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PhD Studentship in Solar Photovoltaic Systems Integration

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

Project Description

Applications are invited for a PhD studentship, to be undertaken at Imperial College London (Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department). The research will be conducted as part of a research fellowship funded by the Royal Academy of Engineering on solar integration in developing countries. The student will be based on the Control & Power Group in the EEE Department jointly supervised by Dr Efstratios Batzelis and Prof Bikash Pal.

Summary of Project

The 2050 net-zero emissions targets in the UK and other countries have rendered the need for massive deployment of renewables, such as solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, more emerging and imperative than previously thought. Solar has also shown excellent potential in the developing world, such as India and Sub-Saharan Africa, in providing energy access and reliable electricity to rural areas. However, technical limitations render these goals hard-to-reach; the electrical network cannot accommodate “too much” solar, since solar generation is intermittent and the PV systems cannot properly support the electric grid during disturbances. The PV microgrids powering rural villages have inadequate reliability and face difficulties when they have to be expanded or be connected to the national electric grid.

This research programme studies these challenges with an aim to find how to increase the amount of solar in a power system with a particular focus in developing countries. It will investigate how the photovoltaic systems could become more “grid-friendly”, leveraging recent advances in energy storage technologies and new control mechanisms to be more supportive to the electrical network (e.g. grid-forming control, ancillary services). New concepts in microgrids operation will be studied (e.g. seamless on-/off- grid transition, interconnecting neighbouring microgrids) and the power system stability under very high penetration of inverter-based-resources will be investigated.

Duties and responsibilities

The responsibilities include studying the relevant literature, defining the research problems based on the project descriptions, conducting independent research, regularly reporting progress and results in both oral and written format, collaborating with other team-members, and writing reports/papers of the research outcomes when appropriate. The successful candidate will be based at Imperial but will also travel occasionally to India for research visits.

Essential Requirements

Applicants should have a good first degree (usually a first-class degree) or a Master’s degree (or other equivalent experience) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering, Computing, Mathematics, or related areas. The successful candidate will have excellent understanding in the fields of Power system stability, Power electronic converters and Control systems, as well as have expertise in relevant simulation software, such as MATLAB. Experience in (a) hardware experiments of power electronics or/and (b) machine learning applications in Python will be considered a plus.

They should be highly motivated individuals with a keen interest in conducting high-quality research and travel for research visits and conferences. Students must also meet the eligibility requirements for Post Graduate Studies at Imperial College London.

Further Information and application

For informal enquiries, please contact Dr Efstratios Batzelis (

Please click HERE to apply ( The application should also include a cover letter and your CV.

Full guidance on application process is available HERE. Any further queries regarding the application process should be directed to Miss Lina Brazinskaite .

Closing Date: 31 May 2020 (early application is highly recommended)

About Imperial College London

Imperial College London is the UK’s only university focussed entirely on science, engineering, medicine and business and we are consistently rated in the top 10 universities in the world.
Additional information on the PhD programme in the Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering can be found here (

Funding Notes

The PhD studentship will cover both Imperial College home/EU tuition fees and stipend worth approximately £17,285 per year (tax-free) for three and a half years. Eligible applicants are British nationals or EU nationals* residing in the UK at least for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship. Applicants from outside the UK and EU are not eligible to apply for this studentship.

The PhD studentship is expected to start on 1 October 2020 or soon after (up to 15 December 2020). The student will receive additional support towards further research expenses over the course of the studentship, including support to attend conferences.

*Having been “ordinarily resident” in the UK for 3 years prior to the start of the studentship means that you must have been normally residing in the UK apart from temporary or occasional absences.

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