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PhD position: Stability analysis of hybrid AC/DC power systems

PhD position: Stability analysis of hybrid AC/DC power systems


The Electrical Energy & Computer Architectures Electa division is part of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) and covers the broad spectrum of electrical energy systems and robust control of industrial systems. The development of the future smart grid is the key activity. As the largest research group on electrical energy systems in the Benelux, Electa wants to be recognized as a center-of-excellence on these topics, where fundamental research is combined with immediately and prospectively applicable solutions for the industry. Alongside this development of know-how, it is important to share gained knowledge with the academic community, students, industry and the society as a whole. ELECTA is also co-founder of the knowledge center EnergyVille together with VITO and imec. Within the Electrical Energy & Computer Architectures (Electa) division and EnergyVille, the research team led by prof. Jef Beerten focuses on the combined modelling and control of power electronic
converters and power systems, with a focus on DC systems. The group of PhD students and postdocs consists of about 7 people. Within the team, we have a PhD position available on the 'stability analysis of hybrid AC/DC power systems' under the NEPTUNE project granted by the Belgian Energy Transition Fund ( More info:

The massive integration of renewable energy sources in the power system worldwide is pushing the transmission systems to their limits. Power electronics-based network components are playing a major role in this energy transition. They offer the possibility to control power flows and increase the reliability of the network under variable working conditions. On the transmission level, HighVoltage Direct Current (HVDC) technology is the candidate for reinforcing and upgrading the system. Long-term visions encompass rolling-out an offshore grid in the North Sea combined with so-called "electricity highways", energy corridors with power ratings that are an order of magnitude higher than existing line ratings.

Compared to the point-to-point HVDC connections that are now widespread in our transmission system, significant cost reductions and increased reliability can be obtained by building a meshed HVDC grid. The European Commission, the power industry as well as environmental organizations support the development of such a meshed system to develop a North Sea grid, which will connect wind farms and strengthen the European internal electricity market. In the long term, these developments can give rise to a European HVDC "supergrid", interconnecting the power generated by wind in the North Sea with solar power generated in the South of Europe.

Such HVDC grids will most likely develop as multi-vendor systems, and control interactions in in this hybrid AC/DC power system will play an increasing role. This project focuses on the combined stability analysis of hybrid AC/DC power system and the development of dynamic system equivalents for such an analysis.

Interested candidates should have a good understanding of power electronics control and stability. A strong interest and affinity in power system dynamics and simulations is essential.

PhD enrolment at KU Leuven, Belgium.

As the ideal candidate:
* You have a Master of Science degree in electrical engineering, with a solid background in power systems and power electronics and experience in control engineering, preferably from a reputable institute from a country within the European Economic Area.
* You have obtained excellent study results.
* You have the ambition to become a junior expert in power electronics modelling for HVDC grid control studies and be highly motivated for a 4-year PhD project.
* You are communicative and motivated to work in a team with other experts studying different aspects of HVDC grids and power systems.
* You have knowledge of power system simulation software and the use of power electronics in power systems.
* You are willing to occasionally travel in the framework of the PhD project.
* Experience with real-time simulation and hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) experiments is considered as an advantage.
* You are able to communicate fluently in English, both orally and in writing. Knowledge of the Dutch language is a plus.

We offer an exciting job in one of the leading research institutes in the field. HVDC technology is receiving significant attention from both academia and industry. This project allows you to work in an inspiring environment within a team of enthusiastic colleagues on a highly timely research topic.

The main work location is the EnergyVille Campus of KU Leuven, located in Genk (Belgium).

For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jef Beerten, tel.: +32 16 32 10 39, mail:

PhD position: Stability analysis of hybrid AC/DC power systems

KU Leuven, Genk
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