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Research project title

Modeling of the physical properties of composite permanent magnets for electric motors in aeronautics

Education level

Master or doctorate


Director: Frédéric Sirois

Co-director(s): David Ménard

End of display

December 31, 2024

Areas of expertise

Design and manufacturing

Advanced manufacturing

Aerospace, aeronautical and automotive engineering

Modelling, simulation and finite element methods

Materials science and technology

Magnetic materials


Primary sphere of excellence in research

Innovative Materials

Secondary sphere(s) of excellence in research

Sustainable Transport and Infrastructures

Unit(s) and department(s)

Department of Electrical Engineering

Laboratory of Superconductivity and Magnetism (LSM)

NRC Boucherville


Background: Undergraduate and/or Master’s degree in a field comprising a strong component in physics, engineering physics, materials engineering or a discipline judged equivalent.

Skills and interests: Interest for the modelling of materials properties at a scale that can serve engineering applications, as well as for applications in transport electrification and associated technologies (here permanent magnet motors). Ability to communicate with industrial partners.

Personal qualities: Autonomy, critical thinking and creativity. Recommendations from referees (to be sent with the application form) should provide specific comments on each of these aspects.

Working language: The candidate should possess at least a good level of English, both written and oral. A knowledge of French would be an asset, since Polytechnique Montréal is a French-speaking institution. For master’s projects, the knowledge of French is mandatory.

Detailed description

This project is part of a larger project carried out in partnership between Polytechnique Montréal, the National Science Council of Canada (NRC) in Boucherville, the aeronautics manufacturer Safran, the firm Altair Engineering and the Quebec SME Polycontrols.

The goal of the entire project is to push the limits of the cold spray additive manufacturing process to manufacture electric motor parts with high power density and high operating temperature (~300 degrees Celcius) for the field of aeronautics, which involves using new materials in the cold spray process. More specifically, composites permanent magnet based on samarium-cobalt + aluminum (SmCo/Al) are targeted here since they can operate without loss of performance or accelerated degradation at the high temperatures envisioned. However, as these are very recent materials, their physical properties are not yet well known or optimized.

The specific research targeted in this research project concerns the modeling of the physical properties (i.e. the magnetic, electrical, thermal, and mechanical properties) of SmCo/Al composite permanent magnets based on the analysis of their microstructure characterized by electron microscopy, imaging of magnetic domains, etc. The models developed will have two goals, namely 1) To guide the manufacturing process in achieving more efficient materials, and 2) To provide models that can be used in finite element software programs for the design of electric motors. All samples will be manufactured at the NRC and characterized by Polytechnique and the NRC.

Ultimately, this project aims to pave the way for new economically competitive solutions to reduce GHG emissions in air transportation by switching to electric or hybrid propulsion, which requires electric motors with high power density. All students participating in the overall project will work closely with industrial partners and will be expected to spend time at the partners’ place as needed (NRC and Polycontrols: Bourcherville, QC; Safran: Paris region, France; Altair: Grenoble region, France).

Please contact Professor Frédéric Sirois ( for more information about the above project. PLEASE PROVIDE a CV, your MARK TRANSCRIPTS, and a LETTER OF MOTIVATION which also briefly explains your background, otherwise your application will not be considered.

Admission procedure and forms

Financing possibility

A financial support is available for the successful candidates. The amount of financial assistance is 19,000 $ (Canadian dollars) per year for the Master’s (maximum 2 years), and 25,000 $ per year for the Ph.D. (maximum 4 years), in order to allow the candidate to work full time on his research.

A student who obtains his own scholarship (NSERC, FRQNT or other) will be granted a bonus (typically 25% of the amount of the scholarship, to discuss case by case).