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Distributed Energy Resources Aggregation and Optimisation in Future Power System (Ref: RENU20/EE/MPEE/JIANG )

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Friday, January 31, 2020
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

The EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training (CDT) in Renewable Energy Northeast Universities (ReNU)is a collaborative doctoral training programme run by the Universities of Northumbria, Newcastle and Durham. In addition to undertaking an individual scientific research project at one of the three partner Universities, doctoral candidates will engage with added value training opportunities, for example in business, innovation and internationalisation through a 4-year training programme that has been designed to maximise the benefits of a cohort approach to doctoral training. The start date is 1st October 2020.

Due to global environmental concerns, the UK has set an ambitious target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions by at least 80% from 1990 to 2050. To meet this low carbon target, developing a smart grid that delivers efficient energy usage via a flexible accessible system, is essential for future energy system. At the core of smart grid, the aggregation of the capacity of distributed energy (DE) resources, storage units, and flexible loads to create a single operating profile helps balance supply and demand. For example, virtual power plant platform or energy hub concept has a significant enabling value to benefit many stakeholders: Individual consumers could gain visibility and manageability to system operations; System operators would benefit from the cost-effective balance of demand and supply, and the efficient use of DE resources.

To facilitate DE resources aggregation, both optimization algorithms and communication technologies play important roles, but the full potential of DE resources aggregation has been hampered by the lack of joint power-communication system models and the thorough analysis of the impact of communication system imperfections to optimization/control algorithms.

This project aims to provide better understandings of the power-communication systems operating with close interactions, and develop more advanced design methods. These could potentially lead to more efficient management of DE resources and flexible demands, ultimately to improved operational efficiency of electricity networks for system operators and to reduced cost for consumers. This project will provide advancement in knowledge of how to optimise the performance of smart grid applications, considering not only power systems but also realistic communication systems.

We are recruiting one PhD student to contribute to the project. The candidates are expected to have solid knowledge in Communications Engineering, Electrical/Electronic Engineering, demonstrably experiences of programming/simulations, strong analytic skills, and excellent communication skills, both written and oral, in English.


This project is supervised by Dr Jing Jiang. For informal queries, please contact .

Please note eligibility requirement:
• Academic excellence of the proposed student i.e. 1st Class (Hons) or 2:1; or a Masters (preference for Merit or above) in an appropriate subject area.
• Appropriate IELTS score, if required.
• Applicants cannot apply for this funding if currently engaged in Doctoral study at Northumbria or elsewhere.

The application closing date is January 31st and interviews will take place in February.

Please note: Applications that do not include a research proposal of approximately 1,000 words (not a copy of the advert), or that do not include the advert reference (e.g. RENU20/.....) will not be considered.

Northumbria University takes pride in, and values, the quality and diversity of our staff. We welcome applications from all members of the community. The University holds an Athena SWAN Bronze award in recognition of our commitment to improving employment practices for the advancement of gender equality.

Funding Notes

The studentship covers full Home fees and an annual stipend at UKRI rates (for 2019/20, this was £15,009 pa). Also significant additional funding to cover research costs and local, national and international travel (conferences and exchanges).

Please note that the scholarship award is set at the Home/EU level of fees. Depending on how you meet the EPSRC’s eligibility criteria, you may be entitled to a full or a partial award. Note that up to 5 offers of a PhD place will be made for the ReNU CDT projects advertised by Northumbria University.

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