Early Career Researchers

In 2015, the Centre introduced an early career award for research fellows or academics, to enable them to develop independent research within its framework. Applicants were required to demonstrate how their work would fit into one or more of the Centre’s themes and explain how the award would help them to develop their career.

£170k was allocated to four early career research projects:

  • Optimisable system-level thermal models for power electronic converters, Dr Dan Rogers, Cardiff University
  • A new packaging structure of power module with integrated substrate and heat sink, Dr Jiangfeng Li, University of Nottingham
  • Novel power integrated semiconductor device technology for energy efficient power electronic systems, Dr Marina Antoniou, University of Cambridge
  • Addressing the range anxiety problem – a dual function integrated drive/charger for future EVs, Dr Nandor Bodo, Liverpool John Moores University
Further information on two of these funded projects:

Optimisable system-level thermal models for power electronic converters – Dr Dan Rogers, Cardiff University

D Rogers (Fig 1)
Fig 1

This project focuses on the design of reliable yet efficient thermal models, underpinning an optimal design framework for power electronic converters. Due to the high number of times that these models must be evaluated during the optimisation process, such models are required to be of low computational cost (so-called ‘optimisable’). The project is embedded in a wider design optimisation framework, aligning with the CPE’s cross-theme topic ‘Design Tools and Modelling’.

A simplified physical model of a second order filter intended for thermal modelling is shown in Fig. 1. This, together with a set of assumptions regarding the behaviour of the heatsink, allows efficient axisymmetric 

D Rogers (Fig 2)
Fig 2

modelling (Fig. 2). The project will seek to progressively increase the accuracy of the optimisable models by relaxation of the simplifying assumptions whilst ensuring a reasonable computational cost is maintained. Accuracy of the optimisable models will be assessed using much more computationally expensive three dimensional simulations.

A New Packaging Structure of Power Module with Integrated Substrate and Heat Sink – Dr Jiangfeng Li, University of Nottingham

This project proposed an innovative packaging structure of power module with integrated substrate and heat sink to improve electrical, thermal and reliability performance and reduce manufacturing cost.  The integrated substrate and heat sink was used to replace the separate ceramic-based substrate, metal-matrix composite base plate and metal heat sink, and to get rid of the large area solder joint and thermal interface material between them.  As a result, the advanced power modules constructed with this proposed packaging structure were expected to have low parasitic inductance, reduced thermal resistance and increased thermo-mechanical reliability.  A long term outcome of this work will be the provision of step change packaging structure and manufacturing process for application-specific, highly customised power electronics with high added value, which will facilitate the design and development of innovative products and manufacturing processes for the development of new energy technology.