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

Technical University of DenmarkThe 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 modeling aspects as a part of the FTP project “Improved climate control inside electronic equipment enclosures based on a modeling 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 modeling 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. Modeling the heat and mass transfer and coupling with optimization and developing semi-empirical models using the experimental data. The modeling work will involve coupled heat and mass transfer modeling 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 modeling. 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.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.

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 offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, public-sector consultancy and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

Further information
Further information on the positions can be obtained from Associate Professor Rajan Ambat (experimental Ph.D.) and Professor Jesper Hattel (Modelling Ph.D.), Department of Mechanical Engineering, DTU, Phone: Rajan Ambat: +45 4525 2181, Jesper Hattel: +45 45254710, e-mail: Rajan Ambat:, Jesper Hattel:

You can read more about Department of Mechanical Engineering on

Please do not send applications to this e-mail address, instead apply online as described below.

We must have your online application by the 27 August 2013.

Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link « Apply online, » fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master’s degree, but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Mechanical Engineering covers the fundamental engineering disciplines within Naval Architecture and Offshore Engineering, Energetics, Solid Mechanics, Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Control and Engineering Design, Hydrodynamics, Structural Engineering and Materials. It has a scientific staff of about 100 persons, 95 PhD students and a technical/administrative support staff of 75 persons.

 DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and public service. Our staff of 5,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 9,000 students are educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.

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