PhD/Postdoc position on MV class solid-state, arbitrary waveform pulse sources

Eindhoven University of Technology
June 06, 2024
Offerd Salary:€2,770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
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PhD/Postdoc position on MV class solid-state, arbitrary waveform pulse



PhD-student, (Post-doctoral) Researcher

Irène Curie Fellowship



Electrical Engineering



Date off


Reference number


Job description

The Electrical Energy Systems (EES) group within the Department of Electrical Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) seeks to hire an outstanding PhD candidate or Postdoc within the field of high-voltage pulsed power research.

This is a 4-year salaried PhD position or a 3-year salaried Postdoc position. We will only hire one candidate and will mainly focus on the candidate's profile to make our choice, since this is a highly challenging, yet unique project, requiring a special blend of qualities in the candidate.

Project description

The goal of the research project is to develop solid-state, nanosecond, arbitrary-waveform pulsed power systems at voltage levels of up to 0.7 MV. The main project is part of the “Bottled Lightning” project (https: // www. euros-for-research-on-lightning-in-a-bottle) in which we will investigate the mysteries of lightning inception. To do this in a lab environment, a 2-m diameter discharge vessel will be developed (see picture). To drive the discharge in this vessel, we need a 700-kV nanosecond pulse source with arbitrary output waveforms. It should have <25 ns rise time, kA output current, have pulse durations from 50-1000 ns, be bipolar and operate at repetition rates of over 10 Hz. The challenging research into and the development of this source will be the main task of the PhD/Postdoc.

The first task of the PhD/Postdoc will be to develop a 200-kV pulse source prototype with the aim of identifying the best topology (probably the Impedance-Matched Marx Generator), the best voltage level per stage, the best charging method, the best triggering and control method, the best HV connection method, etc. The methods to develop this prototype will consist of circuit simulations, sub-system-prototype development and 3D electromagnetic simulations. The candidate will be responsible for this development, but will work in a team of other PhD candidates, postdocs and technicians that will assist. Finally, the full 0.7-MV prototype will be developed along similar lines and with all lessons learned from the 200-kV prototype.

This project requires a unique skillset, ideally combining knowledge on pulsed power, high-voltage and power electronics. It will be a very challenging project, but at the same time a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity! Research projects like this don't come along very often. If you are interested, please apply for this position and if you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected].

Electrical Energy Systems Group

Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering science & technology. The Department of Electrical Engineering is responsible for research and education in Electrical Engineering. The discipline covers technologies and electrical phenomena involved in computer engineering, information processing, energy transfer and telecommunication. The department strives for societal relevance through an emphasis on the fields of smart sustainable systems, the connected world and care & cure. The TU/e is the world's best-performing research university in terms of research cooperation with industry (#1 since 2009).

The Electrical Energy Systems (EES) group has a strong research line on Pulsed Power Technology, which is the topic that deals with the generation of the short high-voltage pulses. By generating very short high-voltage pulses, we can produce chemically active electrical discharges (plasmas). These plasmas can then be employed for environmental applications, such as air or water purification or to “activate” water, which gives the water disinfecting and fertilizing properties. Other uses for plasma are medical (wound disinfection, wound healing acceleration) and surface treatment of materials (etching, deposition of layers, surface modification, etc.). Pulsed Power Technology is practiced at several world-recognized institutes around the world. One of these top institutes is the EES group at Eindhoven University of Technology.

In EES' High-Voltage laboratory (a 14x14x8m Faraday cage) we work on (nanosecond) high-voltage pulse source design, plasmas, pulsed power applications and all the intermediate steps in the process. Our main focus is on the development of nanosecond pulsed high-voltage circuits that generate pulses from several kV to hundreds of kV and from less than one nanosecond duration to pulses of several hundreds of nanoseconds duration.

Job requirements

We are looking for candidates that match the following profile:

  • For the PhD position: A master's degree in Electrical Engineering with excellent grades, preferably with a specialization in pulsed power, high- voltage engineering and/or power electronics engineering and some knowledge in practical mechanical engineering.
  • For the Postdoc position: A PhD degree in Electrical Engineering with a specialization in pulsed power, high-voltage engineering and/or power electronics and some knowledge in practical mechanical engineering. Knowledge on solid-state pulsed power systems and 3D-EM simulations with CST (or comparable software) is preferred.
  • Experience with working in a lab environment. For this project it is important that you feel comfortable working with high voltage, but also that you can design and implement prototypes and research setups in the lab, preferably having experience with PCB design.
  • Be able bridge the gap between fundamental concepts and theories on the one hand, and practical implementation and evaluation of these concepts on the other hand.
  • A team player that enjoys working in multidisciplinary teams.
  • Good communication and organization skills.
  • Excellent English language skills (writing and presenting).
  • Conditions of employment

    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 P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • Postdoc:

  • Full-time employment for three years.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10 (min. €3,877 max. €5,090).
  • A TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • For PhD and Postdoc:

  • 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.
  • Information and application

    About us

    Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands- on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.

    Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


    Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact the hiring manager Tom Huiskamp, email [email protected].

    Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services, email [email protected].

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


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:

  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • Postdoc: List of five self-selected ‘best publications'.
  • We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.

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