PhD Studentship: Improving Energy Conversion Efficiency of Wind Turbines Using Advanced Modelling and Control Techniques

Aston University - School of Engineering and Applied Science

PhD Studentship in Power Electronics, Machines and Power System Research Group

Applications are invited for a three year PhD studentship, supported by the School of Engineering and Applied Science, to be undertaken within the Power Electronics, Machines and Power System Research Group at Aston University. The successful applicant will join an established experimental group working on control of power electronic converters and electric drives systems for renewable energy systems and electric systems in transportation. 

The position is available to start in October 2018

Background of the Project

Renewable energy will play a critical role in the establishment of an environmentally sustainable low carbon economy. It has been widely recognised as a growth area as a core component for research and technological development. However, the uptake of renewable power generation is hampered by the high costs involved. There is a pressing need to continually reduce costs and improving system performance, energy efficiency, maintainability and fault-tolerance.

Currently, wind energy is firmly in the spotlight because it is the only feasible source of renewable energy to be utilized economically in large quantities. Improving the efficiency of the wind turbine energy conversion system has become a major requirement in recent years. With the great recent advances in digital signal processing, much recent attempts have been carried out for real-time optimization techniques such as search controllers and model-based controllers. However, the complexity of optimization techniques used has not been well considered in these studies. Furthermore, only few control strategies suitable for real time implementation have been investigated.

The main focus of this work is to compare several optimization algorithms including both deterministic and stochastic approaches which are suitable to solve the problem of energy optimization for wind energy systems. Furthermore, advanced control strategies to produce the optimal control law at each operating conditions, such as predictive control, will be investigated based on the use of loss models of the electrical generator and the power electronic converters. Proposed schemes will be experimentally verified using a small scale laboratory prototype test rig.

Person Specification

The successful applicant should have a first class or upper second class honours degree or equivalent qualification in Electrical and Electronic Engineering. Preferred skill requirements include knowledge/experience of control systems, power electronics, electric drives and machines systems. Experience with real-time implementation of control algorithms for electric drives and power electronics systems is highly desirable. 

For informal enquiries about this project and other opportunities within the Power Electronics, Machines and Power System Research Group, contact Dr Shady Gadoue by email,

If you require further information about the application process please contact the Postgraduate Admissions team at

To submit an application and for details of the entry requirement and funding please visit the Aston University website here.

We would particularly like to encourage application from women seeking to progress their academic careers. Aston University is committed to the principles of the Athena SWAN Charter, recently recognised by a prestigious Silver Award to EAS, and we pride ourselves on our vibrant, friendly and supportive environment and family atmosphere.

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Midlands of England