There are two PhD and one research Masters opportunities in power systems analysis available at Durham University. These involve use of statistical and optimisation modelling, so would be very well suited to candidates from these backgrounds.


MSc project: Statistical methods for planning of future electricity distribution networks

Electricity distribution networks are in a period of great change.  This project will develop statistical methods to support network planning decisions. We will have access to a large customer survey (>10,000 network users) carried out for this project, plus possibly additional data from other publicly funded research on electricity demand. The key will be development of systematic methods to aggregate the various uncertainties (imperfect survey data, variability between customers and areas, variability of peak demand between years, future demand patterns etc). This will be supported by access to expert knowledge both within Durham and other members of the project team.

Finding: Stipend £20000 over 18 months. Home/EU fees paid.


PhD project: Uncertainty Audit and Statistical Emulation for Investment Decisions

This is a collaborative project between the department of mathematical sciences and the department of engineering. They are looking for a student with a strong background in statistics and an interest in developing new methodology in an important and challenging practical application area.

System simulations, which balance the cost of network reinforcements against the cost of finite network capacity restricting the generation schedule, are used to support these decisions. This project will use statistical emulators to understand how the input data drives the results of these simulations, and hence derive systematic approaches to making investment decisions under uncertainties in that data.

Funding: EPSRC


PhD project: Methodologies for Massively Decentralised Trading

The necessary coordination of trades to maintain network security is currently achieved by a central System Operator responsible for a given service area. In contrast, the concept of an autonomic power system is based around millions of market players trading in a decentralised manner across many overlapping areas with decentralised arbitraging between individual conflicting objectives. The aim of the project will be investigate the pros and cons of the new paradigm of massively decentralised trading.

Funding: EPSRC.

If you are interested in these positions, please contact Chris Dent in the first instance on