Two PhD Scholarships in Advanced Methods for Condition Monitoring and Cyber-Secured Operation of Battery Energy Storage Systems

Tuesday 03 Mar 20

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The Center for Electric Power and Energy (CEE) at the Department of Electrical Engineering invites applications for two PhD positions associated with project BOSS, Bornholm smartgrid secured by grid connected battery systems. BOSS will explore, develop and demonstrate cost-effective and market-based BESS services and business solutions. The project represents a strong collaboration between academia, industries and the local power authority and system operators.

Battery energy storage systems (BESSs) are key to fully sustainable energy systems. Transitioning to a 100%, BESS-supported energy system prompts a paradigm shift in power system operation. Most grid services supplied by conventional power plants can be provided by a BESS. It implies that advanced methods be developed for efficient and secure operation of BESS in energy systems. Applications of machine learning techniques for condition monitoring and cyber-secured operation of BESS are among the state-of-the-art in the field and needs more investigation by researchers.

Candidates are invited to apply for one or both PhD positions.

PhD position 1: Advanced methods for condition monitoring of lithium-ion batteries providing grid services
Battery life span and efficiency have considerable impact on the BESS economy and business. Charging and discharging patterns associated with each BESS services as well as operational strategies developed for BESS control affect the battery life span. The PhD study shall investigate the impact of selected power and energy system services on battery degradation. An important element of the PhD study is to compare and validate BESS studies with results obtained from real BESS operation in the power grid, and propose advanced methods based on machine learning techniques to predict battery state-of-health. Suggesting new control methods to improve the life span of the battery system may be another research objective in the PhD thesis. 

PhD position 2: Advanced methods for cyber-secured operation of BESS providing grid services
A BESS can be used to provide grid services for transmission system operators, distribution system operators, transportation system and the heating sector. As a result, many parties may access the BESS, and a mechanism is required to define whether a command is sent from a trusted party or if it is an attack. This is especially important when the BESS is providing frequency regulation for an islanded grid. The PhD study will focus on providing solutions using machine learning techniques to detect attacks. 

Applicable for all scholarships

Candidates should 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. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree conditioned that they will be graduated latest June 2020.

The candidate with the following knowledge will be preferred: 

  • Knowledge about power system operation and control
  • Knowledge about machine learning techniques
  • Familiar with the grid integration of distributed energy resources
  • Ability to present results in technical reports, and prepare scientific papers for publication in international journals.
An ideal candidate will also be self-motivated, enjoy working with complex topics, and thrive in collaboration and teamwork.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates 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

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 BOSS project leader Researcher Seyedmostafa Hashemi Toghroljerdi,
  or DER Group Leader Associate Professor Chresten Træholt,

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

Please submit your online application no later than 30 April 2020 (23:59 local 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 – in the right hand column)
  • Contact details of two individuals that can provide a letter of reference
  • A research statement (maximum two pages). 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 related to the topic of the advertised PhD positions, and should preferably include introduction, method and contribution. Applications without a research statement may not be considered.
In the field “Please indicate which position(s) you would like to apply for”, please indicate which project you are applying for (title from the above list of PhD projects).

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it. 

Please send your application as soon as possible, as we will be conducting the assessment of applications in a regular basis and interviews might start before the application deadline.

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

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, 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.

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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 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.