Early Stage Researcher - Marie Curie (ECO DRIVE) - ECU control strategies for optimized multi-attribute eco-powertrain performance

    • Herent, Belgium

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Nowadays, it is a fact that the transport sector contributes about 20% of the world's pollution. The legislations created to reduce emissions - including acoustic emissions - linked to the current eco-trend have a huge impact on several key performance attributes of automotive (sub)systems.

Electrical and hybrid vehicles, who are one of the main drivers of such eco-friendly trend, need to be designed as lightweight as possible with the aim to reduce their ecological footprint and maintain a reasonable mileage while still retaining and acceptable NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) performance.

The ECO-DRIVE (Noise and vibration in eco-efficient powertrains) project moves significant steps towards the reduction of emissions coming from the transport sector.

The influence of such eco-friendly trend on various powertrain and vehicle configurations has brought unique NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) challenges from a variety of sources. The noise and vibration characteristics of the individual components (combustion engine, electric motor, transmission, etc.) in vehicles are today identified, but an electric or hybrid powertrain features additional and different components as well as novel operational modes compared to a conventional powertrain. Electric (EV) or Hybrid Electric Vehicles (HEV) bring new NVH challenges such as power control unit high frequency switching noise, high-frequency electric motor/generator noise, power-split system gear whine, and engine start/stop noise and vibration. Specific attention should go to the control and NVH performance of the next-generation vehicles, especially in relation to the subjective perception by passengers and driver. The extensive usage of electrical drives and actuators in such vehicles creates new sound signatures and complex interactions compared to the previous cars. In (H)EV, where the conventional combustion engines are replaced or doubled by electrical motors, new types of components are introduced in the car of the future. These vehicle parts regularly generate high-frequency noise or other new annoying noise and vibration features. The NVH refinement of such noise phenomena by new Electronic Control Unit (ECU) strategies is an important aspect of the powertrain development and the vehicle integration process. Current performance-enhancing control strategies often conflict with NVH optimization. By acquiring and tuning ECU parameters together with NVH data, users can gain insight into how those interlink and how an optimum between both can be achieved.

This position as early stage researcher and PhD candidate is part of a Marie Skłodowska-Curie European project involving several industrial and academic partners.

This PhD project/ESR position will focus on tackling the above-mentioned issues by researching novel control unit strategies and simulation methods. In order to comply with Europe's stringent emission regulations, control unit parameters of the drivetrain must be optimized for fuel consumption and efficiency. The main goal of this PhD project is to explore the best trade-off solutions with respect to ECU parameter settings for improved engine power, ecoefficiency, vibration and noise comfort.

The main acoustic and vibration issues with a rather negative effect on the (H)EV comfort, which results as a consequence of the additional components and different new interactions between these, are:
• Low-frequency vibrations of the powertrain during start/stop of the combustion engine;
• High-frequency switching noise of the power control unit;
• Electromagnetic noise of the motor/generator during electric driving and regenerative braking;
• Aerodynamic effects of the battery cooling system;
• Modified moments of inertia and eigen-frequencies in the powertrain.

In hybrid or combined concepts, the start/stop event even happens more frequently and influence the control, noise and vibration behavior more drastic. The required trade-off analysis will be performed by means of multi-attribute 1D/0D dynamic system simulation models. More in detail, high accurate dynamic grey box models for parallel, series hybrid electric vehicles need to be developed. In a next step, these models need to be used to analyze how different control strategies power splits between two or more power sources and how this affects noise comfort, vibration, overall efficiency, range of vehicle. An optimal control strategy needs to come out the analysis to enhance comfort, vibration and the overall efficiency of drivetrain. Finally, the optimized control strategies and models need to be tested in a real-time environment.
The fellowship/employment will be for three years. There is some flexibility on the start date, ranging from July to October 2020.
The researcher will receive a full salary in line with the rules for Innovative Training Network ( see https://ec.europa.eu/research/mariecurieactions/sites/mariecurie2/files/msca-itn-fellows-note_en_v2.pdf ) including contributions to pension scheme and health care. A mobility allowance is also provided to support travelling.
Eligibility criteria
Applicants must satisfy the eligibility rules stipulated by the Horizon 2020 Guidelines of the European Commission. They must not have performed their main activity in Belgium for more than 12 months of the 36 months preceding the position. Early-Stage Researchers must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent) of their research careers, starting at the date of obtaining the degree which would formally entitle them to embark on a doctorate.

The application should also include a complete academic record (credits and grades), including information on the grade point average, the maximum possible grade in the grading system that is in use at your university as well as the minimum passing grade. If possible, provide also a ranking within your class. Please make sure to combine all the documents in a single PDF file.
Selection process
The recruitment procedures will be transparent, efficient and internationally comparable; they will be based on competitive selection with equal opportunities for all applicants. Candidates from disadvantaged groups will be encouraged to apply, while discrimination based on gender, ethnic origin, disability, ... will not be tolerated. European and national legal obligations will be adhered to, in particular the European Charter for Researchers and the Code of Conduct for the Recruitment of Researchers.
The Organization
Siemens Industry Software N.V. (part of Siemens Digital Industries Software), is the leading partner in test and mechatronic simulation in the automotive, aerospace and other advanced manufacturing industries, helps customers get better products to market faster. With a unique combination of mechatronic simulation software, testing systems and engineering services, SISW tunes into mission critical engineering attributes, ranging from system dynamics, structural integrity and sound quality to durability, comfort and power consumption.

With multi-domain and mechatronic simulation solutions, SISW addresses the complex engineering challenges associated with intelligent system design and model-based systems engineering. Its RTD team is a research unit based in Leuven, Belgium, welcoming several international doctoral candidates. For more information of SISW, please visit www.siemens.com/plm/lms .

Major responsibilities
As a research fellow you will be registered i) as a PhD applicant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering within the Leuven Mecha(tro)nic System Dynamics division (LMSD) ( https://www.mech.kuleuven.be/en/mod/research ) headed by Prof. Dr. Wim Desmet ( https://www.kuleuven.be/wieiswie/en/person/00011973 ) and ii) as a PhD applicant in the department of Product Engineering within the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT) ( https://www.ipek.kit.edu/english/54.php ) headed by Prof. Dr. Albert Albers ( https://www.ipek.kit.edu/english/21_88.php ).

Your major responsibility as a PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies and generate high-quality scientific research within the framework of the ECO-DRIVE project. This work includes developing scientific concepts and communicating research results both verbally and in writing. In addition to the research project, you are also expected to complete graduate courses in topics related to your research. As an ESR you will also have the possibility to improve your soft-skills by dedicated training and interact with the other members of the consortium and increase your international profile as a research specialist.
A suitable candidate:

  • has a M. Sc. degree in engineering (Mechanical, Electrotechnical, Mechatronics, Computer Science);
  • is fluent in English (both oral and written);
  • has excellent report writing skills and presentational skills in English;
  • is an excellent team player who can also work independently;
  • has extensive experience in control engineering and lumped parameter time domain simulations;
  • has experience with programming languages such as Python, C, C++;
  • has experience with algorithm development and hardware/simulation environment Matlab/Simulink/dSPACE or similar;
  • has experience with automotive applications;
  • has a creative, critical and mindset towards technical problems;
  • is motivated to work in a result-oriented way and can work independently within the team.
Organization: Digital Industries

Company: Siemens Industry Software NV

Experience Level: Early Professional

Job Type: Full-time

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