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Stage-/afstudeeropdracht - WO - Mechanica, Technische Natuurkunde, Werktuigbouwkunde. Integrated Fluidic Cooling in Printed Circuit Boards

ID de l'offre R0070442 Date de publication 22/07/2019 Lieu: Hengelo, Overijssel, Netherlands
Full time, Stage
In fast changing markets, customers worldwide rely on Thales. Thales is a business where brilliant people from all over the world come together to share ideas and inspire each other. In aerospace, transportation, defence, security and space, our achitects design innovative solutions that make our tomorrow's possible.

Stage-/Afstudeeropdracht - WO

Assignment: Internship, graduation project

Level:  MSc

Field of study: Mechanics, Applied Physics, Mechanical Engineering

Title of the assignment: Integrated Fluidic Cooling in Printed Circuit Boards

About us

With 80.000 talents working in 68 countries, we are one of the biggest high-tech employers in the field of safety and security. In the Netherlands, where 2000 employees are based, we are located in four cities: Huizen, Delft, Eindhoven and Hengelo (HQ). Together with an extensive ecosystem of knowledge partners, customers and suppliers, we work on radars for naval vessels, cyber security solutions, transportation systems, communication equipment for land forces, cryogenic cooling solutions, research & development for radar tech (in collaboration with TU Delft).

Thales Nederland BV (TNL) develops and produces radar systems. Within the Technical Unit RF radar front-ends are developed. This includes antennas, transmitters, signal generators and receivers and FPGA programming and embedded software. Besides product development, innovative technology studies are carried out in this field.

About the assignment

Thermal management is an important aspect in the design of radar. Dedicated electronic Printed Circuit Board Assemblies are used throughout the entire system.  A Printed Circuit Board (PCB) consists of a copper distribution network often on a glass fibre reinforced epoxy substrate (dielectric material), which transfers the signals of electrical components. These components generate heat as a by-product and need to be cooled. Due to various design constraints, components can usually only dissipate their heat towards the PCB they are mounted on. This means that by conductivity the heat is transported from the components through the PCB towards a (liquid) cooled heat sink. The thermal resistance of the PCB material is relatively high, which results in large temperature gradients through the PCB. Thermal vias or solid copper coins can be added to reduce the thermal resistance, but a limit is reached in current thermal concepts.

New, more capable concepts are required. One of the proposed solutions is to integrate liquid cooling inside the PCB, bypassing the thermal resistance of the glass/epoxy. Options are to let the fluid run against, inside or through the PCB. A parametric study is desired to find an engineering optimum considering the following requirements;

• Compatibility with established electronics functions, materials and processes

• Long term reliability assessment including failure mechanisms such as electrochemical corrosion

• Uniformity of  temperature across the PCB

• Pressure drop

• Heat transfer potential

• Minimum impact on electrical distribution network

• Interconnection to (cooling)system

• Electro-Static Discharge ESD risks

At Thales Hengelo we have our own facility to produce PCBs. Ideally the proposed solution will be compatible with internal fabrication processes.

First, different options for fluids and channels will be investigated, based on literature study and help from specialists within the Thales company. A Computational Fluid Dynamics numerical model will be created to determine the performance and sensitivity of the most important parameters. In parallel, a reliability, material compatibility and system-impact study will be carried out. Together a proposition of an experimental setup will be made (internship) and carried out (Graduation), to validate the system.

  The results of this research will consist of design parameters which can be used in future PCB integrated cooling concepts.

Foreseen activities include:

- Literature search on applications which integrate electrical and cooling in a single component,

- Compare various concepts for feasibility and their capabilities and limits,

- Design of a numerical model and experimental validation.

- Verification of the model,

- Report the activities, numerical model and design parameters in a detailed report.


Affinity and/or experience with Mechanical (Thermal)Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics, Material Sciences

Thales offers…

  • An interesting internship or graduation assignment in an international high tech environment
  • An open and flexible working environment;
  • An excellent internship allowance
  • Its own student association where you can participate in educational and fun activities.


Would you like to apply directly?  Then click on the button ‘Apply now’ to show your interest.
Please keep in mind that we can only consider students who are enrolled at a school or educational institution during the whole internship period for our internships and graduation assignments.

At Thales we provide CAREERS and not only jobs. With Thales employing 80,000 employees in 68 countries our mobility policy enables thousands of employees each year to develop their careers at home and abroad, in their existing areas of expertise or by branching out into new fields. Together we believe that embracing flexibility is a smarter way of working. Great journeys start here, apply now!

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