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Cyber Security in Future Power Systems

School of Computing

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Dr J Ahmad , Prof B Buchanan Applications accepted all year round Self-Funded PhD Students Only

About the Project

With the increase interest in renewable power generation, the demand for a smart and
intelligent power system is increasing. This has led to the use of digital communication
infrastructure in power systems called smart grid. Smart grid offers many advantages such as
the availability of uninterrupted power supply to consumers, reduction in line losses,
accommodating increase renewable generation and storage, involvement of consumers in
electricity markets, and demand side response. Future power systems or smart grids will have
increase share of renewable generation such as solar and wind as well as rely on storage.
These renewable generation and storage rely on power electronic converters. Each
manufacturer of converters/inverters use their own algorithm to programme their hardware
and make it efficient. Additionally, these converters rely on communication protocols to
respond to any signal from system operator. Therefore, these smart converters/inverters are
vulnerable to cyber-attacks. Although various Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) have been
proposed in the past, there is no universal standard for CPS which can be used with different
types of converters. This project is aimed to investigate the various cyber challenges for
power system operator incorporating increase converter connected generation into the
system. The specific objectives of the project are outlined below.
1. Investigate the various challenges arises with the use of smart converters
2. Investigate the existing CPS, their advantages, disadvantages and limitations
3. Develop CPS for future power systems
4. Incorporate the knowledge in future standards for CPS in power systems

Important note: The candidate will be based at Edinburgh Napier University, UK and the candidate will be supervised by a team of experts including: Dr Jawad Ahmad, Dr Arshad (Research fellow at University of Strathclyde), Prof Bill Buchanan.

Academic qualifications
A first degree (at least a 2.1) ideally in any related field i.e., Electrical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Computer Engineering, Mathematics or Computer Science with a good fundamental knowledge of Electrcail Machines, Mathematics, Programming Languages and Cryptography.

English language requirement
IELTS score must be at least 6.5 (with not less than 6.0 in each of the four components). Other, equivalent qualifications will be accepted. Full details of the University’s policy are available online.

Essential attributes:
• Experience of fundamental Electrical Systems, Machines, Mathematics and Cryptography.
• Competent in in at least one of the programming languagues such as MATLAB, Python, C/C++ or any other related programming language.
• Knowledge of Mathematics, Basic Computing, Cyber Secuirty, Encryption/Decryption Algorithms, and Machine Learning.
• Good written and oral communication skills
• Strong motivation, with evidence of independent research skills relevant to the project
• Good time management

Funding Notes

This is an unfunded position


[2] Sahoo, S., Dragičević, T. and Blaabjerg, F., 2019. Cyber Security in Control of Grid-Tied
Power Electronic Converters–Challenges and Vulnerabilities. IEEE Journal of Emerging and
Selected Topics in Power Electronics.
[3] Sahoo, S., Peng, J.C.H., Mishra, S. and Dragicevic, T., 2019. Distributed Screening of
Hijacking Attacks in DC Microgrids. IEEE Transactions on Power Electronics.

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