Within the School of Health and Life Sciences we deliver world leading research across a spectrum of disciplines. If you come to GCU as a PhD student you would be integrated into one of our dynamic research groups, providing you with a vibrant research environment to build your research skills. We have experienced, dedicated PhD supervisors to support you within our team of PhD students.
We can offer PhD study opportunities closely aligned with our research streams as detailed in the list of projects available here. We can also consider individual proposals, finding a fit with our expert research staff. If you are considering PhD study at GCU please have a look at the specific projects listed here and contact the lead investigator for further information. If you have your own project proposal you are welcome to submit this for consideration with your application. You may wish to contact a relevant member of research staff to guide you in preparing a suitable proposal. We look forward to working with you on this exciting stage of your career development.
School of Engineering and Built Environment
Funded PhD Research Project
High precision fault localisation in buried power cables based on wireless charging
Project Reference Number: SCEBE_ETP_001
Key words: cable breaks, electrical distribution system, fault localisation, wireless charging
Distribution system cable fault-finding is a major challenge for the energy supply industry. State-of-the-art techniques can only locate fault locations within proximity of several square metres. Even when a faulty cable has been identified, exact fault localisation may be quite complex due to non-conformance of laying maps with actual cable location. This is, therefore, a slow and costly process to network operators and results in disruption to supply and road traffic.
Current fault-finding techniques either depend on cable impedance measurement in a null detector device, such as Murray or Varley loops, or time domain reflectometry, which depends on impedance variations during faults affecting reflected signals injected from one end. These techniques have one characteristic in common: treating the cable as a “black box” which can only be accessed through the cable end terminals.
This project is proposing a novel, yet practical and feasible, technology solution based on the state-of-the-art inductive wireless charging (IWC) technology to achieve more precise identification of fault locations. This is expected to cut down the time and cost on excavations, improve supply security to customers and mitigate the negative societal impact arising from roadworks disruption. The technology solution proposed transfers power inductively from an over-ground mobile energy source to the de-energised buried cable. This device would fundamentally be operating as a mobile scanner, and can be used in conjunction with existing estimation techniques to help narrow down the scanning area.
1- M. R. Hans, Snehal C. Kor, and A. S. Patil, “Identification of underground cable fault location and development”, IEEE International Conference on Data Management, Analytics and Innovation (ICDMAI), pp. 5-8, 2017.
2- Charna Parkey, Craig Hughes, and Nicholas Locken, “Analyzing artifacts in the time domain waveform to locate wire faults”, IEEE Instrumentation & Measurement Magazine, vol. 15, No. 4, pp. 16 – 21, 2012.
3- Wenzheng Xu, Weifa Liang, Jian Peng, Yiguang Liu and Yan Wang, “Maximizing Charging Satisfaction of Smartphone Users via Wireless Energy Transfer”, IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing, vol. 16, No.4, pp. 990-1004, 2017.
4- Changbyung Park; Sungwoo Lee; Gyu-Hyeong Cho; Chun T. Rim, “Innovative 5-m-Off-Distance Inductive Power Transfer Systems With Optimally Shaped Dipole Coils”, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 30, No.2, pp. 817-827, 2015.
5- Zhenjie Li; Chunbo Zhu; Jinhai Jiang; Kai Song; Guo Wei, “A 3-kW Wireless Power Transfer System for Sightseeing Car Supercapacitor Charge”, IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics, vol. 32, No.5, pp. 3301-3316, 2017.
To design, analyse and implement a novel wireless scanning technique for high precision fault localisation in buried power cables.
1- Review wireless charging systems and fault-finding/diagnosis techniques in power cables.
2- Develop simulation model of the proposed system under study using Matlab software.
3- Create full system design of proposed mobile scanner (circuit, controllers and data acquisition).
4- Validate/modify design using Matlab software and considering practical/industrial context.
5- Build experimental prototype (cable samples sought from SPEN).
6- Test operation with small separating distances and gradually reaching typical burial depths up to 100cm.
7- Investigate the effect of other environmental conditions (such as soil and asphalt) on inductive coupling between mobile source and buried cable.
