Design of Superconducting Electric Machines for Zero Emission Transport

The Institute for Energy Systems, School of Engineering, at the University of Edinburgh, is inviting applications for the following fully-funded PhD project, expected to commence on 1st September 2024.

This advert may close early if a suitable candidate is identified. Early application is therefore encouraged.

Project Background:

Join the frontier of zero emission transport with a PhD opportunity focused on advancing the decarbonisation of large-scale transport, particularly electric aircraft. Highly efficient and power-dense electric machines are paramount in this endeavor, and superconducting electric machines stand out as a promising solution. With efficiencies exceeding 99% and power densities surpassing 20 kW/kg, superconducting electric machines hold the potential to revolutionise long-haul electric aviation.

This interdisciplinary project delves into the intricate domain of electro-mechanical-thermal (EMT) analysis, essential for the precise design of superconducting electric machines. By integrating cutting-edge cryogenic cooling methods, we aim to optimise the performance and reliability of the machine while maintaining sustainability standards.

Responsibilities and Tasks:

As a PhD candidate, you will embark on a journey of innovation, exploring the intricacies of superconducting electric machine design and EMT analysis. You will delve into numerical modelling techniques to unravel the complexities of superconducting windings and integrate cryogenic systems seamlessly. Hands-on experimental validation work will be conducted in the Applied Superconductivity Lab at the esteemed University of Edinburgh (ranked 4th in the UK based on 2021 REF and top 20 globally).

Join our dynamic team and contribute to shaping the future of sustainable transport through pioneering research and practical implementation. Unlock your potential, expand your expertise, and make a tangible impact on the global transition to zero emission transport.


Further Information: 

The University of Edinburgh is committed to equality of opportunity for all its staff and students, and promotes a culture of inclusivity. Please see details here:

Closing Date: 

Saturday, August 31, 2024

Principal Supervisor: 

Assistant Supervisor: 


Applicants should hold, or expect to receive, a First Class or high Upper Second-Class Honours degree (or the equivalent) in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science, or a relevant discipline. A master’s level qualification in Electric Machines or/and Applied Superconductivity would be advantageous.

Non-UK applicants must meet our English language entry requirement.

Applicants are expected to demonstrate proficiency in electric machine design. Moreover, experience with finite element software, such as COMSOL Multiphysics, would be advantageous. Familiarity with Applied Superconductivity concepts and techniques is also desirable.

Further information on English language requirements for EU/Overseas applicants.


Tuition fees + stipend are available for Home/EU and International students

Applications are also welcomed from self-funded students, or students who are applying for scholarships from the University of Edinburgh or elsewhere

Further information and other funding options.

Informal Enquiries: 

Dr Hongye Zhang ,