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PhD Studentship - Power system stability with renewable energy and grid-forming resources

Electrical Power Engineering

Location:  Highfield Campus
Closing Date:  Tuesday 30 November 2021
Reference:  1558021FP

Supervisory Team:    Dr Efstratios Batzelis

Post summary

Applications are invited for one PhD studentship to be undertaken at the University of Southampton, School of Electronics and Computer Science. The post will be fully funded (tuition fees and stipend) and is open only to Home students (UK national or EU settled status or EU pre-settled status or indefinite leave to remain). You will be based in the Electrical Power Engineering research group supervised by Dr Efstratios Batzelis. You are expected to start in Autumn 2022 or earlier.

Project summary

The recent commitments by the UK government and worldwide for rapid decarbonization of the energy sector have incentivised massive deployment of renewable energy resources (RESs) (e.g. wind farms, solar plants) and other inverter-based resources (IBRs) (e.g. electric vehicles, battery energy storage systems) into the power system. However, the inherent variable nature of RE generation and the operating principles of IBRs introduce limitations on their integration levels in the electrical network. The scientific community is actively looking how we can have more RESs and IBRs in an economic and stability-guaranteed way. A new promising idea is to programme and control the IBRs at grid-forming mode, i.e. acting as voltage sources in the network, which allows them to assist the grid more effectively during disturbances in contrast to the conventional grid-following mode. 

This PhD project will focus on the stability challenges arisen in the power system with massive amounts of variable RES and other IBRs. Special focus will be given in the new grid-forming technology and how it interacts with conventional generation at the power system level. This PhD project will be within the framework of a Royal Academy of Engineering research fellowship on solar integration in developing countries.

Duties and Responsibilities

The responsibilities include defining the research questions and plan, reviewing literature and conducting independent research, reporting progress and disseminating results in high-impact journals, conferences and other gatherings. You will be based at Highfield campus, but you may also travel occasionally to research partners for short-term visits.

Essential Requirements

You should have a good first degree (usually first-class) and/or a master’s degree (possibly ongoing) in Electrical/Electronic Engineering. You need to have excellent background in

  • Power system stability

and good understanding in

  • Power electronic converters
  • Control systems

Experience in relevant simulation tools and computational platforms, such as MATLAB/Simulink, will be a plus.

Entry Requirements

A very good undergraduate degree (at least a UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent). A Master’s degree in electrical power engineering will be a plus. You should be a Home student (UK national or EU settled status or EU pre-settled status or indefinite leave to remain).

Closing date: applications should be received no later than 30 November 2021.

Funding: For UK students, Tuition Fees and a stipend of £15,609 tax-free per annum for up to 3.5 years. 

How To Apply

Applications should be made online. Select programme type (Research), 2021/22, Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering, next page select “PhD  Elect & Elect Eng (Full time)”. In Section 2 of the application form you should insert the name of the supervisor Dr Efstratios Batzelis 

Applications should include

Research Proposal

Curriculum Vitae

Two reference letters

Degree Transcripts to date

Apply online:

For further information please contact: 

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