Power Systems Three PhD Scholarship Positions

Power systems are currently undergoing drastic changes in their structure, operation and control. The traditional way of generating electric power based on few powerful plants equipped with synchronous generators is moving towards small distributed and renewable energy resources. In future power networks, generators are expected to be, in most of the cases, decoupled from the grid through power electronic converters. As a consequence of distributed generation resources, control is evolving towards fully decentralized concepts, which is the opposite strategy as the centralized control implemented in conventional power systems. The uncertainty introduced by renewable sources has to be compensated by an adequate redundancy of the installed capacity and, possibly, by efficient energy storage systems. While ac transmission lines cannot be realistically fully substituted in the future with other transmission devices, a high penetration of non-synchornous generations and VSC-HVDC connections is to be anticipated. Finally, smart grid technologies, including emerging microgrids, are leading to involve more and more loads into system operation and control.

Power system stability has to be fully revisited and reformulated in view of this wide renovation and the new challenges that power system are facing. This research appointment is aimed to define new paradigms for transient, angle, frequency and voltage stability concepts and study how the changes that power systems are undergoing modify the causes that originate such phenomena and the effects they have on the system.

Three aspects of power systems that have a significant impact on renewable energy supply and power system operation are considered, as follows:

  • the consideration of stochastic differential equations for modelling power systems which are subject to large stochastic perturbations (e.g., wind and solar generation)
  • the effect of controller and modelling imperfections (e.g., delays, discontinuities, digital signals, etc.) on both local and area-wide regulators in power systems
  • the stability analysis of power systems modeled through stochastic, functional and hybrid differential-algebraic equations (DAEs)

Six PhD positions are funded through the project “Advanced Modelling for Power System Analysis and Simulation (AMPSAS)” that is granted to Prof. Federico Milano under the prestigious SFI Investigator Programme. This project is highly interdisciplinary as it integrates areas of applied mathematics, automatic control, and computer science. The support of international collaborators and the Irish transmission system operator, EirGrid, will provide the required 
knowledge, skills and data and to discuss, test and implement the models and the techniques emanated by the development of this project.

Prof. Federico Milano is currently seeking candidates for up to 3 PhD scholarships in the following topics:

  1. Modelling of stationary and non-stationary stochastic processes to be included in power system models. 
  2. Stability analysis and robust control of power system with high level of uncertainty and volatility. 
  3. Stability analysis and robust control of power system with inclusion of measurement delays. 
  4. Application of shooting methods to the stability analysis of power systems showing oscillatory behaviour. 
  5. Stability analysis and control of differential equations with discontinuous right-hand sides. 
  6. Analysis of the impact of digital signals and behavioral models on power system stability.

Applicants for this scholarship should ideally have:

  • An honours degree in either: Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or equivalent;
  • A good knowledge of computer programming (Matlab, C, Python, Fortran, Latex). Knowledge of Unix/Linux operating systems would be an advantage; 
  • Knowledge of dynamic system modelling and simulation, nonlinear system stability analysis and/or advanced concepts of control theory would be an advantage;
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills;
  • Be enthusiastic and willing to learn new concepts and ideas.

A competitive PhD scholarship (including student stipend of €18,000 p.a. and fees for up to four years) is offered to the successful applicant. Interested applicants should email a complete CV and letter of application, stating the PhD project of interest, to:

How to Apply:
Prof. Federico Milano
UCD School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Tel. + 353 1 716 1844, 
Email: federico.milano@ucd.ie