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Smart Power Networks PhD

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Subject area: Electronic and Computer Engineering
Mode of study

3-year full-time; 6-year part-time

UCAS code

SMARTPOWNETDFTD

Start date

Location of study

Brunel University London campus

Smart Power Networks PhD

Overview

PhD student loans

The UK Government has recently introduced PhD loans of up to £25000 to UK and EU nationals, residing in England, for postgraduate research programmes starting in the academic year 2018-19. Read more here

About the course

Research students are welcomed to Brunel as valued members of our thriving, research-intensive community. A research degree provides the opportunity to investigate a topic in depth, and contribute new knowledge to your discipline. A PhD involves demonstrating through original research or other advanced scholarship the creation and interpretation of new knowledge, a systematic acquisition and understanding of a substantial body of knowledge at the forefront of an academic discipline or professional practice, the ability to conceptualise, design and implement a project for the general of new knowledge, applications or understanding at the forefront of the discipline. Both full-time (3 years) and part-time (6 years) study routes are available.

Research profile

The Smart Power Network stheme is a well-established group with a strong national and international reputation. Our research focuses on the development of algorithms to improve distribution efficiency, and strategies to allow mass power generation from renewable energy sources to be efficiently integrated with the grid. Other areas of expertise include power electronics for efficient power conversion. Challenges for the future include efficient conversion of thermal to electrical energy, Direct Current (DC) power networks in commercial buildings and homes, and innovations to reduce electrical energy demand and optimised demand control.

Members of the Smart Power Networks theme have strong links with the electricity industry in the UK as well as international links across Europe, China and the USA. The research draws on the disciplines of electrical power engineering, control engineering, optimisation theory, high-performance computing and ICT. Computer models and optimisation algorithms developed by members of this theme have been implemented in over 35 utility companies in seven countries.

In 2015, Professor Gareth Taylor was elected by the CIGRE-UK National Committee as the Regular Member of the International Study Committee SC D2 'Information Systems and Telecommunication'. The appointment was in recognition of the ongoing research activities that he has led in the development of novel ICT infrastructure for Smart Grids. In 2015, Dr Ahmed Zobaa was nominated and elected as a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences in recognition of his excellent academic track record and ongoing research activities in the field of electrical power system.

Find out more

Enquiries

Contact our Enquiries team.
Course Enquiries: +44 (0)1895 265599 (before you submit an application)
Admissions Office: +44 (0)1895 265265 (after you submit an application)


Course content

Research degrees evolve in different ways according to discipline. Find out about what progress might look like at each stage of study here: Research degree progress structure

Employability

PhD+ Award – An internship to work in the industry or perform a research outreach or enterprise activity.

PhD Plus is a career development scheme designed to provide an opportunity for excellent PhD students to undertake work experience and mentoring, and to facilitate their transfer into a career area of their choice. The awards are targeted at exceptional PhD students who have submitted their thesis within the expected submission date and will provide up to three months’ funded support for the period after submissions of their thesis and before the confirmation of the award. The precise number awards each year will depend on the quality of the applicants, up to a maximum 8 awards. The maximum amount to be awarded will be in line with RCUK rates for research training support grants: http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/skills/training/

At Brunel we provide many opportunities and experiences within your degree programme and beyond – work-based learning, professional support services, volunteering, mentoring, sports, arts, clubs, societies, and much, much more – and we encourage you to make the most of them, so that you can make the most of yourself.

» More about Employability

Entry criteria 2019/20

The general University entrance requirement for registration for a research degree is normally a First or Upper Second Class Honours degree.  All international students must show evidence that they meet the English requirement for their course of study.  The Senate reserves the right to assess the eligibility of applicants on an individual basis.

Entry criteria are subject to review and change each academic year.


International and EU entry requirements

If your country or institution is not listed or if you are not sure whether your institution is eligible, please contact Admissions

This information is for guidance only by Brunel University London and by meeting the academic requirements does not guarantee entry for our courses as applications are assessed on case-by-case basis.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.5 (min 6 in all areas)
  • Pearson: 58 (51 in all subscores)
  • BrunELT: 65% (min 60% in all areas)

You can find out more about the qualifications we accept on our English Language Requirements page.

If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK, you must prove knowledge of the English language so that we can issue you a Certificate of Acceptance for Study (CAS). To do this, you will need an IELTS for UKVI or Trinity SELT test pass gained from a test centre approved by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and on the Secure English Language Testing (SELT) list. This must have been taken and passed within two years from the date the CAS is made.

Should you wish to take a pre-sessional English course to improve your English prior to starting your degree course, you must sit the test at an approved SELT provider for the same reason.

We offer our own BrunELT English Test and have pre-sessional English language courses for students who do not meet requirements or who wish to improve their English. You can find out more information on English courses and test options at the Brunel Language Centre.

Teaching and learning

Supervisors with insight
Our supervisors create knowledge and advance understanding, and equip research students with the confidence to apply what they have learnt for the benefit of society. Browse all potential supervisor profiles further here: Smart Power Networks Theme Members Profiles.

Find out more about working with the Supervisory Team here.

Special features

Partnerships
Members of the Smart Power Networks theme have strong links with the electricity industry in the UK as well as international links across Europe, China and the USA. The research draws on the disciplines of electrical power engineering, control engineering, optimisation theory, high-performance computing and ICT. Computer models and optimisation algorithms developed by members of this theme have been implemented in over 35 utility companies in seven countries.

Internationally leading research collaborators:

  • Sichuan University, Tsinghua University and CEPRI, China;
  • University of Oklahoma, USA;
  • Nester R&D, Portugal;
  • RTE, France

Key UK-based industrial collaborators:

  • National Grid,
  • GE,
  • Intel and
  • Nortech

Study environment for research students
Find out more: Study environment for research students

Excellent research support and training
Extensive training and support is offered to all research students by the Graduate School, with regular Masterclasses and individual advice on academic issues as part of the Researcher Development Programme. Read more about the available Research Support and Training.

Library services
Brunel's library is open 24 hours a day, has 400,000 books and 250,000 e-books, and an annual budget of almost £2m. Subject Information Specialists train students in the latest technology, digital literacy, and digital dissemination of scholarly outputs.

  • state-of-the-art research information management tools including a research publication and grant database
  • one of the largest UK’s full text repository
  • an integrated data management system
  • analytical tools such as Altmertic and InCites
  • Open Access centrally managed fund

Facts and figures

Brunel University London REF2014 Submission: Computer Science and Informatics

The Research Excellence Framework (REF) is a system for assessing the quality of research in UK higher education institutions. The results of the REF2014 have been made public in December 2014, replacing the previous REF conducted in 2008.  The next REF will be undertaken in 2020. Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014 - A Guide for PhD Students

Fees and funding

Fees for 2019/20 entry

2019/20 Fees:

Home/EU students

Full time: TBC / Part time: TBC

International students                     

Full time: £18,720 Part time: £9,360

 

2018/19 Fees:

Home/EU students

Full time: £4,260 / Part time: £2,130

International students                     

Full time: £18,000 Part time: £9,000

 

Research funding

We offer a range of PhD studentships, partial scholarships, and academic prizes, to help with your research fees.  Explore external funding, particularly the Research Councils, as well as other support.

Some courses incur additional course related costs. You can also check our on-campus accommodation costs for more information on living expenses.