Lead Engineer (Electric Power Steering for Electric Vehicles) – Coventry – University of Warwick

Posted 1 year ago
Vacancy Type/Job category
Management & Professional
£40,792 – £48,677 per annum
University of Warwick, Coventry
Vacancy Overview
Fixed Term Contract until 31 March 2020

An exciting opportunity has become available in WMG to be involved in research on the next generation of electric power steering systems specifically aimed at electric vehicles capable of high levels of autonomous operation. The steering system is to be integrated along with electric braking into a high-performance unified vehicle dynamics system that will ensure good vehicle performance in the most challenging of driving conditions. The elements of the steering system comprise the electric motor, the power electronics to drive it, low and high level control layers and several sensors. The whole system must meet demanding safety cases to be identiifed and formulated within the ISO 26262 standard. A further intention is for the vehicle to be able to communicate with other road users and static infrastructure to give the vehicle information about road conditions.

Our ambition is to develop, within this CAV3 partnership of market leading organisations consisting of Delta Motorsport, Titan Motorsport, Potenza, Alcon and Cranfield University, an electric power steering sytem for the electric vehicle age. The steering system will be tested both in the laboratory and on a test track in a real vehicle. Ideally with a background in power elctronics, instrumentation, system integration or testing, and with some experience of the automotive field, you will have the extensive facilities of the Electrical Machines and Power Electronics Groups at your disposal to carry out the activities associated with this project. These include:

• Assisting the partners in the analysis of real-time data from track testing
• Designing a high performance inverter for driving the steering motor which will be developed within the project
• Assisting in the design of a low level controller for the steering system
• With partners, integrating the steering element into the unified vehicle dynamics environment
• Testing the complete system against specification, including fault conditions, and investigating its behaviour in ‘corner cases’ i.e. extremes of operation
• Working with partners to develop safety cases

This is a great opportunity to develop your collaborative research skills, and to build your own professional network within this specialist area. The ideal candidate will hold a PhD in Electrical Engineering or similar, and have evidence of a developing academic career. In return, we will provide access to state-of-the-art research facilities as well as all the usual employee benefits that you would expect from one of the UK’s leading universities.

For informal enquiries please contact Professor Richard McMahon by email to r.mcmahon.1@warwick.ac.uk

Job Description

You will undertake research on the AID-CAV project, funded by the UK’s CCAV (Centre for Connected & Autonomous Vehicles) in collaboration with industry and academic partners.. There is some flexibility in the areas of specialism sought from the successful candidate. The Department would however be particularly interested in the candidate being able to contribute in the area of electrical machines for future electric vehicles. In particular, you will have expertise in one or more of the following areas:

• Design of power electronic systems, especially using wide bandgap semiconductor devices
• Electronic instrumentation and data analysis
• Control schemes for electrical machines
• Testing of automotive electromechanical systems
• Integration of automotive electrical systems
• Data communications as applied to in-vehicle networks or telemetry


1. Conduct research and development into electric power steering systems intended to be part of a unified vehicle dynamics system for electric vehicles. This will specifically involve the power electronics required for the inverter driving the motor and the associated low-level controller. It is anticipated that new wide bandgap semiconductors devices, most likely GaN, will be deployed.

2. Integrating the different elements of the electric steering system, namely the power electronics, the electric machine and low-level control, and managing the testing of these elements. The ultimate aim is to integrate the electric steering system into the overall unified vehicle dynamics platform and, working with partners, to prove the system on the track and to prepare safety cases. This will involve comprehensive literature and internet searches as well as arranging meetings with technical specialists from industry technology providers (suppliers to the industry) and academic staff within WMG. Ensuring that a detailed work programme exists to generate the research outcomes within the agreed time frame is essential.

3. Develop novel and appropriate methodology with the academic investigators and industrial partners for carrying out the project. This will include development of electrical systems for the steering system itself and also test equipment to be used in the laboratory and for in-vehicle testing and monitoring.

