PhD Position within Networked Control for Power Electronic Grids

Trondheim, Norway
27 Jun 2019
End of advertisement period
26 Jul 2019
Contract Type
Full Time

About the position

The Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering (IE), at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU), Trondheim, Norway, has a vacancy for a 100% PhD candidate position (3 years) at the Department of Electric Power Engineering (EL). This PhD position is designed to fit NTNU IE faculty’s vision of being positioned "at the center of the green, digital shift," by contributing to bridge the multidisciplinary gap between power electronics systems, engineering cybernetics, and information and communication technologies.

Thus, it addresses NTNU’s Strategic Research Area of Energy (subtopic 9: "smart energy systems", and subtopic 10: "technological solutions for new renewable energy").

The position reports to the Head of the Department.

Main duties and responsibilities

The power grid as we know it is currently going through an exciting paradigm shift. First, the massive integration of renewable energy sources to the grid is requiring an extensive use of power electronic converters to act as their interface. In particular, the appearance of multi-terminal high-voltage direct-current (MT-HVDC) grids at one end, as well as and low- and medium- voltage microgrids at the other, are being considered to be some of the major grid infrastructure developments of our time, required for the transition to a low carbon society. Second, the use of digital information and communication technologies is allowing for an ever increasing inter-connectivity between the different technological elements of the power grid. This, in turn, enables the possibility towards a more efficient, intelligent, reliable and sustainable resource utilization.

Indeed, the main motivation behind this timely research project is to help create knowledge at the intersection of 1) power electronics systems, 2) cybernetics (i.e., control engineering), and 3) communication technologies; and thus contribute to the ongoing digitalization shift of the power grid as we know it. More precisely, this intersection suggests the possibility of designing cooperative strategies where power converters work together towards a common goal, by relying on a communication network from which they receive information from their most immediate neighbors. The immediate advantage is that collective actions of agents (power converters) can solve problems that are difficult or even impossible for a single individual. This however implies that interactions and collective behaviors under the influence of the allowed communication flow in the network will need to be thoroughly investigated and taken account in the control design.

The PhD candidate will therefore contribute to unlock the potential benefits of designing distributed cooperative control strategies for power converters constituting a multiple agents dynamical system (e.g.: Microgrids, MT-HVDC, etc.) that rely on communication channels between neighboring converters, enabling the global interconnected system to improve its dynamical performance and operate without any service interruption (i.e., with stability guarantees).


  2. NTNU, "Strategic research Areas" (
  3. International Energy Agency,"Digitalization and Energy" (

Qualification requirements

A PhD-position's main objective is to qualify for work in research positions. Applicants must hold a M.Sc. degree within electrical power engineering and have a good background in control of power electronics. Alternatively, the applicant must hold a M.Sc. degree within the field engineering cybernetics / control engineering, preferably with some background in electrical power engineering, and/or networked control.

High motivation, the ability to work in a team and good analytical and communication skills will be emphasized in the employment process.

Scientific publications in international journals and at conferences will give merit.

Applicants are required to submit a one-page research proposal within the described research area.

The appointment is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants and national guidelines for appointment as PhD, postdoctor and research assistant

NTNU is committed to following evaluation criteria for research quality according to The San Francisco Declaration on Research Assessment - DORA.

Other qualifications:

Applicants must provide evidence of good English language skills, written and spoken. If your first language is not English, the following tests can be used as documentation: TOEFL, IELTS and Cambridge, Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) or Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE). Minimum scores are:

  • TOEFL: 600 (paper-based test), 92 (Internet-based test)
  • IELTS: 6.5, with no section lower than 5.5 (only Academic IELTS test accepted)
  • CAE/CPE: grade B or A.

Personal characteristics

In the evaluation of which candidate is best qualified, emphasis will be placed on education, experience and personal suitability, as well as motivation, in terms of the qualification requirements specified in the advertisement

We offer

Salary and conditions

PhD candidate:

PhD candidates are remunerated in code 1017, and are normally remunerated at gross from NOK 449 400 before tax per year. From the salary, 2% is deducted as a contribution to the Norwegian Public Service Pension Fund.

The employment contract is for three years; however, there is a possibility for extension up to four years if selected for assistantship.

Appointment to a PhD position requires admission to the PhD programme in Electrical Power Engineering. Applicants must be qualified for admission as PhD students at NTNU. See for information about PhD studies at NTNU.

As a PhD candidate, you undertake to participate in an organized PhD programme during the employment period. A condition of appointment is that you are in fact qualified for admission to the PhD programme within three months.

The engagement is to be made in accordance with the regulations in force concerning State Employees and Civil Servants, and the acts relating to Control of the Export of Strategic Goods, Services and Technology. Candidates who by assessment of the application and attachment are seen to conflict with the criterias in the latter law will be prohibited from recruitment to NTNU. After the appointment you must assume that there may be changes in the area of work.

General information

A good work environment is characterized by diversity. We encourage qualified candidates to apply, regardless of their gender, functional capacity or cultural background. Under the Freedom of Information Act (offentleglova), information about the applicant may be made public even if the applicant has requested not to have their name entered on the list of applicants.

Questions about the position can be directed to Associate Professor Gilbert Bergna-Diaz:

About the application:

Applications are to be submitted electronically through this page ( 

The application must contain:

  • A project description (1-2 pages).
  • CV.
  • Certified copies of academic diplomas and certificates.
  • Applicants from universities outside Norway are kindly requested to send a diploma supplement or a similar document, which describes in detail the study and grading system and the rights for further studies associated with the obtained degree.
  • Publications relevant to the research scope and any other work which the applicant wishes to be taken into account should clearly state the applicant’s contribution. A short summary should be attached outlining the applicant’s input to joint work.
  • Names and contact information of at least two references.

Incomplete applications will not be taken into consideration.

Sensitivity related to critical infrastructure issues and strategic assessments will be considered for all applicants.

Application deadline: July 26, 2019.

NTNU - knowledge for a better world

The Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) creates knowledge for a better world and solutions that can change everyday life.

Department of Electric Power Engineering

Our department is Norway’s leading university environment in the field, and our vision is to be at the centre of the digital green shift. We have excellent collaboration with business and industry as well as other academic environments internationally. This gives us outstanding opportunities for interdisciplinary research with high relevance to society, while we meet industrial needs and address global challenges at the same time. The Department of Electric Power Engineering is one of seven departments in the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering.

Deadline 26th July 2019
Employer NTNU - Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Municipality Trondheim
Scope Fulltime
Duration Temporary
Place of service Gløshaugen

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