The University of Manchester

The University of Manchester has an illustrious history, dating back to 1824 when both the Manchester Mechanics Institute and the Royal School of Medicine and Surgery were formed. These would later become University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology (UMIST) and Victoria University of Manchester respectively. The merger of these two universities in 2004 created The University of Manchester, bringing together a rich history and much expertise - including 25 Nobel Prizes. Today the distinction is remembered only geographically, with the areas noted as North and South Campus.
The university has always been a hotbed of excellence in science and engineering. A short tour of the campus tells the story, with buildings dedicated to Chadwick (discoverer of the neutron), Garside (ex-President of IChemE), Joule (discoverer of the mechanical equivalent of heat), Kilburn (developer of the first computer), Rutherford (dubbed the ‘father of nuclear physics’), Turing (Enigma code), Wallis (inventor of the ‘bouncing bomb’), and many other more.
In its current format, the university can lay claim to being the largest in the UK, boasting more than 40,000 students and well over 5,000 academic staff. The university is regularly placed high in league tables both for teaching and research, lying 38th in the ARWU rankings in 2017. This is evidenced by the recent addition of two Nobel Laureates in graphene research.

Transformer Research at The University of Manchester

Transformer Research UoM

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Transformer Research Team

The transformer and dielectric liquid research group today is headed up by Professor Zhongdong Wang (Professor of High Voltage Engineering). The team includes Professor Paul Jarman, Reader Dr Qiang Liu, 3 Research Associates Dr Shanika Matharage, Dr. Xiang Zhang and Dr. Yiming Huang and 14 PhD Students (Berihu Mebrahtom, Bozhi Cheng, Donglin Liu, James Hill, Shuhang Shen, Sicheng Zhao, Xiaohan Li, Xiaozhou Mao, Zong Wen Yan, Haichuan Yu, Thathsara Herath, Yaoxian Yang, Mingyu Han and Abdelrahman Alshehawy)

Transformer research group

The transformer research at Power and Energy Division is national leading in the UK and is at the heart of the international transformer research community. The group has delivered in excess of 50 journal publications and 150 conference publications with contributions to nine CIGRE working groups on transformers (A2) and insulation materials (D1) and six IEEE/IEC international standards. Members of the team have received more than 12 awards for the best papers and presentations at conferences across the world.

Furthermore, the transformer research group formed a Transformer Research Consortium in 2005, to bring experts from transmission/distribution utilities, equipment/material manufacturers, testing/research service providers and the university into a single platform. The consortium so far has successfully completed three phases and now continuing the fourth phase, tackling the industry wide transformer issues including but not limiting to the following key interests such as condition assessment, asset management, thermal modelling, and discharge and breakdown mechanisms.

Transformer Research Scope


Transformer Research Facilities

Transformer research facilities at Manchester include several high voltage laboratories including the biggest HV lab in a UK university,  and a dielectric materials laboratory.

The high voltage laboratories are fully equipped with a wide range of facilities that can be used to conduct various electrical testings. The main instrumentation/facilities include,

  • 2 MV impulse generator
  • 800 kV AC test set
  • 600 kV DC test set
  • 10 kA current source
  • High-speed imaging systems
  • Partial discharge detectors

The dielectric materials laboratory has the facilities to pre-process and characterise dielectric materials. The main instrumentation/facilities in the lab include,

  • Headspace/liquid gas chromatography mass spectrometry unit with flame ionisation detector and thermal conductivity detector
  • Particle counter
  • Karl fisher titrator for moisture measurement
  • Potentiometric titrator for acidity measurement
  • Kinematic viscometer
  • Dielectric constant, tan delta and resistivity tester
  • AC Breakdown tester
  • Fume hood
  • Vacuum and air circulating ovens

Transformer Research Sponsors

Transformer research at The University of Manchester has  been sponsored by various national and international companies, and research bodies.


2017 IEEE International Conference on Dielectric Liquids

The 19th IEEE International Conference on Dielectric Liquids (ICDL 2017), chaired by Zhongdong Wang, was held from June 25 to 29, 2017, at the University of Manchester. It was sponsored by IEEE and DEIS, supported by Baur, Cargill, M&I Materials, Shell, and Wilson Power Solutions. ICDL 2017 provided a platform for 188 attendees from 24 countries including academics, researchers, and industry experts to discuss properties, measurements, dielectric phenomena, and applications of insulating liquids. Out of the 255 abstracts received, 151 full papers (from 24 countries) were accepted. These accepted full papers were contributed mainly by universities (89) as well as industries (32) and research institutions (30). In the 12 sessions of the conference, 54 of the accepted papers were presented in an oral format, with the remaining 97 presented as posters.

More information can be found through the following link: