PhD scholarship in Secure Power System Operation based on Quantum Computations

Monday 13 Sep 21

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Apply no later than 10 October 2021
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We seek a talented and engaged PhD student willing to be part of a world leading research environment and contribute to frontier research, working with the latest developments in AI and in quantum computing to advance current state-of-the-art in power system security assessment. 

The Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) provides cutting edge research in sustainable, reliable and cost-efficient energy systems to the benefit of society. At CEE you will enjoy the advantages of a creative and inspiring work environment shared with about 100 highly skilled and motivated colleagues.

Background for the project
With millions of new converter-interfaced devices, e.g. solar PV inverters and battery chargers, and thousands of new injections from renewable energy sources, the dynamic behavior of the electric power system changes, including a rapidly increasing risk for blackouts. Existing offline  methods for security and stability assessment are computationally demanding and are foreseen to become insufficient in fulfilling their objective. To ensure a high level of operational security, approaches are needed for real-time awareness of system security and robustness against disruptive events. Quantum computing can be a promising avenue to deliver the new tools we are looking for. 

Recent research at DTU has delivered methods capable of assessing the operational state of a power system with respect to different aspects of the overall power system stability problem.  These methods are capable of assessing ongoing system conditions from a single snapshot of the system state. There is need to extend that capability of such methods so that they assess the conditions further ahead in time (hours, days), providing awareness for threatening system conditions in good time in order to promptly take the necessary actions to ensure resilient system operation.

Therefore, this PhD project explores the newly appearing (and so far unknown) capabilities of quantum computing to ensure the secure operation of electric energy systems with high share of fluctuating renewables. The research is expected to combine the current state-of-the-art research in real-time assessment of system security with quantum computing, based on AI, with the aim to account for the rapidly increasing uncertainty and complexity coming from renewables, electric vehicles, and the millions of new converter-interfaced equipment and appliances, from LED lighting and rooftop PV inverters to mega-scale batteries and wind turbines. The use of quantum computations in such applications will be a frontier research activity, where we exploit our past research results in real time stability and security assessment, combine them with the newest developments in quantum computing and AI to create state-of-the-art solutions for challenges that are still widely unsolved.

Responsibilities and qualifications
You must have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. Preference will be given to candidates with experience with knowledge of power system dynamics and stability/security assessment (preferably real-time applications) or with quantum computing.

We also expect that you:

  • have the ability to work focused and to achieve ambitious goals
  • are willing to develop any required skills and knowledge 
  • are a good team player and proactive
  • have excellent communication skills in English – both written and spoken

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.  


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Senior Scientific Consultant Hjörtur Jóhannsson and Associate Professor Spyros Chatzivasileiadis, Center for Electric Power and Energy, DTU Electrical Engineering.  

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.

At the Center for Electric Power and Energy you will be part of a vibrant, welcoming and diverse environment with an international atmosphere and strong links to the world-leading Danish energy industry. You will join one of top European research centres within the energy field and you will have access to our  cutting-edge experimental facilities, PowerLabDK (   

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 Senior Scientific Consultant Hjörtur Jóhannsson, e-mail:

You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering at and about the Center for Electric Power and Energy at  

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 10 October 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out 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)
  • Research statement (max. 800 words) where you describe a research problem you would like to solve (it does not need to be related to the specific position), motivate why it is important to solve it, and outline the directions of how you would plan to solve it. 

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

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

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.