PhD Studentships: Distributed Control and Optimisation of Smart Grids

University of Leeds

Supervisors: Contact Dr Johannes Schiffer or Dr Petros Aristidou to discuss this project further informally.

Project description

The Electric Power Systems and Applications group at the University of Leeds invites applications for a fully funded PhD position in “Distributed Control and Optimisation of Smart Grids”. Power systems worldwide are experiencing an unprecedented transformation led by the increased penetration of small-scale distributed energy resources and other power-electronic-interfaced equipment. A promising option to minimise costly infrastructure upgrades while ensuring the system’s reliability, sustainability and efficiency, is to increase the grid’s intelligence by combining renewable power generation with advanced monitoring, communication and control techniques. The development and testing of such novel, communication-based control systems is the main objective of this PhD project.

The successful candidate will join a group with a vibrant research activity that investigates the rich interplay of dynamics, control, optimisation, communication and uncertainty in modern power systems. Our research emphasises the use of methodological and mathematically tractable design approaches, as well as the development of high-performance computational tools for the operation and analysis of Smart Grids. Thereby, we focus on a variety of applications, including design and development of intelligent distribution grids, modelling and control of microgrids, real-time security assessment of power systems and emerging cyber-physical aspects in next-generation power systems.

Entry requirements

Applications are invited from candidates with or expecting a first-class bachelor’s degree or equivalent (a GPA or average mark of at least 85% or the top 10% of graduates), and/or a Master's degree in a relevant engineering or science degree such as (but not limited to) electrical engineering, control engineering, applied mathematics, or a related field) and/or a relevant undergraduate degree with strong academic results would be accepted.

The candidate will have: 

  • Strong background in systems and control engineering, optimisation and mathematics (relevant coursework or work experience).
  • Good programming skills in scientific programming languages (MATLAB, Python, Fortran, C/C++).
  • Good communication skills (oral and written) in English Preferred qualifications.
  • Good knowledge of power system modelling, planning, and operation.
  • Good knowledge of power electronics.

How to apply

If English is not your first language, you must provide evidence that you meet the University’s minimum English Language requirements.

Formal applications for research degree study should be made online through the university's website. Please state clearly in the research information section that the PhD you wish to be considered for is the ‘Distributed Control and Optimisation of Smart Grids’ as well as Professor Johannes Schiffer as your proposed supervisor.

When making an application, you will need to provide us with:

  • Degree certificates
  • Transcripts
  • CV including academic study, work experience and any publications
  • Two academic references or email address of academic referees.

The above information and documents are required before your application will be circulated.

We welcome scholarship applications from all suitably-qualified candidates, but UK black and minority ethnic (BME) researchers are currently under-represented in our Postgraduate Research community, and we would therefore particularly encourage applications from UK BME candidates. All scholarships will be awarded on the basis of merit.

If you require any further information please contact the Graduate School Office
e:, t: +44 (0)113 343 8000.

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