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Past Research Projects


Research Title Sponsoring Company Academic Responsible
Research Staff/Students
Full Proposal for a GE Aviation Strategic Partnership in Avanced Electrical Power and Actuation Systems (UTSP) EPSRC Phil Mawby Benedict Donnellan, Martin Westmoreland
An Inverter Loss Simulation for New Material Devices Toyota
Phil Mawby Dean Hamilton, Ian Swan, Graham Roberts
DTI/Zytek Phil Mawby Nii-Adotei Parker-Allotey
Phil Mawby Mohamed Abd Elrazek
Multiphase DC/DC Converter National Semiconductor
Phil Mawby, James Covington CF Tong
EPSRC Phil Mawby Hui Huang
EPSRC Phil Mawby Shaoyong Yang
INTRINSIC DTI Phil Mawby, James Covington Mike Jennings, Amador Perez-Tomas
Science City   Phil Mawby Mike Jennings


An Inverter Loss Simulation for New Material Devices (with Toyota Motor Corporation)

The power electronic inverter in a hybrid electric vehicle, such as the Toyota Prius, is a key component in the hybrid system, supplying power from the batteries to the motor to assist the engine during acceleration. This results in a smaller engine and reduced fuel consumption. However, inverters used in this application are currently limited by the power semiconductor devices used to control the power flow (IGBTs, PIN diodes), in particular the cooling requirements.

This project aims to address this issue, using a combination of advanced modelling techniques to evaluate device performance under real operating conditions. These include advanced compact device models, fast inverter simulation methods, and accurate multi-dimensional heatsink models to estimate the device temperature rise. This also allows new material technologies (e.g. silicon carbide) and packaging topologies to be assessed for automotive powertrain electronics applications.


Project Title: SMARTPAC

This project is part of the University Technology Strategic Partnership (UTSP) called SMARTPACT. SMARTPACT will deliver revolutionary research in electrical power and actuation technology and lay the foundation for more far-reaching innovation over the longer-term.
SMARTPACT has five board themes of research in its current portfolio;

  • Aircraft Electrical Power System Design, including modelling.
  • System Diagnostics and Prognostics.
  • Power Conversion.
  • Actuation Systems.
  • Advanced Semiconductor Switching Technologies.
  • Heat Transfer Technologies.

This research will be led by Nottingham in conjunction with Warwick whose work focuses on advanced semiconductor switching technologies. While the research seeks to answer some fundamental issues about the core technologies required for future systems, the involvement of GE in the problem definition and research enables this to be set in the context of real industrial and global issues such as green flight.

About GE Aviation: GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric Company (NYSE: GE), is a world-leading provider of commercial and military jet engines and components as well as integrated digital, electric power, and mechanical systems for aircraft. For more information, visit us at


Multiphase DC /DC Converter

With the demand of the current in the processor becomes higher and higher and the voltage is dropping below 1 V, there is a need for a high efficiency and increasingly small voltage regulator module especially for portable device application. The reduction of the loss in power MOSFETs, will help to reduce the total amount of loss as it is major part of the total power loss.

This project is part of a bigger project of a 3-dimentional integrating of all components of a dc-dc circuit into an integrated circuit. This work will look into the best switches for the two high-side and low-side switch in dc-dc converter.


Interactive Research in Silicon Carbide (INTRINSIC)

DTI Project No: TP/3/OPT/6/I/17311

Silicon carbide (SiC) offers huge advantages in electronics due to its exceptional material properties. Silicon carbide devices will be tens of times smaller and lighter than their silicon equivalents, reducing the size and weight of electronics in hybrid electric vehicles and space and aerospace applications. Silicon carbide electronics will dramatically increase energy efficiency and decrease environmental pollution. The research will focus specifically on novel Metal Oxide Semiconductor (MOS), IGBT and diode devices up to 1.2kV, for applications in hybrid vehicles and portable power supplies. A new fabrication process is proposed to increase the channel mobility in MOS devices, based on silicon / silicon carbide heterojunction technology. New commercial silicon carbide surface polishing techniques will be used to radically improve the performance and yield of Schottky diodes.

University of Warwick is a partner in the new £1.1m DTI (Department of Trade & Industry) funded project “Interactive Research in Silicon Carbide (INTRINSIC)” project. INTRINSIC, started in October 2005, is developing novel metal oxide semiconductor (MOS) technology, using hetero-junction and surface preparation technology to develop high channel mobility MOS switching devices. INTRINSIC is a UK consortium of six industrial (Surface Technology Systems, Semelab, Aviza, ESEMI, Pure Wafer International, IQE), and two academic partners; Swansea University and Warwick University.

Partner 1: Semelab
Partner 2: University of Wales Swansea (UWS)
Partner 3: ESEMI Limited (ESEMI)
Partner 4: Surface Technology Systems plc. (STS)
Partner 5: Aviza Technology
Partner 6: Pure Wafer Limited (PW)
Partner 7: University of Warwick
Partner 8: Epitec (formerly IQE)

Science City

In 2005 the Government defined Science Cities as "those with strong science-based assets - such as a major university or centre of research excellence - which have particular potential to attract a critical mass of innovative businesses and become drivers of regional growth". Six Science Cities have been announced to date (Manchester, York and Newcastle in 2004; Birmingham, Nottingham and Bristol in 2005). Their aim is to develop city-based strategies to exploit centres of world-class scientific research. This will be achieved by, among other things, developing policies on knowledge transfer, business support, skills, infrastructure, and communication links. These strategies will also promote a closer partnership between RDAs, city government, local businesses, and the research base.

The University of Warwick is proud to be a partner of the Birmingham Science City.

Currently we are involved in the Hydrogen Energy Project, part of an ‘Energy Futures’ collaboration between the universities of Birmingham and Warwick, will bring together and build on existing research excellence and will position the West Midlands as an internationally leading research centre for hydrogen energy.

With the continued threat of global warming, hydrogen energy is seen as one of the best ways of generating energy without producing excessive amounts of carbon or greenhouse gases.

The new project will research how hydrogen energy can be generated, stored and used as a power source in buildings and transport. The grant will fund equipment and facilities at the two universities so that they can further research and develop demonstrator projects with public and private sector partners. A key area of activity will be looking at ways of producing and storing hydrogen using sustainable methods, such as by electrolysis of water and from biomass.