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Game theory and control methods for demand response in the smart grid

  • Full or part time
  • Application Deadline
    Tuesday, April 30, 2019
  • Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)
    Competition Funded PhD Project (European/UK Students Only)

Project Description

It is an exciting time for research in power systems, as the increasing penetration of renewable energy and the ever-accelerating technology developments are dramatically changing the way in which electricity is generated, transported and consumed. Power systems are gradually transitioning to a smart grid paradigm, adopting distributed and scalable solutions to integrate new technology and deal with rising levels of complexity and uncertainty. A key element of this transition is an increasing participation of customers to system operation: it is envisioned that in the near future customers will become “prosumers” and have an active role in energy trading and in the provision of ancillary services.

The aim of this PhD project is to develop novel modelling paradigms and control schemes to support this transition from consumers to “prosumers” through an efficient integration of new technology, in particular electric vehicles, domestic storage and “smart” appliances.

The research activity will include the following tasks:
- Application of a wide array of game theory tools (mean field games, games with a continuum of players, cooperative games) to abstract and describe the complex interactions between large populations of agents, explicitly accounting for exogenous and endogenous uncertainties.
- Design of novel control solutions for the coordination of the prosumers, providing theoretical guarantees of convergence and optimality. Multiple technologies and different degrees of decentralization (centralized control/distributed control /peer-to-peer) will be compared.
- Analysis of innovative pricing and market structures (e.g. real-time pricing, demand aggregators) that can maximize the profit of the active users and align their local goals with the global objectives of the power system.

Given the multi-disciplinary nature of the project, the ideal PhD candidate will have a strong engineering/mathematical background and will be familiar with one or more of the following topics: game theory, optimal control, partial differential equations, power systems. Knowledge of mechanism design and economics is also a plus.

Successful applicants will ideally have graduated (or be due to graduate) with an undergraduate Masters first class degree and/or MSc distinction (or overseas equivalent). Any English language requirements must be met at the deadline for applications.

Informal enquiries should be directed to Dr Antonio De Paola ()

Formal applications should be made via the University of Bath’s online application form for a PhD in Electronic & Electrical Engineering. Please ensure that you state the full project title and lead supervisor name on the application form.

More information about applying for a PhD at Bath may be found here:

Anticipated start date: 30 September 2019

Funding Notes

This project is eligible for inclusion in funding rounds scheduled for end of November 2018, January 2019, February 2019, March 2019 and April 2019. A full application must have been submitted before inclusion in a funding round.

Funding will cover Home/EU tuition fees, a maintenance stipend (£14,777 pa (2018/19 rate)) and a training support fee of £1,000 per annum for 3.5 years. Early application is strongly recommended.

How good is research at University of Bath in Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Metallurgy and Materials?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 20.50

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

Click here to see the results for all UK universities

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