PhD positions (2): Cyber resilience of interconnected power grids

PhD positions (2): Cyber resilience of interconnected power grids

Published Deadline Location
17 Jun 5 Jul Delft
Increase resilience of interconnected power grids to cyberattacks by developing self-healing and real-time decision support systems for defence against cascading failures and power system restoration.

Job description

The eFORT project, funded under Horizon Europe, is recruiting talented, enthusiastic, and ambitious candidates to perform excellent research and achieve breakthroughs in the field of power system resilience and cyber security. The main objective of eFORT is to make interconnected power grids more resilient and reliable to failures, cyber attacks, physical disturbances, and data privacy issues. To this end, a set of technological innovations will be developed for the detection, prevention and mitigation of risks and vulnerabilities with positive impacts on power system operation and stability. The eFORT solutions will be demonstrated at TSO, DSO, digital substation, and microgrid levels in 4 real demonstration environments.

Within the eFORT project, Delft University of Technology is hiring two doctoral candidates on the subjects: (1) “Self-healing power grid capabilities to defend against cascading effects" and (2) "Decision support for Operational Technology (OT) and power system restoration."

Description PhD position (1):

You will conduct research on power system stability and develop self-healing capabilities for interconnected power grids to stop the propagation of cascading effects and prevent a blackout. First, a computational method will be developed, which uses a digital twin of the power grid to assess in real-time the impact of cyber attacks on power system operation, estimate stability margins, analyse how they can initiate cascading failures that may lead to a blackout, and quantify grid resilience. Then, you will develop an Intelligent Platform to enable the self-healing grid capabilities and stop propagation of cascading outages. This will be achieved by a novel system for coordinated, self-healing emergency controls using wide area monitoring, protection and control (WAMPAC) and microgrids.

Description PhD position (2):

You will conduct research to develop a decision support methodology for cyber-power system restoration from a blackout caused by cyber attacks considering both OT and physical grid infrastructures. A digital twin will be used to help system operators evaluate in real-time the feasibility of restorative actions based on the cyber-physical system condition. At cyber layer, the decision support methodology will use computational intelligence to assess the OT damages and generate courses of action for an efficient OT system restoration. At physical layer, it will support the operator decision making for restoration of interconnected power grids using black-start resources and tie lines.

Our large RTDS infrastructure, coupled with Control Room of the Future (CRoF), will be used by both PhDs to conduct research and demonstration of prototype solutions.

We offer four-year PhD appointments, with an anticipated start date in October / November 2022. You will be a member of the section Intelligent Electrical Power Grids that is part of the Electrical Sustainable Energy (ESE) Department within the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science. This project offers excellent opportunities to work in a dynamic team consisting of experts from academia, utilities, and vendors.

Specifications

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Requirements

Essentials:

  • Demonstrable interest in interdisciplinary and intersectoral research, and specifically the interface between power systems, information and communication technologies, and cyber security.
  • Completed a Master's and Bachelor’s degree in a highly quantitative and analytical discipline (electrical engineering with an emphasis on power systems, applied mathematics, and/or computer science).
  • Excellent academic record (grades of B or higher).
  • Excellent analytical and writing skills.
  • Ability to read and critically analyse power systems / computer science / mathematics papers.
  • Strong knowledge of power system stability and control, and mathematics including differential algebraic equations, discrete systems, and probability theory and statistics.
  • Very good command of English. The minimum requirement of a TOEFL score of 100 or IELTS of 7.0 per sub-skill (writing, reading, listening, speaking) applies to all candidates wanting to pursue a PhD at TU Delft.
  • You enjoy performing research. You are independent, self-motivated, and eager to learn.
  • You are keen to work with industry partners to link real-world challenges to fundamental research questions.
  • Demonstrable experience with computer modelling and simulation.
  • You enjoy programming and hold your code to a high standard.

Desirables:

  • Knowledge of power system stability, operation and control.
  • Knowledge of computer networking and cyber security.
  • Experience with Python and machine learning libraries.
  • Experience with collaborative software development (e.g. open source).

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.

Conditions of employment

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Employer

Delft University of Technology

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 and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 

Department

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 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.

About the department

The research in ESE Department is inspired by the technical, scientific, and societal challenges originating from the transition towards a more sustainable society and focuses on three areas:

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

 

ESE Department owns the ESP laboratory and a large RTDS cluster that is actively used for real-time simulation of future electrical power systems, AC and DC protection, and wide-area monitoring, protection and control.

 

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.

Additional information

You will be jointly supervised by Dr. Alex Stefanov (Assistant Professor, daily supervisor) and Prof. Peter Palensky (head of IEPG group). You will join the Cyber Resilient Power Grids (CRPG) team that conducts research on cyber security and resilience of power grids.

You will benefit from extensive training in technical and transferrable skills. You will be expected to assist in teaching activities (student supervision, labs) related to your subject area.

You will have access to excellent research facilities including the RTDS infrastructure, digital substation, cyber-physical system simulators, Control Room of the Future (CRoF) and a cyber range.

The anticipated PhD start date is between 1 October 2022 and 1 November 2022.

For more information about these vacancies, please contact Dr. Alex Stefanov (a.i.stefanov@tudelft.nl).

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • University graduate
  • TUD02448

Employer

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before July 5, 2022.

The applications for this post should be submitted through the application button in the recruitment system.

Please submit:

  1. Application letter addressed to Dr. Alex Stefanov that explains your personal motivation in pursuing a PhD and fit to the job requirements, 
  2. curriculum vitae (CV) with a list of (academic and/or industry) references that we can contact, and
  3. (qualification evidence including MSc and BSc degrees and transcripts.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. 

Application procedure

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before July 5, 2022.

The applications for this post should be submitted through the application button in the recruitment system.

Please submit:

  1. Application letter addressed to Dr. Alex Stefanov that explains your personal motivation in pursuing a PhD and fit to the job requirements, 
  2. curriculum vitae (CV) with a list of (academic and/or industry) references that we can contact, and
  3. (qualification evidence including MSc and BSc degrees and transcripts.

Incomplete applications will not be considered.

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.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. 

Make sure to apply no later than 5 Jul 2022 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).