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Research Associate in Power Electronics for a Low-Voltage DC Interconnection Network at Imperial College London

*Salary Range: £36,800 – £39,800 per annum

Fixed term for up to 30 months

Job summary

Applications are invited for a Research Associate (RA) position within the Control and Power Research Group in Electrical and Electronic Engineering to work on the upcoming RENGA project (Resilient Electricity Networks for a Productive Grid Architecture) funded by the EPSRC Global Challenges Research Fund.  We are seeking a postdoctoral RA on power electronics to work on a new concept of low voltage DC interconnection network technology to enable autonomous small-scale microgrids to share their energy resources at a low cost.

We are looking for someone to start as soon as possible, ideally in May 2018.

Duties and responsibilities

The RA will lead the technical effort to devise and prototype the DC interconnection network technology. The work will require design and testing of DC/DC converters of multiple hundred watts scale and the validation of their operation forming a DC network. Initial prototype testing will be done at the Maurice Hancock Smart Energy Lab at Imperial. The work will be overseen by two industrial partners, BBOXX Ltd and MeshPower Ltd who design and commercialise technology for electrification in rural areas of the developing world.

Essential requirements

The successful candidate should have completed or be near completion of a PhD on power electronics with experience on low power (~100W – 10 kW) converter circuit design and good understanding of basics of power electronic converter control and protection for low voltage distribution and microgrids. Most of the work will be carried out in the UK but a 3-month secondment at the University of Rwanda in Kigali is expected during the project. Involvement in teaching activities is not mandatory but there will be teaching opportunities (e.g. UG and PG supervision) during the project if the candidate is interested.

Further information

*If the candidate has not yet been officially awarded their PhD, they will be initially appointed as Research Assistant within the salary range £32,380 – £34,040 per annum.

Project background

Solar home systems (SHS) provide a very basic option for access to electricity in rural low-income regions of the developing world. The small size of SHS only makes them suitable for supplying very small loads, which greatly limits their positive social impact. The ambition of this project is to draft a roadmap from the basic tier levels of electrification to a fully-developed power system starting from the interconnection of small scale autonomous power systems. The project will encompass research on technology for interconnection, power system planning tools that make use of distributed resources to provide security of supply and resiliency and large scale assessment of energy demand and generation in a developing nation over a time scale of multiple decades.

The project is a consortium composed of academic and research staff from Imperial College London, the University of Rwanda, Tribhuvan University in Nepal and two industrial partners in the UK – BBOXX Ltd and Meshpower Ltd.

For informal enquiries about the post please contact Adria Junyent-Ferre by e-mail: adria.junyent-ferre@imperial.ac.uk.

Please click ‘apply’ via this link https://www.imperial.ac.uk/job-applicants/ and search using reference ENG00317.

Any queries regarding the application process should be directed to Guler Eroglu at g.eroglu@imperial.ac.uk.

Closing Date: 14th May 2018

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