PhD scholarships in Climatic Reliability of Electronic Devices (2 positions)

The Materials and Surface Engineering and the Precision Manufacturing sections in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark are seeking candidates for two PhD positions in the field of “Climate control inside electronic device enclosures” based on experimental and modelling aspects as a part of the FTP project “Improved climate control inside electronic equipment enclosures based on a modelling approach”.

The PhD positions are for a 3 year period and expected to start from 1 October 2013.

Responsibililties and tasks
Project background and content: Electronic control systems are used in all sorts of modern technological devices be it outside or indoors. Uncontrolled local climate inside the enclosures for these systems cause several humidity related failures on the Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBAs) placed inside. Moreover, the designs of the enclosure for these systems are often based on experience gained over the years in the producing companies, rather than systematic, scientific knowledge. The aim of the PhD projects is to build up the necessary empirical and theoretical modelling base that allows optimized enclosure design for controlling corrosion and other humidity related failures of electronic devices such as for Printed Circuit Board Assemblies (PCBA).

Research activities in the intended PhD positions will involve:    

  1. Empirical understanding of the local humidity and air flow in typical enclosures such as the effect of convection inside the enclosure, differential temperature between inside and outside, and geometrical arrangements of parts (eg. PCBAs), placement of heavy components etc.
  2. Water layer formation on PCBAs and failure mechanisms  such as understanding the nature of water layer formation from few molecular levels to micrometer scale depending on the humidity, and temperature contributing to various corrosion and humidity related failure mechanisms and time constants.
  3. Modelling the heat and mass transfer and coupling with optimization and developing semi-empirical models using the experimental data. The modelling work will involve coupled heat and mass transfer modelling combined with empirical sub-models for e.g. water uptake and the corrosion critical relative humidity as a function of contamination and temperature, and defining single or multi-targeted objective functions based on the above information.

One PhD position will be in the experimental part and another will be related to modelling. Both PhD positions will have industrial collaboration as a part of the project.

Candidates for the position should have: 

Experimental PhD: Masters degree in Materials science and engineering, chemical engineering or related subjects such as Corrosion science and engineering with a knowledge of materials engineering and chemistry. Prior experience on Climatic reliability of electronics systems is an advantage.  

Modelling PhD: Masters degree in mechanical engineering, materials science and engineering, electrical engineering, physics or related subjects with knowledge of heat and fluid flow analysis. Prior experience in applying numerical methods such as finite element, finite volume or finite difference methods to technological problems is an advantage.

Candidates are requested to specify which PhD position they apply for.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by: Associate Professor Rajan Ambat (experimental Ph.D.) and Professor Jesper Hattel (Modelling Ph.D.), Department of Mechanical Engineering

We must have your online application by the 27 August 2013. Apply online at the Apply button below.

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