanding and description of the physical behavior of the superconductive coils in a physical environment that is representative of one found in motion systems is required. Within this research project it is the goal to broaden our understanding, characterization and modeling of the physical AC loss mechanism at the tape level for a wide variety of tape grades and coil configuration, such that at the design stage of the motion system reliable and accurate predictions of performance level indicators can be made. This research is conducted in close cooperation with our partner Twente University and is funded by the Materials Innovation Institute (M2I) in Delft, the Netherlands.   

If you are interested in doing research in the emerging discipline of cryomechatronics, willing to apply and immerse yourself into a challenging multi-disciplinary topic to further push back the frontiers in motion systems, and you have an open attitude towards teamwork, you are invited to apply to strengthen our team.

Job Description

As a PhD student you will be one of two main researchers in the project. The research will be jointly conducted in collaboration with Twente University. The research will be conducted within the Electromechanics & Power Electronics group of the department of Electrical Engineering. The research tasks include the characterization, modelling and localization of undesired parasitic phenomena that occur within high-temperature superconducting tapes (HTS) in stator-coils specifically intended for high-dynamic, translating actuators. The main focus is to map the AC loss distribution for different grades of tapes - both striated, nonstriated, insulated and/or non-insulated -  as function of the HTS coil geometrical shape (e.g. bending radii) in conjunction the AC magnetic field originating from the translator to which the HTS coils will be exposed. The characterizations have to be performed under the conditions that are representative of those found in an actual actuator, i.e. AC fields rich in both time- and space harmonics. The research activities include the design of the experimental set-up and experimental verification.

Work environment

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a young university, founded in 1956 by industry, local government, and academia. Today, their spirit of collaboration is still at the heart of the university community. We foster an open culture where everyone feels free to exchange ideas and take initiatives.

Eindhoven University of Technology offers academic education that is driven by fundamental and applied research. Our educational philosophy is based on personal attention and room for individual ambitions and talents. Our research meets the highest international standards of quality. We push the limits of science, which puts us at the forefront of rapidly emerging areas of research.

Eindhoven University of Technology combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on mentality. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow. We understand things by making them and we make things by understanding them.

Our campus is in the centre of one of the most powerful technology hubs in the world: Brainport Eindhoven. Globally, we stand out when it comes to collaborating with advanced industries. Together with other institutions, we form a thriving ecosystem with one common aim - to improve quality of life through sustainable innovations.

The Electromechanics and Power Electronics group is one of the nine research groups of the Department of Electrical Engineering at TU/e. The group is the main center for research in electromechanical power conversion and power electronics in the Netherlands. The research is aligned with the three main strategic research themes of the Eindhoven University of Technology, i.e. Energy, Health and Smart Mobility. The four research tracks of the EPE group are high-tech motion systems and robotics, power electronics systems, smart mobility and advanced modeling. Furthermore, the group is one of the founders of the High Tech Systems Center in which all mechatronic knowledge of the TU/e will be bundled.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • MSc degree in Electrical and/or Power Engineering, Applied Mathematics, or Applied Physics.
  • Strong affinity with electrical and power engineering, state-of-the-art physics and mathematics.
  • Strong analytical and research skills.
  • Practical skills / Ability to perform experiments in a lab environment experience in mechatronics or cryogenics is a plus.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to independently organize his/her own work, to solve problems, to achieve desirable goals and to cooperate.
  • Project management skills are a plus.
  • Ability to participate in the teaching process in BSc and MSc programs (both taught in English).
  • Good scientific writing and documentation skills.
  • Strong command of the English language (knowledge of Dutch language is a plus).

Conditions of employment

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.
  • 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.
  • A Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V36.6230


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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