HDR Scholarship - Australian Research Council Training Centre in Energy Technologies for Future Grids

Applications now open. A PhD scholarship is available to initiate and conduct research on the topic 'Australian Research Council Training Centre in Energy Technologies for Future Grids'.

Project Supervisor

Additional Supervision


Geelong Waurn Ponds Campus

Research topic

There are two main parts to this research project:

1. Distributed energy resources to maintain power supply through rural feeders having low customer density

Maintaining voltage and frequency within acceptable limits at the end of rural feeders with very low customer density can be challenging when supplying remote loads such as mines and industry with nonlinear load characteristics and variable demand. Distributed Network Service Providers are looking for innovative ways to address problems in existing feeders by using batteries or other Distributed energy resources (DER). A rigorous evaluation of options under a range of operating conditions needs to be conducted.

2. Resilient power system infrastructure model to cope with the adverse weather conditions

Natural disasters, such as the 2016 severe catastrophic windstorm in South Australia, 2019 bushfires in New South Wales, 2017 disastrous cyclonic conditions in Queensland leading to electricity infrastructure damage and wide-area blackouts, highlight the urgent need to improve the security and resiliency of electricity grids. This is vital, especially for transmission and distribution network providers, as weather can be a detrimental factor in maintaining continuity of power supply and high levels of reliability. Also, network assets age differently in different parts of the network, resulting in varying levels of network vulnerabilities under weather events. A clear connection should be formed between the power system element and resiliency to indicate how higher resiliency can be achieved.

Project aim

There are two project aims:

  1. The use of inverter-based generation to effectively address these challenges, while maintaining a high-quality supply to existing remote customers, will be explored. Challenges include voltage and frequency regulation, control coordination between system components, control strategies for each system components, and maximizing power from renewable energy (RE) resources. Coordinated control schemes will assist in;-
    (1) coordinating active devices, including RE resources, through analysis of operational limits, control actions, economic feasibility, load growth, and fluctuations of generation and load, and

    (2) managing real and reactive power effectively and efficiently to continuously balance generation and fluctuating demands while maintaining voltage and frequency. A generic framework for grid management will be developed, including identifying when a customer side solution is inadequate, to optimize the minimum DER required with the objective of achieving high-quality supply at the customers’ connection points while meeting all legal/contractual requirements.
  2. Impact of weather variables, such as rainfall, temperature and wind, on power system infrastructure requires thorough investigation. Since the majority of power system infrastructure is directly exposed to adverse weather conditions, it is critical to model individual and aggregated effects of different weather variables on network assets. Extreme weather events will be simulated to assess the impact of such events on electricity supply under extreme events considering various factors such as geographical terrains, different weather variables and asset location. Advanced predictive analytics on operational data will be used to detect potential breakdown and cyber threats. A resilient power system infrastructure model will be developed to cope with the adverse weather conditions based on the forecast of different weather parameters and the impacts on the network assets.

Important dates

Applications will remain open until a candidate has been appointed


This scholarship is available over 3 years.

  • Stipend of $34,400 per annum tax exempt (2024 rate)
  • Relocation allowance of $500-1500 (for single to family) for students moving from interstate
  • International students only:  Tuition fees offset for the duration of 4 years. Single Overseas Student Health Cover policy for the duration of the student visa.

Eligibility criteria

To be eligible you must:

  • be a domestic or international candidate. Domestic includes candidates with Australian Citizenship, Australian Permanent Residency or New Zealand Citizenship.
  • meet Deakin's PhD entry requirements
  • be enrolling full time and hold an honours degree (first class) or an equivalent standard master's degree with a substantial research component.

Please refer to the research degree entry pathways page for further information.

Additional desirable criteria include:

  • Strong and effective English oral and written communication skills are a prerequisite for applicants. The PhD candidate will engage in communication with both academic and industry partners within the project, and will be responsible for crafting and presenting academic reports and papers to disseminate their research discoveries.

How to apply

Please email a CV and cover letter to Dr Samson Yu. The CV should highlight your skills, education, publications and relevant work experience. If you are successful you will then be invited to submit a formal application.

Contact us

For more information about this scholarship, please contact:

Dr Samson Yu
Email Dr Samson Yu