4. Prepare detailed activity specifications, liaise with the university finance and purchasing departments and generate appropriate selection criteria in order to purchase any additional external or subcontract support, computer software or capital equipment necessary to deliver the project outputs.

5. Provide comprehensive direction and support to WMG and the partners on all aspects of the WMG components of the project. Deputise for the project manager at management meetings as required, ensuring that appropriate input is given and outcomes are reported to the project manager and others within the research team in a timely manner.

6. Support the publication of research outcomes in appropriate journals of international standing and to disseminate the result of research and scholarship in other reputable outlets. To attend and present research and project findings at professional conferences and contribute to the external visibility and profile of the department

7. Assist with the development and delivery of training materials to disseminate and embed knowledge within project partners.

8. Develop plans to ensure that the business outputs agreed with the funding bodies are achieved within the agreed timescales and reported on a regular basis

9. Represent the university and WMG at national and international events and report outcomes to the Project Manager and others within the research group in a timely manner.

Person Specification

The Person Specification focuses on the knowledge, skills, experience and qualifications required to undertake the role effectively. This is measured by (a) Application Form, (b) Test/Exercise, (c) Interview, (d) Presentation.

Essential Criteria 1
A good honours degree in a relevant subject (a)
Essential Criteria 2
Significant experience in an automotive context in one or more of: Power electronics,instrumentation, motor control, electro-mechanical system integration, or testing and safety case development (a), (c), (d)
Essential Criteria 3
A willingness to carry out experimental work, including the design and development of electronic and electro-mechanical test fixtures as required (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 4
Experience of industrial R&D and first implementation in ‘real world’ environment, ideally gained in the automotive sector (a), (c), (d)
Essential Criteria 5
Ability to perform detailed data analysis and interpretation to present results and make recommendations via briefings, presentations or written reports (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 6
Experience in experimental design, data analysis and interpretation (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 7
Experience of manufacturing processes engineering within a relevant industrial sector, including the ability to make recommendations for process improvements (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 8
Experience in development and delivery of training material (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 9
Excellent project planning and reporting skills, with the ability to initiate, plan organise, implement and deliver programmes of work to tight deadlines (a), (c), (d)
Essential Criteria 10
Ability to deliver rapid, commercially focused results (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 11
Good effective oral and written communication skills, presentation and training skills (a), (c), (d)
Essential Criteria 12
Well-developed interpersonal skills capable of dealing with all levels of employment and providing effective solutions to complex situations (a), (c), (d)
Essential Criteria 13
Ability to work within a diverse team of subject matter experts, to quickly adapt to new situations and business practices (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 14
A range of Quantitative and/or Qualitative research skills (a), (c)
Essential Criteria 15
Skilful negotiator with the ability to influence and persuade when necessary (a), (c)
Desirable Criteria 1
A significant level of relevant product development experience, for example formal requirements capture, in an industrial context (a), (c), (d)
Desirable Criteria 2
A doctorate level qualification in a relevant research area (a), (c)
Desirable Criteria 3
Professional membership of an appropriate professional institute (a), (c)
Further Particulars
For further information about the University of Warwick, please read our University Further Particulars.

For further information about the department, please visit the departmental website.

Further information about existing projects and the extensive research facilities available to support this post can be found via the link below


Right to work in the UK

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please click on this link which contains further information about obtaining right to work in the UK and details about eligibility for sponsorship under Tier 2.

Recruitment of Ex-Offenders Policy

As an organisation using the (DBS) Disclosure and Barring Service to assess applicants’ suitability for positions of trust, the University of Warwick complies with the DBS Code of Practice and undertakes not to discriminate unfairly against any subject of a Disclosure on the basis of a conviction or other information revealed. More information is available on the University’s Vacancy pages and applicants may request a copy of the DBS Code of Practice.

Other Information
The University of Warwick provides an inclusive working and learning environment, recognising and respecting every individual’s differences. We welcome applications from individuals who identify with any of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010.
Closing Date
11 Dec 2018

Job Features

Job Categorydevelopment, Energy Systems, Engineer, Support, technology

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