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3 PhD positions in the Smart Cities EMC research project

The George Green Institute for Electromagnetics Research (GGIEMR) and Power Electronics Machines and Control (PEMC) research groups are part of the Faculty of Engineering in the University of Nottingham.


Position 1. Behavioural modelling and simulation of active components, focus on energy consumers, and interaction with power line communication

Objectives: Develop a procedure for the terminal identification i.e. black-box modelling. In this task interconnect and black-box models will be developed using vector fit of the frequency dependence and macro models of the non-linear properties for input/output of active circuits and embed them in power system models, focusing on appropriate models for frequencies above 2 kHz where data is scarce but interference with power line communication is more problematical. In this case the commonly terminal equipment, i.e. power consumers, will be analysed.

Expected Results: Validated EM tools regarding embedding black-box models for supraharmonic frequencies (above 2kHz), taking into account the power lines, stray reactance and the non-linear effects; black-box models for active devices and distributed unbalanced recourses. ESR4 trained in behavioural modelling and simulation of active components.

Position 2. Statistical modelling and grid optimisation, focus on harmonic indices for micro grids or weak distribution systems and the transport sector.

Objectives: Development of efficient methods of modelling statistical variability and optimisation techniques in the presence of uncertainty (such as point estimation and univariate and bivariate reduction). Modelling of conducted emissions and harmonics in systems with stochastic loads and sources taking into consideration different probability distributions and correlation between variables. Determination of the system critical points for conducted emissions and harmonics. Development of optimisation techniques for distribution systems with uncertain variables.

Expected Results: Validated characterisation and optimisation techniques of distribution systems with variable loads and sources. Techniques for establishing the impact on Power Quality, system control and system security in the presence of unbalanced variable resources. Toolbox and techniques for statistical analysis and optimisation of system equipment.

Position 3. Experimental characterization, with focus on behavioural/macro parameters for sub-grids, and implement statistical evaluation methods in (long-term) monitoring instrumentation with a focus on the micro grids and the transport sector

Objectives: To fully evaluate experimentally the statistical variations and degree of coherence of harmonics and conducted emissions from loads and sources within small distribution systems such as micro grids and vehicle power systems using in-house laboratory demonstrators. Measurement of harmonics and conducted emissions from a microgrid demonstrator of both AC and DC systems. Measurement of harmonics and conducted emissions from an aircraft demonstrator power system. Measurement of harmonics and conducted emissions on rail power supply. Creating recommendations, guidelines, best-practises for the monitoring of harmonics and conducted emissions within power distribution systems. Identification of critical points within a small power system

Expected Results: Development of measurement and advanced metering techniques and recommendations for the monitoring of harmonics and conducted emissions (above 2 kHz) within power distribution systems in the presence of unbalanced distributed resources. Design guidance for more cost effective measures. ESR6 trained in behavioural models and instrumentation of micro grids and transport sector.


The vacancy is part of the SCENT project in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN), European Joint Doctorate, funded by the H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018-812391 grant. The SCENT consortium is comprised in addition to the The University of Nottingham (UK), by the University of Zielona Gora (PL) and University of Twente (NL). Successful candidates will receive a joint doctorate from these three universities. The project is supported by the IEEE EMC Society TC7, Dutch EMC-ESD association and 12 industries.


