Dr Steve Dodd
- Business and Industry Development Coordinator
- Industrial Placement Tutor - Electrical
- MSc Coordinator
Senior Lecturer in Electrical Power
Electrical Power and Power Electrical Research Group
BSc, (Physics), PhD, MIET
T: +44 (0)116 252 2869
F: +44 (0)116 252 2619
Location: Room 311c, S Block, Engineering
Stephen Dodd was born in Epping, England in 1960. In 1987, he received a First Class BSc in Physics from the City of London Polytechnic (now London Metropolitan University) and in 1992 a PhD degree from the same institution.
From 1992 to 2002 he was a Research Fellow at London Guildhall University and in 2002 he was appointed to a Lectureship in Electrical Power Engineering in the Department of Electronics and Computer Science at the University of Southampton. In 2007 he moved to the University of Leicester as a Senior Lecturer within the Department of Engineering. He has given invited lectures in the UK and Europe and has published more than 44 refereed papers.
Main Research Interests:
His research interests include, electrical (dielectric), thermal and rheological characterisation of liquid and solid insulating materials and their electrical and thermal ageing characteristics. He has a long-standing interest in long-term electrical breakdown processes and the development of condition monitoring and assessment techniques for high voltage plant.
In particular, he has worked on many problems associated with electrical breakdown of insulating materials and, for the last 16 years, understanding the processes of electrical tree initiation and growth. This work has focused on systematic experimental studies of electrical tree initiation (employing an electroluminescence technique) and electrical tree growth in many polymeric materials to identify influencing factors such as mechanical stress, applied voltage, temperature, moisture absorption, and how they modify electrical treeing characteristics. Systems studied include, epoxy resins, polyolefins and composite insulation materials. Partial discharge measurements taken during tree growth have been used to provide evidence that the partial discharges and therefore the tree growth are governed by deterministic principles. In particular, evidence shows that partial discharge rates follow chaotic dynamics rather than stochastic principles.
This fundamental experimental work has been used to form computer simulation models for charge injection and electroluminescence during tree initiation and simulations of the electrical treeing process based on empirical modelling and deterministic modelling of partial discharge activity and electrical tree growth.
Such an approach has many advantages over the stochastic simulation methods that have been employed in the past. Specifically, they allow partial discharge behaviour to be
modelled explicitly, such that tree extension is based on physical properties. This allows the model to predict tree growth rates and the degree of branching (fractal dimension of tree growth) and establishes a methodology by which the relationship between tree growth characteristics and material factors can be explored. Ultimately, this will lead to physical models for treeing that have key material properties and influencing factors embedded within them, such that realistic predictive simulations and lifetime models can be obtained.
Fig 1: Electrical Tree
Practically, this fundamental work has led on to the development of novel condition monitoring techniques for high voltage insulation systems. These have been tailored for particular insulation materials and applications, including a capacitive monitoring technique for use where partial discharge magnitudes are often too low to distinguish, conventionally, from external electrical noise. Dr Dodd has attracted extensive financial support for his research into treeing and condition monitoring and assessment of high voltage insulators, amounting to in excess of £1.2M since 1989 from industry.
Fig 2: Electrical Tree and Partical Discharges
• Vaughan, A. S., Dodd, S. J. and Sutton, S. J. (2004) A Raman microprobe study of electrical treeing in polyethylene. J. Mater. Sci. 39(1) pp. 181-191.
• Dodd, S. J. (2003). A Deterministic Model for the Growth of Non-conducting Electrical Tree
• Structures. Journal of Physics D: Applied Physics 36 pp. 129 - 141.
• Dodd, S. J., Lewin, P. L. and Wong, K. I. (2006) Phase Resolved Electroluminescence
• Measurements in Thin Films of Low Density Polyethylene Using a Charge Coupled Device
• Camera. IEEE Transactions on Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation 13(1) pp. 168-180.
• Vaughan, A. S., Hosier, I. L., Dodd, S. J. and Sutton, S. J. (2006) On the structure and chemistry of electrical trees in polyethylene. J. Phys D 39(5) pp. 962-978