PhD in Protection Concepts Applied to Low-Inertia Power System
Catholic University of Leuven, Department of Electrical Engineering

KU Leuven boasts a rich tradition of education and research that dates back six centuries. The university’s basic research orientation has always been and will remain fundamental research. At the same time, the university remains vigilantly open to contemporary cultural, economic and industrial realities, as well as to the community’s needs and expectations. KU Leuven is currently by far the largest university in Belgium in terms of research funding and expenditure (EUR 455.1 million in 2015), and is a charter member of LERU. KU Leuven conducts fundamental and applied research in all academic disciplines with a clear international orientation. In the Times Higher Education ranking KU Leuven is ranked as the 12th European university, while in the Reuters Top 100 of the World’s most innovative institutions, KU Leuven is listed as the first European university. The ELECTA research group of the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) of the KU Leuven performs research on aspects of generation, transmission, distribution and rational use of electrical energy. Topics covered are smart grids, reliable power systems with high penetration of renewable energy sources, HVDC and LVDC, energy markets, integration of renewable energy sources on transmission and distribution. Six professors lead the group. They manage the research assisted by 11 post-doc’s and about 40 Ph.D. students. EnergyVille is an association of the Flemish research institutes KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt in the field of sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. EnergyVille brings research, development, training and industrial innovation together under one name, in close cooperation with local, regional and international partners. EnergyVille strives to become one of the top five European institutes in innovative energy research. For that reason, the center was embedded in big national and international networks from the start.



The planned increase of renewable energy sources such as wind or photovoltaics is posing challenges to the current way of designing and operating the power system. To integrate large amounts of these sources, there will be need for transmission corridors with power ratings and lengths greatly exceeding those of the existing power system. Besides AC links, more and more High-Voltage Direct Current (HVDC) links are being built, as they provide economical and technical benefits. To further reduce costs and increase grid reliability, these links may eventually evolve into meshed HVDC grids which exist besides the current AC systems.


The ongoing transitions inthe modern power system challenge today’s approach to power system protection.On the one hand, the proliferation of power electronic interfaced components in the AC grid reduces the system inertia, and hence calls for a faster power system protection. On the other hand, new types of systems such as DC grids require protection which is ten to one hundred times faster compared with existing AC protection. Furthermore, given the different economics in HVDC grid protective equipment, protection in DC grids will look fundamentally different from existing AC protection.


This project will focus on novel protection concepts that may be applied to low-inertia power systems comprising of AC and DC subsystems. The project will include testing and validating the concepts using hardware-in-the-loop tests in a real-time test environment.



    • You have a Master of Science degree in power systems, electrical engineering or computer science, or a related subject
    • Masters degree preferably from a reputable institute from a country within the European Economic Area.
    • You have knowledge of power system dynamics and their modeling and simulation
    • You should have obtained excellent study results.
    • You should have the ambition to become a junior expert in the relevant topic and be highly motivated for a 4 year PhD project.
    • Interested to work in a team with experts studying different aspects of power systems.
    • You should be willing to occasional travel in framework of the project.
    • Your willingness to support teaching activities of the research team is essential.
    • You are able to communicate fluently in English, both orally and in writing. Knowledge of the Dutch language is a plus.
        • Starting date 2020 or earlier



  • A doctoral scholarships (fully funded) for four years (net monthly salary of about ~ €2,000)
  • A PhD degree in Engineering (after about 4 years of successful research) from Europe's most innovative university
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
  • The opportunity to be active in an international research environment within a team of young and enthusiastic researchers
  • Opportunity to work in a new research laboratory with state of the art infrastructure (
  • Engage in research collaborations and participate at international conferences


For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Dirk Van Hertem, tel.: +32 16 32 34 62, mail: or Mr. Willem Leterme, tel.: +32 16 32 86 97, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than December 15, 2019 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Computeroxy


All Jobs


Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions