PhD Position Digital Twin-Based Adaptive Control and Protection Schemes for MTDC Power Systems

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 29 Feb 2024

A consortium of 8 universities forms the consortium ‘Inter-oPEn’ to work on the development of HVDC electricity networks. The consortium stands out for coupling the technical developments with the legal aspects in order to foster innovation in the energy sector. The project is funded by the European Union as a Marie Curie doctoral training network (

This thesis will:

  • Develop advanced control and reconfiguration algorithms for MTDC HV networks to timely detect, locate, and isolate the faults, as well as to avoid converter blocking.
  • Analyze possibilities of centralized control for both DCCBs and converter’s control.
  • Examine black start properties, i.e. what is the control/protection start up sequence.
  • An important feature of the Marie Curie Doctoral Framework is the use of doctoral training and secondments. Doctoral training events, organised on a rotating base with the consortium partners, allows the PhD students of the different individual projects to gain knowledge on the other aspects of their field of research. This means that the technical PhD students will gain knowledge on the legal perspectives, and the PhD students on the legal aspects will be provided with knowledge and insights on several technical aspects, in order to bridge the fields of law and technology. Next to doctoral training in theory, each researcher has 2 secondments, of 3 to 6 months each, to gain more experience in practice. Currently, the planned secondments are:

  • KTH, Sweden, 3 months (2nd year), purpose: explore control and protection principles for the VARC DCCB;
  • The National HVDC Centre, UK, 3 months (3rd year), purpose: to test real-time approaches within the Centre on confidential models of the GB system.
  • This is a four-year Ph.D. appointment with an anticipated start date of 01.05.2024. You will be supervised by Dr. Aleksandra Lekić (assistant professor). You will be a member of the section Intelligent Electrical Power Grids in the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science. The project will offer opportunities to collaborate with industrial partners. Within the team, we strive to develop mathematically rigorous methods with near-term application potential. We strongly support open science (publishing, source code, data).

    About the department

    The research in the Department of Electrical Sustainable Energy is inspired by the technical, scientific, and societal challenges originating from the transition towards a more sustainable society and focuses on four areas:

    • DC Systems, Energy Conversion and Storage (DCE&S)
    • Photovoltaic Materials and Devices (PVMD)
    • Intelligent Electrical Power Grids (IEPG)
    • High Voltage Technologies (HVT)

    The Electrical Sustainable Energy Department provides expertise in these areas throughout the entire energy system chain. The department owns a large ESP Laboratory assembling High Voltage testing, DC Grids testing environment, and large RTDS that is actively used for real-time simulation of future electrical power systems, AC and DC protection and wide-area monitoring and protection.

    The Intelligent Electrical Power Grid (IEPG) group, headed by Professor Peter Palensky, works on the future of our power system. The goal is to generate, transmit and use electrical energy in a highly reliable, efficient, stable, clean, affordable, and safe way. IEPG integrates new power technologies and smart controls, which interact with other systems and allow for more distributed and variable generation.


    • Solid knowledge of electrical power systems and power electronic converters for power systems application.
    • Solid experience in the modeling techniques and control for power systems.
    • Solid experience in programming and simulation using one programming language (MATLAB, Python, Julia, MATLAB, C/C++). Experience in real time hardware-in-the-loop simulation (RTDS/OPAL-RT/Typhoon HIL).
    • Solid knowledge of power electronic devices operation for HVDC power systems.
    • Completed BSc and MSc degrees in a highly technical related discipline (computer science, electrical engineering, etc.), and you were at the top of your class.
    • Excellent analytical and mathematical skills. You can understand literature in both disciplines.
    • The minimum requirement of a TOEFL score of 100 IELTS of 7.0 per sub-skill (writing, reading, listening, speaking) applies to all candidates wanting to pursue a Ph.D. at TU Delft.
    • You enjoy performing research. You are independent, self-motivated, and eager to learn.
    • You are keen to work with partners to link real-world challenges to fundamental research questions.

    Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

    Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

    Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

    The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. 

    For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme  for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

    Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

    At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

    Challenge. Change. Impact!

    The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

    Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

    We offer a pleasant working environment with a dynamic and highly knowledgeable team consisting of experts from TSO utilities and academia. For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. A. Lekić - [email protected].

    For information about the selection procedure, please contact Brenda Reyes Munoz, Secretary, email: [email protected]

    Candidates send their full CVs. The CVs are being checked, and a few candidates are short-listed. The CVs are being checked again, and several candidates will be invited for an interview.

    Applications should be submitted via the application button in the recruitment system. A motivation letter can be addressed to Dr. A. Lekić. Please submit (1) your CV with a list of (academic and/or industry) references that we can contact, (2) a list of grades of your qualifying degrees (BSc, MSc), and (3) a cover letter that details your motivation and fit to the job requirements. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before February 29, 2024.

    • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
    • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
    • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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