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Control of Smart Grid Systems to Address the Energy Trilemma

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Potter
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round

Project Description

Project Overview:

Ensuring a secure and affordable supply of electrical energy, whilst also reducing emissions, is a key challenge faced by governments all over the world. An upward trend in energy demand combined with the potential for the mass adoption of new technologies such as electrical vehicles, heat pumps, and micro-generation will likely push our existing infrastructure beyond its limits. An upgraded, smarter grid is therefore considered essential and governments around the world are investing heavily in the research and development of new technology in this area. A key part of this future smart grid is electrical energy storage. However, the smart control of distribution generation, demand response services and electric vehicles is also essential.

Building on research work already underway as part of the New Thames Valley Vision (NTVV) Project (http://www.thamesvalleyvision.co.uk), the successful applicant will join the Energy Research Lab (http://www.reading.ac.uk/sse-energy-research-lab) within the School of Systems Engineering and develop innovative modelling and control approaches to support the use of distributed energy storage and active demand management in the grid. Although the research work will have a largely technical focus, effective strategies for energy storage and other smart systems must take into account financial and policy-driven constraints and consideration of these aspects will be an important part of the research work.

Specifically, this PhD research work will include the modelling, control and simulation of energy systems using software such as Matlab and OpenDSS. Of particular interest is the collaboration between multiple energy storage systems to work together to achieve both technical, social and economic goals.

School of Systems Engineering, University of Reading:

The University of Reading is one of the UK’s 20 most research-intensive universities and among the top 200 universities in the world. Achievements include the Queen’s Award for Export Achievement (1989) and the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher Education (1998, 2006 and 2009). This project will take place in the School of Systems Engineering (SSE), which has a strong reputation for its innovative research in computer science, cybernetics, and electronic engineering.


Applicants should have a bachelors (at least 2.1 or equivalent) or masters degree in Power Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Control Engineering or a strongly related discipline. Strong power systems analysis, Matlab, and programming languages such as JAVA are preferable. Experience of multi-disciplinary projects that may include economic analysis is desirable.

How to apply:

(1) Submit an application for a PhD in Electronic Engineering using the link below.
(2) After submitting your application you will receive an email to confirm receipt; email should be forwarded along with a covering letter and full CV to Dr Ben Potter ([email protected]).
(3) In the online application system, there is a section for “Research proposal” and a box that says “If you have already been in contact with a potential supervisor, please tell us who” – in this box, please enter “Dr. Ben Potter”.

Further enquiries:
Dr. Ben Potter, tel: 0118 378 8586, email: [email protected]

Funding Notes

We welcome applications from self-funded students worldwide for this project

Students from Brazil: we welcome and support applications for the Science Without Borders Scholarship (Ciência sem Fronteiras).

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