Uppsala University, Department of Information Technology

Are you interested in working with control theory and power systems, with the support of competent and friendly colleagues in a leading international environment? Are you looking for an employer that invests in sustainable employeeship and offers safe, favourable working conditions? We welcome you to apply for a doctoral student position at Uppsala University. 

The Department of Information Technology holds a leading position in both research and education at all levels. We are currently Uppsala University's third largest department, have around 350 employees, including 120 teachers and 120 PhD students. Approximately 5,000 undergraduate students take one or more courses at the department each year. You can find more information about us on the Department of Information Technology website.

At the Division of Systems and Control, we develop both theory and concrete tools to design systems that learn, reason, and act in the real world based on a seamless combination of data, mathematical models, and algorithms. Our research integrates expertise from control theory, machine learning, optimization, and network science, spanning diverse application domains such as energy systems, biomedical systems, neuroscience, and safety and security.

The Division of Systems and Control enjoys a wide network of strong international (worldwide) collaborators, for example, at the University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, Imperial College, University of British Columbia, University of Sydney, University of Newcastle (Australia), and Aalto University. We strive for all Ph.D. students to get a solid international experience during their Ph.D.

Duties and project description
In order to address climate and security challenges, new technology is used that changes the dynamics of the electric power system. However, the adoption of new technology, in combination with legacy mechanisms, often leads to unpredictable system behavior. Active distribution networks are one such example where new inverter-based technology is currently being adopted to support voltage regulation in local distribution systems, and also to assist with voltage regulation in the overhead power transmission system. Unfortunately, the adoption of distributed inverter-based voltage regulators can lead to harmful interactions between voltage regulators at different levels and locations that can compromise system security. 

The project focuses on modeling and characterizing the adverse interactions between distributed voltage controllers, as well as developing new voltage regulation strategies in active distribution networks that mitigate the risks of harmful interactions. 

The successful candidate will work with reduced-order models suitable for mathematical and control-theoretic analysis of the global behavior of a large-scale power system. In particular, the doctoral student is expected to leverage control-theoretic tools to, in a rigorous manner, identify the components involved in the harmful interactions and quantify the relation between system parameters and stability regions and robustness. 

This position is part of the project ADVOLCANO – “Adverse Voltage Controllers’ Interactions in Active Distribution Networks” funded by a grant from the Swedish Energy Agency and led by RISE together with KTH Royal Institute of Technology and Uppsala University. The doctoral student will be jointly supervised by Associate Prof. André Teixeira (Uppsala University) and Prof. Henrik Sandberg (KTH).

The PhD students will within ADVOLCANO project have the opportunity to work in close collaboration between KTH Division of Electric Power and Energy Systems division (one PhD position), KTH Division of Decision and Control Systems, Uppsala University, Division of Systems and Control (one PhD student) and Electric Power System unit from RISE Research Institutes of Sweden with reference group consisting of experts from Swedish electric power industry: Svenska Kraftnät (Swedish TSO), Ellevio (DSO), Vattenfall (DSO), Hitachi Energy Sweden and DLaboratory Sweden.

The successful candidate will join the research group Secure Learning and Control Laboratory at Uppsala University, a growing interdisciplinary research group doing basic and applied research at the intersection of cybersecurity, control theory, and machine learning. Our vision is to develop methodologies for designing intelligent autonomous decision-making systems that are secure and resilient against malicious adversaries and natural failures.

A Ph.D. student is expected to devote their time to graduate education mainly. The rest of the duties involve for example teaching at the Department and some administration, to at most 20%.

To meet the entry requirements for doctoral studies, you must

  • hold a Master’s (second-cycle) degree in engineering physics, electrical engineering, applied mathematics, computer science, or in a similar field, or
  • have completed at least 240 credits in higher education, with at least 60 credits at Master’s level including an independent project worth at least 15 credits, or
  • have acquired substantially equivalent knowledge in some other way.

We are looking for candidates with

  • a strong interest in control theory and power systems,
  • good communication skills with sufficient proficiency in oral and written English, as well as excellent study results,
  • personal characteristics, such as a high level of creativity, thoroughness, and/or a structured approach to problem-solving are essential.

Additional specific requirements are as follows: (i) very good knowledge of control theory; (ii) proficiency in programming (preferably in Matlab or Python).

Additional qualifications
Experience and courses in one or more subjects are valued: control theory, linear systems, nonlinear control, robust control, and power system dynamics.

Rules governing PhD students are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5, §§ 1-7 and in Uppsala University's rules and guidelines.

The application must include: 
1) a statement (at most 2 pages) of the applicant’s motivation for applying for this position, including a self-assessment on why you would be the right candidate for this position; 
2) a CV;
3) degrees and transcript of records with grades (translated to English or Swedish); 
4) the Master’s thesis (or a draft thereof, and/or some other self-produced technical or scientific text), publications, and other relevant documents; 
5) references with contact information (names, emails and telephone number) and (if possible) up to two letters of recommendation. 

Applicants that meet at least one of the entry requirements are strongly encouraged to apply. All applicants should state their earliest possible starting date.

About the employment
The employment is a temporary position according to the Higher Education Ordinance chapter 5 § 7. Scope of employment 100 %. Starting date 1 April 2024 or as agreed. Placement: Uppsala. 

For further information about the position, please contact: Associate Professor André Teixeira (phone +46  18-471 5414, e-mail address andre.teixeira@it.uu.se), and Prof. Henrik Sandberg (e-mail address hsan@kth.se)..

Please submit your application by 30 January 2024, UFV-PA 2023/4553.

Are you considering moving to Sweden to work at Uppsala University? Find out more about what it´s like to work and live in Sweden.

Type of employment Temporary position
Contract type Full time
First day of employment 2024-04-01 or as agreed
Salary Fixed salary
Number of positions 1
Full-time equivalent 100%
City Uppsala
County Uppsala län
Country Sweden
Reference number UFV-PA 2023/4553
Union representative
  • ST/TCO, tco@fackorg.uu.se
  • Seko Universitetsklubben, seko@uadm.uu.se
  • Saco-rådet, saco@uadm.uu.se
Published 06.Dec.2023
Last application date 30.Jan.2024 11:59 PM CET

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