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Ph.D. Optimization and application of GaN/WBG technologies i Göteborg

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At Volvo Cars, we believe that being curious and truly committed to understanding people is the key to future success. We are people who care about other people, working together to create new technologies and innovations for safe, sustainable and convenient mobility. Want to join us?


The Electric driveline department at Volvo Car Corporation is looking for candidates for two industrial Ph.D. positions in cooperation with Chalmers University of Technology and Lund University, within the Center for III-nitride technology. The newly created Power Electronic ART within Electric drive will deliver power electronics for all derivatives of electric propulsions within Vehicle Propulsion. This includes the development of Electric Drive inverters, on-board chargers, and DC/DCs from concept to industrialization phase.


Job description PhD1 – Optimization of GaN/WBG Technologies

The main aim of this project is to investigate how the automotive industry can utilize new Ultrawide Bandgap (UWBG) Power Transistor Technology for enabling high efficiency at low cost.

Build understanding of potential and limitations of GaN and Gallium Oxide technology and how these devices could be implemented in future vehicle platforms, i.e., in DCDCs and AC/DC converters. The project will give new insight on how GaN or Gallium Oxide could be optimized towards such applications.

Today GaN is emerging on some power conversion applications, but Si and SiC are still dominating. By 2026 it is projected that GaN will be first choice in converter applications due to its superior characteristic, i.e. On resistance vs. breakdown voltage and a potential lower cost as compared to SiC.

The goal in this work is to optimization of GaN/WBG technologies for fast and efficient power switching that would lead to state-of-the-art performance of power conversion applications. This could involve benchmarking, Optimization of GaN in TCAD, Develop chip in-house at MC2 (CTH), Device characterization and packaging investigations.

The main partner for this PhD position is Lund University (Physics department).


Job description PhD2 – Design of compact power modules for propulsion and charging applications

The aim of this project is to investigate optimized packaging and integration of  GaN/WBG chips for high power vehicle applications, such as traction inverter.

Build understanding of potential and limitations of GaN and Gallium Oxide technology and how these devices could be implemented in future vehicle platforms. Build knowledge in characterization and modelling of WBG-semiconductor based power modules. Build accurate models of switching and conductive losses, including device parasitics.


Today, state of the art for traction inverter power transistors is shifting from IGBT to SiC. In the future, it is forecasted that GaN/GaO will take over some of the market share due to the potential to further lower losses as well as lowering costs. This shift will likely come later for high power applications such as traction inverters than for eg power conversion applications.


The project will likely include activities such as benchmarking of existing WBG transistor technologies, study, and alignment of inverter topology to understand required breakdown voltage. Study, model, and optimize transistor/chip loss mechanisms. Chip selection and design of optimized custom power module also including driver circuit, considering losses, thermal and EMI aspects as well as cost and manufacturability. Furthermore, sample manufacturing, test and device characterization including potential loop of design optimization.

This will result in having explored and optimized custom power module design based on GaN/WBG semiconductor for high power application.


The main partner for this PhD position is Chalmers University of Technology (MC2 department).


Qualifications (common for both positions)

To be qualified, the applicant must have a master’s degree or equivalent in Electrical Engineering, Engineering Physics or similar. In addition, lab and experimental experience in this field is of significant advantage.


In these roles, it is important to be structured, have courage and a positive mind set. You enjoy interacting with people both internally and externally since this is a large part of the role. Other traits that we appreciate is integrity, courage, and energy. 

The assignment as an industrial Ph.D. student is expected to be five years and carried out on site both at Volvo Cars and at Chalmers/Lund. Good command of English orally and in writing is required to publish and present results at international conferences and in international journals.


How to learn more and apply

For questions about the position please contact hiring manager, Andreas Ådahl at, , or Lars Johansson at, . For questions regarding the recruitment process, please contact recruiter, Kristin Lövgren at, . You are welcome with your application at the latest 2022-04-10. Please note that we do not handle applications via email.


Who are we?

Everything we do starts with people. Our purpose is to provide freedom to move, in a personal, sustainable and safe way. We are committed to simplifying our customers’ lives by offering better technology solutions that improve their impact on the world and bringing the most advanced mobility innovations to protect them, their loved ones and the people around them. 

Volvo Cars’ continued success is the result of a collaborative, diverse, and inclusive working environment. The people of Volvo Cars are committed to making a difference in our world. Today, we are one of the most well-known and respected car brands, with over 40,000 employees across the globe. We believe in bringing out the best in each other and harnessing the true power of people. At Volvo Cars your career is designed around your talents and aspirations so you can reach your full potential. Join us on a journey of a lifetime as we create safety, autonomous driving and electrification technologies of tomorrow.

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