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EPSRC DTP CASE Studentship in Cyber Physical Community Energy Networks

Cardiff School of Engineering

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Dr M Abeysekera , Dr Y Zhou , Prof Jianzhong Wu No more applications being accepted Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

About the Project

Description of Project

Research Studentship in Cybel Physical Community Energy Networks

4-year PhD studentship

EPSRC DTP CASE Studentship with Toshiba Europe

Supervisors: Dr Muditha Abeysekera, Dr Yue Zhou, Prof. Jianzhong Wu, Prof Mahesh Sooriyabandara (Toshiba BRIL)

Community and local energy systems are an emerging feature of the global energy systems as communities and organisations look to reduce their carbon footprint in power, transport, and heat use. Smaller scale, decentralised technologies associated with renewable energy such as solar, wind and energy storage and control systems are developing at a much more rapid pace than larger scale infrastructure. At the same time, ICT applications in the energy sector are transforming the traditional ways of design and operating energy systems and how energy markets are organised. Operation of physical infrastructure systems, advanced edge computing and communication and complex controls and energy markets continue to be integrated creating new applications and services in the energy sector.

While the fundamental research in this area continues to be developed, there is a real urgency for innovation and applied research using real-life demonstrators to swiftly move from desktop based simulation studies to near commercial applications through strong partnerships between academia and industry.

This PhD project aims to investigate,

1.  the cost-effective integration of real time observability and grid edge computing enabled by advanced ICT to energy systems planning, operation and control

2.  mathematical model and data driven approaches supported by machine learning and Artificial Intelligence for multi-vector energy systems modelling

3.  advanced control of local multi-vector energy systems for energy system optimisation and grid services provision

4.  novel and fast clearing local energy markets for automated distribution grid management

5.  set up of Cardiff University campus as a living lab for multi-vector urban energy systems research

This studentship is co-funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Council and Toshiba Europe. The student will be jointly supervised by the academic and industrial supervisors and will spend up to 6 months during their study period at the partner.

Research Environment

Cardiff School of Engineering is the 4th largest school out of 27 in Cardiff University. The research of Cardiff School of Engineering was ranked top 7 amongst UK universities in the 2014 REF, where General Engineering ranked 7th out of 62 in the UK. 

The Centre for Integrated Renewable Energy Generation and Supply (CIREGS) is a multidisciplinary engineering research group with international expertise in both the supply and transmission of energy. The prospective student will join the Smart Grids and Energy Infrastructure Group that comprise a team of post-doctoral researchers and PhD students researching on different energy systems topics. The group meets every week with all the supervisors in attendance and discuss research topics and receive supervision. The group also hold an internal seminar series where multi-disciplinary topics on energy systems are presented and debated. 

The student will also have the opportunity to work closely with a number of ongoing research projects related to the topic of local energy systems including EnergyRev and Supergen Energy Networks Hub. The networking opportunities on whole-systems viewpoints in energy systems which will provide an unprecedented breadth of expertise and knowledge. 

Training and Development Opportunities 

The student will benefit from award-winning courses, workshops and careers advice organised by the Doctoral Academy at Cardiff University specifically aimed at researchers throughout their career to develop research and professional skills. In addition the prospective student will have an opportunity for training and development offered by the partner.

This opportunity is available to home or international candidates. 

Home students are eligible for a full award covering fees and stipend. Cardiff University will be offering a fixed number of International fee discounts so that all students regardless of nationality of financial means will be able to apply for our UKRI studentships

Candidates should hold a good bachelor’s degree (first or upper second-class honours degree) or a MSc degree in an area of Energy or Engineering. Knowledge in power systems, mathematical modelling and control of dynamic systems, data science and artificial intelligence and optimisation are desired.

Optional – Previous experience in optimisation laboratory or field experience would be advantageous

Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to demonstrate proficiency in the English language (IELTS 6.5 or equivalent)

Please contact Dr Muditha Abeysekera ([Email Address Removed]) to informally discuss this opportunity

Applicants should submit an application for postgraduate study via the Cardiff University webpages ( ) including;

·        an upload of your CV

·        a personal statement/covering letter

·        two references (applicants are recommended to have a third academic referee, if the two academic referees are within the same department/school)

·        Current academic transcripts

Applicants should select Doctor of Philosophy (Engineering), with a start date of October 2021.

In the research proposal section of your application, please specify the project title and supervisors of this project and copy the project description in the text box provided. In the funding section, please select "I will be applying for a scholarship / grant" and specify that you are applying for advertised funding, reference MA-DTP21

31st March 2021. We may however close this opportunity earlier if a suitable candidate is identified.

Funding Notes

Tuition fees at the UKRI rate and an annual stipend at least equivalent to current Research Council rates (£15,609 stipend for academic year 2020/21), plus a stipend enhancement. (min. £1200 pa). The studentship also includes significant support for travel/conferences/consumables. Up to 30% of fully-funded studentships (or % applicable to your scheme) are available to international applicants, and there is no requirement for the student to make up the fee difference
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