Two PhD scholarships in Optimization & Market Operation, and Stability & Control of Multi-Area AC and HVDC Grids

DTU Electrical Eng
Monday 27 Mar 17

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The Center for Electric Power and Energy at the Department of Electrical Engineering invites applications for two PhD positions in Optimization & Market Operation, and Stability & Control of Multi-Area AC and DC grids.  

The PhD scholarships are part of a newly funded project on the optimal coordination of multiple High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines and Grids. Two neighboring system operators, and Svenska Kraftnät, a major manufacturer, ABB, and two more universities, KTH from Sweden and the University of Liège from Belgium, participate in this international project.

Ongoing efforts towards an offshore grid in the North Sea are expected to interconnect large off-shore wind farms over multiple HVDC lines to several European countries. First steps towards such a North Sea Hub already take place: Cooperation European Transmission System Operators to develop North Sea Wind Power Hub.

With these developments in mind, advanced optimization and control algorithms are necessary to incorporate the advanced capabilities of a hybrid AC/DC grid that spans multiple system operators. Methods need to focus on the optimal operation and the appropriate design of a market environment for such a grid, and on control functions that enhance the stability of interconnected AC and DC grids. All methods need to explicitly consider the shift towards converter-connected renewable resources, which affect the dynamic response of the power system, e.g. due to varying system inertia, as well as uncertainties introduced by load and wind forecasts.  

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD students will carry out research in the field of optimization and control of hybrid AC/DC grids. It is envisioned that one PhD student will focus on system control & stability and the other on distributed optimization & market operation aspects. The PhD students will also have opportunity to apply the most promising of the developed methods in a realistic lab environment in PowerlabDK.   

The PhD work will focus on advanced computational techniques that incorporate uncertainty, varying inertia systems, and distributed solution methods for multi-area hybrid AC/DC grids.  

Candidates should have a MSc in engineering or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to the MSc in engineering.  

Approval and Enrolment
Ph scholarships are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general PhD programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

A successful candidate will have a strong background in at least four of the following points: 

  • Knowledge of power system operation and integration of renewable electricity production
  • Knowledge of modeling and simulation of power systems
  • Advanced knowledge of optimization and control with application to power systems
  • Familiar with HVDC modeling either for optimization or dynamic system studies
  • Knowledge of programming tools such as Matlab, Python, Julia, etc.
  • Excellent use of the English language
  • Ability to present results in technical reports, and prepare scientific papers for publication in international journals

Prospective applicants should include a research statement (max 800 words) and contact details of two individuals that can provide a letter of reference.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by Assistant Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis, Professor Pierre Pinson, Professor Jacob Østergaard, and Researcher Tilman Weckesser (Univ. of Liege).

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in Northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD students. The period of employment is 3 years.  

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Assistant Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis, tel.: +45 4525 5621, Email:, Professor Pierre Pinson, tel.: +45 4525 3541, Email:, Researcher Tilman Weckesser, tel: +32 4 366 9628, Email:   

You can read more about the Center for Electric Power and Energy here.  

Please submit your online application no later than 30 April 2016. Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Please indicate if you apply for the position on “Topic 1: Optimization and Market Integration of Multi-Area AC/HVDC Grids under Uncertainty” or “Topic 2: Enhanced Stability and Control of AC/HVDC Grids in Varying Inertia Systems”.

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

All qualified candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

The Department of Electrical Engineering is the central department at the Technical University of Denmark for electrical engineering, biomedical engineering, and acoustic technology.  It is our goal to ensure research and engineering training, which matches that of other leading universities around the world. Including PhD students, we have more than 275 staff members. You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering on

At the Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) we conduct cutting edge research which is crucial for society – not only in Denmark but worldwide.

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.