Circuit Optimisation for Multi-infeed HVDC systems

PhD Research Project


Aberdeen University


Graduate School, College of Physical Sciences

PhD Supervisor:

Dr K Ahmed

Application Deadline:

20 November 2012


This studentship is a part of an industry collaborative project with SSE, the transmission system operator in North of Scotland. SSE is planning on developing multiple High Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) interconnections in North of Scotland including an Eastern Connector with England, the connections between Caithness and Moray and Shetland and must also provide a connection for a proposed link with Norway. The offshore DC grid is also part of long term DC development.

The Power Systems group at Aberdeen has around 12 members and considerable expertise in the area of HVDC, DC grids and power electronics. We have significant externally-funded research program and collaborative links with many major industry and academic players in Power industry. The student will benefit from expert support within the group and association with School/University with strong research facilities and research excellence.

Professional doctorate degree (EngD) is the same academic level as PhD, but it has more industry input and aims to prepare graduates for research in industry. The student will be expected to spend at least 25% of the time at SSE premises (mostly in the Aberdeen office, but also in the Perth and Glasgow offices). Although EngD route is preferred, we will also consider applicants for a traditional PhD program.

This project aims are to deliver a comprehensive study into the optimization of the North of Scotland power grid that includes multiple HVDC systems integrated with an AC transmission system. The project is focused on a range of identified technical challenges and on the opportunities for optimisation and advancement of HVDC controls. The study will be based on PSCAD/EMTDC modelling and control development using PSCAD and MATLAB.

We are seeking an outstanding EngD student to engage on industry-led modelling/simulation research, and to follow new ideas and vision. Building on your knowledge and experience in power electronics, power systems, mathematical modelling, optimum control, and simulation you will be contributing in pioneering research expected to have a significant impact on the power transmission industry in the UK and Europe.

You should have at least a higher second class BEng degree in Electrical/Electronic Engineering or related field. Background experience with power electronics simulation (PSCAD, SimPowerSystems MATLAB, SABER, ...) is an advantage. In addition to having the right technical background, you will be an ambitious, enthusiastic person with good interpersonal and analytical skills who can work independently and as part of a team.

The student will benefit from very competitive scholarship package associated with SSE funding conditions. The scholarship pays a total of £14,000 per annum with 3% annual increase for maintenance for 3.5 years. It also covers the University’s EngD tuition fees at UK/EU level. Since fees for international students are higher, the international applicants should secure funds for the difference in fees.

The project will be supervised by Prof. Dragan Jovcic and Dr Khaled Ahmed from Aberdeen University and a research engineer from SSE.

The start date for this project is 7th January 2013.

Funding Notes:

Fees will be paid at UK/EU rates which for 2012/2013 will be £3,600 (pro-rata) and a stipend at £14,000 per annumwith a 3% annual increase for maintenance for 3.5 years (pro-rata for 2012/2013), paid monthly in arrears.

Applications from International Applicants can be considered providing they can confirm, in writing, that they can meet the difference between UK/EU and International Tuition fees from their own resources, for the duration of their studies, for 2012/2013 this will be £10,400 pro-rata.