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PhD Design of High-Voltage Actuators and Electric Field Predictions

PhD Design of High-Voltage Actuators and Electric Field Predictions

Electrical Engineering


The Electromechanics and Power Electronics (EPE) group at the Electrical Engineering (EE) department of TU/e has an open position on the design of high-voltage actuators and electric field prediction, methodology, and solutions in collaboration with industrial partners.

Goal and background

Linear electromagnetic actuators form the core of many high-tech, high-performant motion systems. The urge for more performance translates into increasingly aggressive motion profiles, which in turn lead to increased mechanical, electromagnetic and thermal stress gradients in the materials of the actuator. The actuator design should be robust for these increasing stresses. This research focuses on improving the actuator design allowing for higher operating voltages while maintaining good thermal performance and reliability. This can be achieved by choosing novel material types combining good thermal conductivity and electrical insulation properties or by extending the electrical capabilities of state-of-art materials and combining them with novel cooling technologies. This research will build forward on previous research which focused on high-voltage actuator design and infrastructure. The actuator design was based on an oil flow for electrical insulation and cooling of the actuator. This design shows significant potential, but for practical reasons, oil is not preferred in a vacuum environment which exists in some high-tech systems.

The research project will focus on the deployment of high operating voltage technologies, advanced insulation materials and cooling techniques (oil-free) in the field of advanced linear actuation systems for semicon applications, with the focus on the investigation and understanding of electrical failure phenomena such as partial discharge.

The activity in this project will be performed in collaboration with another PhD student V36.5905 PhD Thermal Management, Lifetime, & Multi-Physical Stresses HighVoltage Actuaors.

Research challenges

This activity will address the electric field phenomena (partial discharge as a localized dielectric breakdown, electric insulation concepts), modeling methodology, and design solutions, including the extensive set of experimental verifications on the level of components (single coils, stack of coils) and linear actuator system. This activity will aim to deliver a functioning high-voltage linear actuation prototype, demonstrating a reliable operation at the specified voltage and force levels for required motion profiles.


PhD student

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.


The PhD student for this research project should fulfil the following requirements:

  • 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.
  • Excellent communication skills.
  • Ability to independently organize his/her own work, to solve problems, to achieve desirable goals and to cooperate.
  • 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.


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 27 (in the first year  €.2,541 and in the fourth year €3,247).
  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more about the position?
Please contact Jeroen van Dam, email j.r.m.v.dam[at]

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HRServices.MCS[at]

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


If interested, please use 'apply now'-button at the top of this page. You should upload the following: a detailed curriculum vitae including a complete list of the marks obtained during your whole university career, a letter of motivation and portfolio with relevant work. Recommendations will be requested upon the submission of the documents.

  • A cover letter explaining your motivation and suitability for the position.
  • A detailed Curriculum Vitae (including a list of publications and key achievements in research project(s)).
  • Contact information of at least two references.
  • Copies of diplomas with course grades.
  • Graduation thesis.

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each