Two (plus one) PhD student positions - New networks of power: on the emergence, diffusion and impact of alternative electricity system architectures
Information about the department
The Department of Energy and Environment excels in research and education related to energy, environment and sustainable development ranging from a global perspective to industrial, building and product issues. The focus is on experimental and theoretical research on energy technology as well as on development, use and evaluation of methods and tools for analysis of technical systems. In total around 200 persons are active at the five divisions of the department.
Information about the research
The electricity system is on the verge of radical transition. The transition is driven by climate change concerns and a need for replacing old power plants and transmission capacity. Renewable energy
technologies offer electricity generation with low climate impact to increasingly competitive costs, and thus, investments in renewable energy is increasing rapidly. The European electricity system has until recently been based on large, mainly thermal power plants. Renewable electricity generation technologies, wind and solar power in particular, do not have the same scale advantages as thermal generation but offer advantages related to modularity and consumer empowerment. The transformation of the electricity generation system may thus open for competitive distributed generation. Advancements in information technology and requirements on reinvestments in the transmission grid further motivate investigating alternative electricity system architectures. Thus, analysis of new types of electricity systems, in terms of probability, functionality and impact is a topical field of research. The ultimate aim is to provide results and methodologies for a variety of stakeholders that may affect or be affected by the transition.
Information about the project
The aim of this project is to identify possible development paths for the electricity system with a focus on Sweden and Europe; critical factors that influence the direction of change; factors different actors can influence; and what type of adaptation that will be required. In three PhD projects (two at Chalmers and one at Linköping University), we will follow the emergence of new system configurations globally, study effects of Swedish pilot projects on smart grids, and using energy systems models to explore potential technical, economic and environmental impacts of different development paths of the energy system.
The project will be carried out as three interlinked PhD-projects with continuous exchange of information between the projects. Below, we briefly describe the essence of the three PhD-projects.
PhD-project at the Division of Environmental Systems Analysis (Chalmers)
The PhD candidate will mainly apply social and systems science methodology to monitor and analyse the ongoing transition. Subprojects will include global overviews of emerging trends of decentralisation, smart grid development and grid defection based on available statistics and literature, interview-based case studies in different countries and comparisons with historical transitions. The candidate is expected to contribute empirically, methodologically and theoretically to the growing academic literature on technological innovation systems and transition studies.
To qualify for this position, you must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education (ECTS) credits, preferencially in engineering with environmental and social science credits. Excellent writing and communication skills in English are required. If Swedish is not your native language, you are encouraged to learn it during your employment as a PhD student. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.
Read more and apply for the position
PhD-project at the Division of Energy Technology (Chalmers)
This PhD position will deal with techno-economic analysis/modelling of the energy system with focus on comparative scenario studies. This will involve mathematical modelling of the electricity system, including modelling electricity transfer/trade between countries and regions as well as power flows between voltage levels. Renewable electricity generation and energy storage technologies will be evaluated under different scenario assumptions taking into account technology costs, fuel prices and policy measures. The candidate is expected to use and modify existing models available in the research group and/or develop new models as well as gathering comprehensive sets of input data. The scenarios studied, will include but will not be limited to, a centralized scenario in which distribution and transmission grids take on a central role in keeping the balance between demand and supply, and a decentralized scenario in which “prosumers” act according to other strategies to maximize the use of local electricity generation.
To qualify as a PhD student, you must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education credits in a relevant field. To qualify for this position, you must have a master's level degree corresponding to at least 240 higher education (ECTS) credits in Mechanical Engineering, Power, Civil or Environmental Engineering, Engineering Physics or equivalent. Excellent writing and communication skills in English are required. If Swedish is not your native language, you are encouraged to learn it during your employment as a PhD student. Chalmers offers Swedish courses.
Read more and apply for the position
Major responsibilities for PhD-students at Chalmers
Your major responsibilities as PhD student is to pursue your own doctoral studies. You are expected to develop your own scientific concepts and communicate the results of your research verbally and in writing, both in Swedish and in English. The position generally also includes teaching on Chalmers' undergraduate level or performing other duties corresponding to 20 per cent of working hours. You are expected to write a licentiate thesis within 2-3 years and defend your doctoral thesis within 4-5 years.
The total time period for the positions offered at Chalmers is limited to four years full time doctoral studies, or five years with 20% teaching load.
PhD-project at Tema-T (Linköping University)
The third PhD-project focuses on smart grid experiments in Sweden. The approach is mainly based on qualitative social science methodology and innovation systems analysis. Emphasis will be put on learning regarding establishment of new regimes of energy use, load management and micro production as well as planning methods and interaction between companies and small scale household producers. This PhD-position will be advertised by Linköping University.
Application deadline: 2015-05-22
For questions, please contact:
Environmental systems analysis:
Professor Björn Sandén
Phone: +46 31 772 8612
Dr Mikael Odenberger
Phone: +46 31 772 1444
*** Chalmers continuously strives to be an attractive employer. Equality and diversity are substantial foundations in all activities at Chalmers.
Chalmers declines to consider all offers of further announcement publishing or other types of support for the recruiting process in connection with this position. ***
Chalmers University of Technology conducts research and education in engineering sciences, architecture, technology-related mathematical sciences, natural and nautical sciences, working in close collaboration with industry and society. The strategy for scientific excellence focuses on our eight Areas of Advance; Built Environment, Energy, Information & Communication Technology, Life Science, Materials Science, Nanoscience & Nanotechnology, Production and Transport. The aim is to make an active contribution to a sustainable future using the basic sciences as a foundation and innovation and entrepreneurship as the central driving forces. Chalmers has around 11,000 students and 3,000 employees. New knowledge and improved technology have characterised Chalmers since its foundation in 1829, completely in accordance with the will of William Chalmers and his motto: Avancez!
directs research at the Energy Trans Lab