8- Analyse electrical current measurements to yield patterns and profiles to indicate more precise location and type of fault.
Candidates are encouraged to contact the following academics for further details:
- Dr. Ahmed Aboushady (https://www.gcu.ac.uk/ebe/staff/aboushadyahmed/)
- Dr. M Emad Farrag (https://www.gcu.ac.uk/ebe/engineering/electricalandelectronicengineering/meetourteam/dr%20mohamed%20emad%20farrag/)
Mode(s) of Study
This project is available as a PhD: 3.5 years full-time (42 months)
The project provides funding for the following:
- Bursary of £52,726 over a total period of 42 months
- UK/EU tuition fees for 42 months
- International students would have to find funds to pay the difference between UK/EU tuition fee rates and international fee rates for the duration of the project.
Current fee information: https://www.gcu.ac.uk/research/postgraduateresearchstudy/tuitionfees/
Applicants will normally hold a UK honours degree 2:1 (or equivalent); or a Masters degree in a subject relevant to the research project. Equivalent professional qualifications and any appropriate research experience may be considered. A minimum English language level of IELTS score of 6.5 (or equivalent) with no element below 6.0 is required. Some research disciplines may require higher levels.
Specific requirements of the project:
The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate a solid educational background in power system engineering and power electronics.
The successful candidate should have strong self-motivation and dedicated passion in power system research.
The willingness of team-working in a multi-cultural team and the ability to deliver research outcomes to meet deadlines.
Relevant academic research and industrial experience will be preferable
Experience of power conversion system control design and simulation
Experience of power electronic devices and converters
Practical skills with building and testing power electronic circuits
Strong mathematical background
How to Apply
Candidates are encouraged to contact the research supervisor(s) for the project before applying.
Applicants should apply online at:
State the Project Titleand Reference Number(as listed above).
You do not need to attach a research proposal. In this section of the application, just enter “As advertised”.
You should upload copies of academic qualifications (including IELTS if required), 2 references and any other relevant documentation. Applicants shortlisted for a PhD will be contacted for an interview.
This PhD programmes commences on 01 February 2019. The application deadlines are as follows:
1 December 2018
The school is committed to research and education that promotes equality in public health and healthcare. Funded PhD scholarships are regularly available in health, nursing and social care, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology and vision sciences and will be promoted here:
Funded PhD scholarships available in health, nursing and social care, biological and biomedical sciences, psychology and vision sciences. The school is committed to research and education that promotes equality in public health and healthcare.
Project reference no. SHLS2018002
Self-funded PhD Research Projects
Health and Life Sciences
Using tear biomarker analysis versus medical imaging in patients with chronic rheumatic disorders. Project reference no. HLSLTC002
Improving visual outcomes in cataract. Project Reference no. HLSLTC003
Between visual impairment cerebral oxygenation and propensity to falling in the elderly. Project reference no. HLSLTC007
Towards chemotherapy resistance in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. Project reference no. HLSTC008
Disentangling the relationship between physical activity and fatigue in MS. Project ref no. HLSLTC009
(I-PRAISE); a feasibility study. Project reference no. HLSLTC0011
The role of connexins in the pathological remodelling of the heart and lungs. Project reference no. HLSLTC0012
After total knee replacement surgery. Project reference no. HLSLTC0015
Methods and impact of involving people with stroke in systematic reviews. Project reference no. HLSLTC0017
Evidence to support evidence-based practice. Project reference no. HLSLTC0018
Outcomes in Integrated Older Person Care in Scotland: Hospital Discharge Planning. Project reference no. HLSLTC0019
Self-directed support and policy transition. Project reference no. HLSSW033
In Clinical populations and the frail elderly. Project reference no. HLSP023
In the Early Years. Project reference no. HLSPH027
Based functional decline in older, frail adults. Project reference no. HLSPH029
To improve physical behaviour in Scottish resident South Asian people with type 2 diabetes. Project reference no. HLSPH031
As facilitators of parent health care interactions. Project reference no. HLSPH032