Research Associate in Power Electronics

The power electronics research team within the Institute for Energy Systems at the University of Edinburgh is seeking an experienced Research Associate (Power Electronics) to support the EPSRC funded programmes “High Current Module and Technologies Optimised for HVDC’ and ‘Quietening ultra-low-loss SiC & GaN waveforms’. The successful candidate will work closely with the team at Edinburgh and collaborators at partner universities to deliver advances in switching control and efficient use of Silicon IGBT and Silicon Carbide MOSFETs in high power applications.

Applicants must have a PhD in power electronics and should be able to demonstrate a track record of relevant research, with a specific focus on experimental hardware, ideally in the field of high power applications. Expertise in scientific writing and evidence of peer-reviewed publications are also required.

This is a full time and fixed term post for 3 years. The post is available from June 2018.

Salary: £32,548 - £38,833 per annum

Closing Date: Tuesday 15th May 2018 at 5pm (GMT)


1. Job Details

Job title: Research Associate in Power Electronics

School/Support Department: School of Engineering

Unit (if applicable): Institute for Energy Systems

Line manager: Professor Stephen Finney

2. Job Purpose

This Research Associate position will contribute to power electronics research relating the development of advanced gate drive technologies capable of delivering controlled switching transients which optimise the switching loss, device utilisation and electromagnetic emissions of power semiconductor devices. The project is funded by EPSRC and involves collaboration with the Universities of Cambridge and Warwick together with industry partners.

3. Main Responsibilities (Approx. % of time)

  1. Undertake research related to the development, testing and evaluation of advanced gate drives for state-of-the-art power modules. This will entail both independent research work and working in collaboration with other researchers in the ‘High Current Module and Technologies Optimised for HVDC’ and ‘Quietening ultra-low-loss SiC & GaN waveforms’. The successful candidate will proactively engage with collaborating researchers to identify fruitful lines of research in this area, with a view to understanding, defining, and quantifying the potential to raise device efficiency through optimised gate drives and power module design. (60%)

  2. Dissemination of research findings through internal reports, conference proceedings, and journal publications (15%)

  3. Liaison with and support of colleagues on the related EPSRC funded programs, possibly including domestic and international travel and support of meetings at the University of Edinburgh and collaborating institutions . (10%)

  4. Develop plans for personal research and contribute to wider development of group strategy to identify and agree priorities for current and future work. (5%)

  5. Contribute to writing bids to win ongoing research grants. Provide guidance to other staff and students interested in integrating methods/results from this work into their own activity to ensure most effective use, particularly within the University of Edinburgh (10%)

4. Planning and Organising

• Work with the line manager to define and plan a program of relevant research work and then to produce publishable results within appropriate timescales 
• Work independently to plan the schedule of tasks to ensure that work of the projects progresses according to agreed overall timetable 
• Organise own time so that different aspects of the project can proceed in parallel giving due consideration to the needs of other members of the team 
• Be proactive in interacting with project partners to share data and ideas 
• Take a leadership role in regular project meetings to report and review progress, and to generate new ideas and lines of research 
• Determine the aims, objectives and deadlines for short to medium term work plan, in discussion with the Line Manager (particularly for medium term planning). 
• Contribute to long-term strategic planning and development of group activities, in discussion with the Line Manager and other researchers.

5. Problem Solving

• Be resourceful in overcoming problems encountered in the development of new approaches and the implementation of existing techniques in the normal course of the research. 
• Define the methodology to solve the problems in the project. 
• Work in close cooperation with the other project investigators, project partners, technical staff, and PhD students working on the project to resolve problems, as required.

6. Decision Making

• The post-holder should be able to organise his/her work schedule to ensure satisfactory progress and to meet the demands (where realistic) of other project partners, PhD students, etc. The successful candidate will play an important role as a member of the team in making daily decisions about their own plan of work and the allocation of time and resources. 
• Manage day-to-day work load, making independent decisions about immediate priorities to meet short and medium term targets that have been agreed with Line Manager.

7. Key Contacts/Relationships

• Frequent (daily to weekly) contact with other researchers in the project team and relevant research groups including academic staff, other researchers and PhD students. 
• Regular (weekly to monthly) contact with other researchers working on relevant problems in the University of Edinburgh. 
• Regular (typically monthly) contact with key stakeholders, likely to include industry.

8. Knowledge, Skills and Experience Needed for the Job


• A good undergraduate degree and a PhD in the field of power electronics or a clearly related area. 
• Proven track record of practical power electronics research, with a specific focus on experimental hardware, ideally in the field of high power applications. 
• A track record of relevant research output evidenced by publications or equivalent industry output. 
• Understanding of electronic circuit design including practical experience of analogue and mixed signal circuits. 
• Recent experience of research relating to power semiconductor device applications, power electronic topologies or a closely related areas. 
• Experience in delivering research project results in a power electronics context; i.e. a record of peer-reviewed journal, conference papers or technical reports in a relevant area. 
• Experience of working in a practical electronics research laboratory. 
• Familiarity with of appropriate design and simulation tools. 
• Familiarity with appropriate experimental techniques and measurement tools. 
• Ability to develop and maintain effective working relationships. 
• Good time-keeping and time-management, with associated effective prioritisation of tasks. 
• Good communication skills; oral, writing and presentation of data. 
• Ability to contribute ideas and initiate new ways of working. 
• Capable of working collaboratively with researchers from different disciplines or technical background. 
• Capable of working independently, exercising a high degree of initiative and demonstrating a pro-active and flexible approach to work. 
• Ability plan work-load effectively and meet agreed milestones.


• Understanding/experience of advanced gate drive techniques applied to power semiconductors. 
• Understanding of HVDC power converter topologies such as the modular multi-level converter. 
• Experience in the field power semiconductor device applications particularly relating to the testing of high current/ high voltage devices. 
• Experience of working in a practical power electronics laboratory or similar high voltage/current environment. 
• Practical experience of working in the power electronics industry. 
• Experience of mentoring or supervision of junior co-workers. 
• Experience of designing experimental equipment for investigation of high current power converters or testing of power semiconductor devices. 
• Experience of test automation and control platforms (LabVIEW or similar) 
• Ability to be adaptive and accepting of new ideas and a willingness to approach new challenges and adjusts plans to meet new priorities.

9. Dimensions

• Potential to help supervise up to 2 PhD students and 2-4 Masters project students 
• Work collaboratively with other RAs, industrial and academic partners, PhD students from the participating and related groups and researchers from other universities 
• Responsibility for regular progress reporting to project partners 
• Keep line manager up-to-date with progress 
• Contribute to interactions between immediate group and broader communities working in the fields of power electronics, machines and electrical energy systems

UoE Vacancy Ref: 


Closing Date: 

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Contact Name: 

Contact Email: 

Contact Telephone: 

+44(0)131 650 5724