The global vision of Smart and Sustainable Cities is greatly restricted by the rapid increase of interference and interoperability problems which occur through the interaction of electrical power with information technology and communications equipment. This interconnected systems-of-systems infrastructure creates a complex electromagnetic environment in which interoperability of the electronic systems has to be achieved. There is an urgent need to conduct greater understanding in Power Quality (PQ) and (conducted) Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) due to the changing dynamics of the field. The main issue is the insufficient number of qualified engineers for the latest developments in smart cities, renewable generation and electric vehicles. A highly trained cadre of engineers (a new breed) is required to lead this area. To date no specific doctoral programme in this field is available in Europe resulting in well trained researchers and engineers being scarce. SCENT will create a network to train highly skilled engineers through an integrated doctoral training program based on the essential research required in PQ and EMC that can underpin all future technological developments, strongly linked to industry, and bridging the gap between research and industry for translation of new knowledge. Designed into the project are specific innovations with methodologies to optimize the design of power distribution networks inside buildings and industrial plants, as well as transport systems, with respect to compatibility (no interference) and efficiency in the distribution networks and connected electronic systems. The partners of the network consist of leaders in these fields and relevant industrial stakeholders resulting in a unique and effective network in Europe and globally. Dissemination methods to realize optimal impact will include scientific publications, workshops, training of engineers in industry, and dissemination through newsletters, interviews, social media.


We are seeking highly motivated persons with an excellent background and a MSc. degree in electrical engineering.

You enjoy communicating your work verbally and in writing. You enjoy working as part of a team, and yet are capable of working independently. You are curiosity-driven, but you are committed to deliver by hard deadlines too. Your involvement in the team inspires progress and you have clear scientific communication skills. We prefer applicants with strong English language proficiency.


We want you to play a key role in an ambitious project in an inspiring international consortium comprising 3 academic partners, strongly supported by industry.

• The Post Benefits from a highly competitive and attractive salary. Plus mobility and family allowance as applicable.

• We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

• As part of your research project, you will collaborate with high tech companies where you will spend up to 1 year of your doctoral studies.

• The University of Nottingham is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other extracurricular activities.

• A high-quality training program is part of the offered position. The research has to lead to published scientific work and project deliverables that shall result in a joint PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.


Applications should include the following documents:

• A one-page letter motivating a) why you want to do a Ph.D.; b) why are you applying for this specific position; c) why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position; 

• A list of three achievements in your life that you are proud of; 

• A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, relevant other activities and coordinates of up to three referees; 

• An academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education; 

• A copy of academic works such as papers or M.Sc. thesis; 

• A high TOEFL (> 90 or 100) or IELTS (> 6.5 or 7) score certificate.

Please email these documents, making clear which Institution(s) you are interested in, to:

Informal enquiries related to the positions at the University of Nottingham may be directed towards Professor David Thomas (


All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs). This means that the researchers shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Researchers can be of any nationality. Applicants have to ensure compliance with the Marie-Curie mobility requirement: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must have resided or carried out their main activity outside of the country of the institution for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. For instance, when applying for a position at the University of Nottingham in the UK with a starting date of April 1st, 2019, the applicant must not have lived in the UK for more than one year since April 1st, 2016. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.


The University of Nottingham.

 In 1928, while opening the Trent Building and University Park, Sir Jesse Boot wrote that:

“…in each succeeding age the University will spread the light of learning and knowledge and will bind science and industry in the unity that is so essential for the prosperity of the nation and the welfare of our fellow citizens. “

While our core values remain the same, almost 90 years of globalisation and technological developments make the world a different place, which is reflected in our vision and Global Strategy 2020. Our vision for 2020:is to provide an inspiring place of learning and scholarship that transforms lives through:

• Offering an outstanding, broad-based, international education to talented students

• Developing skilled, reflective global citizens and leaders

• Undertaking fundamental and transformative discovery

• Being committed to excellence, enterprise and social responsibility

• Sustaining and improving the places and communities in which we are located

• Being engaged internationally to enhance industry, health and well-being, policy formation, culture and purposeful citizenship

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering The Faculty of Engineering seeks to benefit society, industry and academia by producing world-leading research in challenging areas, and sharing this knowledge to solve global issues. Our research underpins the University's Beacons of Excellence, Global Research Themes and Research Priority Areas. The Faculty showcases research through 24 Research Groups, Impact studies, Fellowships programmes, Services for Business and much more. Our ability to focus the depth and range of our research, international and business partnerships and, not least, the inspirational people who are dedicated to driving innovation that will ultimately change lives.


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