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PhD Decentralised and Distributed approaches to Voltage and Frequency Control enabling Robust Power System Operations

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  • Full or part time
    Prof Graeme Burt
    Dr M Syed
  • Application Deadline
    No more applications being accepted
  • Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)
    Funded PhD Project (Students Worldwide)

Project Description

A three-year fully-funded PhD project in decentralised and distributed approaches to power systems voltage and frequency control is offered by the Advanced Electrical Systems (AES) Research Group within the Institute for Energy & Environment. This is in collaboration with Nanyang Technological University (NTU-Singapore).

Applications are invited for this PhD scholarship in decentralised and distributed control for the realisation of robust power distribution systems. The successful candidate will conduct simulation and hardware-in-the-loop based experimental investigations of novel control methods within the Dynamic Power Systems Laboratory of the Institute for Energy and Environment. The PhD programme will further involve collaborations with Strathclyde’s MW-scale Power Networks Demonstration Centre, and will be conducted in collaboration with NTU including secondment time.

The increasing availability of fast-acting sources of flexibility within power distribution networks provides new opportunities for local controls delivering real system value. Moreover, the emergence of new business models for aggregators and local energy systems, and new distributed system operator functions, are driving change in the relationships between stakeholders and the value associated with new locally-sourced services. Increasingly, integrated energy systems that exploit the flexibility of heat and transport systems, are seen as essential to delivering pathways to net-zero operation.

The resultant emergence of new system dynamics, complex technical and commercial interrelationships, and mass deployment of fast acting controllers, present massive challenges to operational real-time control. This therefore drives our investigation of new and emerging decentralised and distributed control approaches, such as microgrid solutions or the web of cells concept.

This PhD project will build on existing international collaborations, and afford the candidate opportunities to join this international effort.

As part of the project, the successful candidate will also benefit from the training delivered as part of the University of Strathclyde’s Postgraduate Certificate in Researcher Professional Development.

Academic supervision will be provided by an internationally recognised research team within the Advanced Electrical Systems (AES) research group of the Institute for Energy and Environment, and led by Professor Graeme Burt and Dr Mazher Syed. Details at:,

Candidates should email with reference “PhD-DPSL2” a detailed CV with contact information for two academic referees, and a covering letter highlighting their suitability for the position, to Professor Graeme Burt ([Email Address Removed]) or Dr Mazher Syed ([Email Address Removed]).

The project is available for a start from June 2020.

If you wish to discuss any details of the projects informally, please email Professor Graeme Burt or Dr Mazher Syed quoting reference “PhD-DPSL2”.

Funding Notes

Funding is available for the successful candidate that will cover an annual tax free stipend and full tuition fees (if UK or eligible EU national) or part fees (others). The stipend starts at £15,285.

Studentships are available to candidates who possess an undergraduate MEng or postgraduate MSc degree in electrical engineering or computer science. Exceptional candidates with a first class BSc/BEng Honours qualification will be considered.


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