PhD Position in Protection of Future Distribution Grids

Catholic University of Leuven


The ELECTA group in Ghent carries out applied research for electro-mobility and the integration of renewable energies in the electricity grid. The topics cover the items: Electrical vehicles, photovoltaic system, storage, energy-management and protection. Currently, this group consists of three professors, two post-docs and 8 researchers.


Power system protection ensures safe and reliable supply with electrical energy. An optimal protection interrupts faulted parts of the power system in a couple of milliseconds, so that damages remain minor and the stability is preserved. However, the state-of-the-art protection does not match renewable energy sources and storages, both utilizing power electronic converters. New power system protection concepts, algorithms and devices are needed. At the same time, promising IT technologies can support such innovations. 

The candidate will help to develop new concepts that overcome these problems, focussing on the needs for (medium-voltage) distribution grids. For this new concepts he/she will develop and test new algorithms, implement them on a prototype and test this prototype.


  • Master in electrical engineering with a focus on electrical power systems or signal processing
  • Solid fundamental knowledge about electrical power systems¬†
  • Strong interest in power system protection
  • Interdisciplinary mindset focused on the application: Bringing power systems expertise, signal processing and electronics together
  • Ideally experience in programming embedded systems or strong motivation to learn it
  • Willing to learn Dutch if not already proficient
  • Strong self-learner


  • Opportunity to obtain a PhD degree within 4 years. You will start with a one-year contract. After a positive evaluation, funding is available to continue your PhD.
  • Extend your skills in the course of a structured PhD program
  • Office on a cosy campus in the heart of the historical city of Ghent
  • Work in a small team where decisions are quickly taken
  • Flexible working times
  • Become part of the great KU Leuven network and its facilities
  • Opportunity to built up an international network
  • Contribute to the green energy transition with your work


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Michael Kleemann, tel.: +32 9 398 64 21, mail: or Prof. dr. ir. Jan Cappelle, tel.: +32 9 267 27 02, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than January 29, 2021 via the
KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at
  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Gent
  • Apply before: January 29, 2021
  • Tags: Elektrotechniek

In your application, please refer to


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