PhD Student Position in Bearing Currents in Wind Turbines

Chalmers University of Technology is pleased to invite applicants to apply for a PhD position. All students regardless of citizenship are eligible to apply. Applicants should apply before September 25, 2018.

Information about the department

At the department of Electrical Engineering, research and education are performed in the areas of Electric Power Engineering, Communication and Antenna systems, Systems and Control, Computer vision, Signal processing and Biomedical engineering. Our knowledge is of use everywhere where there is advanced technology with integrated electronics. We work with challenges for a sustainable future in society of today, for example in the growing demands concerning efficient systems for communications and electrifying.

We offer a dynamic and international work environment with about 200 employees from more than 20 countries, and with extensive national and international research collaborations with academia, industry and society.

The department provides about 100 courses, of which most are included in the Master's Programs "Biomedical Engineering", "Electric Power Engineering", "Systems, Control and Mechatronics" and "Communication Engineering".


Information about the research group

The division of Electric Power Engineering has a strong commitment in research and education with its tasks to develop new knowledge, combine it with experiments, and pass it on to the students and to the industry and society. In this way, the division has been contributing to securing the international competitive position of Sweden as a whole.

Our main research activities in the division are represented in five areas: (1) Power systems and grid-connected converters; (2) High voltage and insulation; (3) Renewable power and grid integration; (4) Electrical machines and drives; and (5) Electric vehicles and transport electrification.

Information about the project

The main purpose of the project is to extend the life time of wind turbines by detecting and eliminating the bearing currents. This means that the life span of the bearings and in many cases also the life of the entire wind power plant can be extended. The work will be concentrated on the power plant’s main bearings on the main shaft and the electric drive systems in the nacelle and hub. The project is carried out in cooperation with 3 wind power owners/operators and 1 bearing manufacturer in Sweden. The PhD work is a part of a the VindEl research program of the Swedish Energy Agency.

The project begins with a basic study of how bearing currents can occur and its modeling as well as laboratory tests. In addition, measurements are made on-site wind turbines with suspected bearing current problems. Finally will methods be developed to mitgate the currenst in the bearings.

The main task for the PhD student will be to understand the appearance of bearing currents in wind turbines and thus the approaches to eliminate them.

Major responsibilities

Your major responsibilitiy as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral education. You are expected to be an independent researcher and to develop your own scientific knowledge and skills and communicate the results of your research orally and in writing. The position comprises theoretical modelling as well as practical experimental parts. The position will normally include 15-20% departmental work, typically as lab assistant and exercise leader of different courses.

You are expected to write a licentiate thesis within 2-2.5 years and defend your doctoral thesis within 5 years.

Chalmers offers a cultivating and inspiring research environment in the vibrant city of Gothenburg. We offer a full-time temporary employment with an internationally competitive salary including benefits like paid vacation (about 28 days of vacation per year, depending on age), parental leave, health insurance etc.

Read more about working at Chalmers and our benefits for employees.

The position is limited to a maximum of five years.


To be qualified the applicant must have a Master's degree or equivalent corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in Electric Power Engineering, with an emphasis on electric drive systems and power electronics. Good ability to cooperate is a prerequisite together with the ability to focus on issues. Excellent writing and communication skills in English are required. The skill to conduct teaching in Swedish is an advantage.

Application procedure

The application should be marked with Ref 20180445 and written in English. The application should be sent electronically and be attached as pdf-files, as below:

CV: (Please name the document: CV, Family name, Ref. number)
- CV
- Other, for example previous employments or leadership qualifications and positions of trust.
- Two references that we can contact.

Personal letter: (Please name the document as: Personal letter, Family name, Ref. number)
- 1-3 pages where you introduce yourself and present your qualifications.
- Previous research fields and main research results.
- Future goals and research focus. Are there any specific projects and research issues you are primarily interested in?

Other documents:
- Copies of bachelor and/or master's thesis.
- Attested copies and transcripts of completed education, grades and other certificates, eg. TOEFL test results.

Application deadline: 25 September, 2018

For questions, please contact:

Professor Ola Carlson, Electric Power Engineering, +46317721637


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