PhD scholarship in Data-driven Security and Optimization of AC and HVDC Grids

DTU Elektro
mandag 19 nov 18

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Frist 15. december 2018
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The Center for Electric Power and Energy at the Department of Electrical Engineering invites applications for one PhD position on Data-Driven Security and Optimization of AC and HVDC Grids. The PhD scholarship is part of multiDC (, an international research project on the optimal coordination of multiple High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) lines and Grids. Two neighboring system operators, Energinet and Svenska Kraftnät, a major manufacturer, ABB, and three universities, DTU from Denmark, KTH from Sweden, and the University of Liège from Belgium, participate in this project.

Rapid increase in renewable energy shares and the proliferation of power-electronic connected devices, introduce larger degrees of uncertainty, faster transient phenomena, and millions of new control variables. To safeguard the system against any possible threat at a minimum cost becomes an intractable problem. Data-driven approaches, with the help of the increasing deployment of new sensors, have the potential to bridge the gap between power system security and optimization.

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 data-driven approaches that will ensure computational efficiency for real-time operation, and whose behavior can be verified.

Responsibilities and tasks 
The PhD student will carry out research in the field of data-driven optimization and control of hybrid AC/DC grids. It is envisioned that approaches based on machine learning, optimization, and online control will be developed to handle large-scale systems in a computationally efficient and verifiable way. The PhD student will also have the opportunity to apply the most promising of the developed methods in a realistic lab environment in PowerlabDK.

Candidates should hold a two-year MSc (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year MSc.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide

A successful candidate will have a very solid background in at least five of the following points: 
  • Power system operation and integration of renewable electricity production
  • Machine learning techniques, statistics, and probabilities
  • Modeling and simulation of power systems
  • Optimization and control with application to power systems
  • 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
An ideal candidate will also be self-motivated, would enjoy working with complex topics, and would thrive in collaboration and teamwork.

Additional to the requirements, prospective applicants must include in their application: 
  1. a Research Statement (max. 800 words).
  2. contact details of two individuals that can provide a letter of reference
Through the research statement the applicants have the chance to present a research problem that interests them and propose how it might be investigated. The research problem should be suitable for doctoral level work, but it is not necessary to be related to the topic of the advertised PhD position.

The assessment of the applicants will be made by the following Assessment Committee: Associate Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis, Assistant Professor Tilman Weckesser, Professor Pierre Pinson, and Professor Jacob Østergaard.

The assessment of the applications and interviews will be ongoing and might start before the application deadline.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.   

Further information 
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis, phone.: +45 4525 5621, e-mail:, or Asistant Professor Tilmann Weckesser, phone: +45 4525 3328, e-mail:     

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

Please submit your online application no later than 15 December 2018 (local time). Applications must 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. 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)
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their MSc, but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 6,000 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society, and our 11,200 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.