Postdoc Position in Large‐Scale Simulations for Electrical Power Grids

Catholic University of Leuven Department of Electrical Engineering


Within the Electrical Energy & Computer Architectures (Electa) division of the department of electrical engineering at KU Leuven, the research team led by prof. Jef Beerten focuses on the combined modelling and control of power electronic converters and power systems, with a focus on HVDC systems. The team of PhD students and postdocs consists of about 15 people, based in the research center EnergyVille in Genk / Belgium. Within the team, we have a postdoc position available in collaboration with Elia, on the improvement of large-scale simulations for electrical power grids with a high concentration of power electronics.


The dynamic modelling of electrical power systems is being challenged profoundly by the massive introduction of power electronics in the grid. New technology such as High‐Voltage Direct Current (HVDC), wind parks, photovoltaic (PV) parks and FACTS typically require more detailed simulation models in order to adequately assess their behaviour in the case of extreme events than what is traditionally considered for dynamic analysis in power systems based on synchronous generators. Often, the models need to account for the electromagnetic transient (EMT) behaviour of the power electronic devices, contrary to simpler electromechanical models used to study stability in machine‐based power systems. However, EMT‐type modelling and system simulations, albeit more detailed, have traditionally not been perceived for system‐wide studies that are typically part of the grid security assessment in the operational framework of system operators.

In this project in collaboration with Elia, the operator of the Belgian transmission system, this challenge is addressed by (1) investigating co‐simulation and boundary definitions of combined EMT- and phasor-based simulations, and (2) developing solutions for (i) interfacing EMT‐type and an RMS phasor‐based dynamic simulation tool, and for (ii) simulation and analysis of incidents in the EMT‐type tool.

For this position, we are looking for an ambitious postdoctoral candidate with a deep knowledge of EMT-type and RMS-based power systems modelling. As a postdoctoral researcher, your responsibilities will be to actively engage in research and development of (i) interfacing tools and (ii) scripting solutions, (iii) test network development, and (iv) application of the developed solutions, as well as (v) the exploration of co-simulation solutions, with a focus on power system modelling with power electronics. You will have to present results on a regular basis towards Elia, the industrial partner in the collaboration.


As the ideal candidate:

  • You have obtained the PhD degree in electrical (power) engineering, from a reputable institute.
  • You are an expert in electromagnetic transient simulation and phasor-based transient simulations for power systems, with a focus on the power electronic applications.
  • You have a working experience and deep knowledge of the software packages PSCAD and DigSilent PowerFactory.
  • You have computing programming skills to program scripts and algorithms in a power system engineering context (in a language like Python).
  • You have a solid background in power system engineering and the application of power electronics to power systems, with a deep understanding of power system components and control system behavior (e.g. MMC HVDC and power electronic converters for renewable energy).
  • You have obtained outstanding scientific contributions during your PhD, e.g. shown through publications in relevant top academic journals.
  • You are communicative and motivated to work in a team with activities centered on power system dynamics and control, with a focus on power electronic integration.
  • You are able to communicate fluently in English, both orally and in writing.
  • You are willing to travel in the framework of the postdoctoral project when needed


We offer an exciting job in one of the leading research institutes in the field. The integration of power electronic-based technology in the power system is receiving significant attention from both academia and industry. This postdoctoral project allows you to work on a highly timely research topic:

  • in an inspiring research environment, within an international team of enthusiastic colleagues.
  • In close collaboration with Elia, the Belgian transmission system operator. As owner and operator of electricity transmission networks in Belgium and Germany, the Elia Group has an important role and mission in supporting and implementing Europe's energy and climate policy.
  • with state-of-the-art infrastructure (
  • where you can be involved in expert groups, engage in research collaborations, and participate at international conferences.

We offer a full-funded post-doc position with multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.).


For more information please contact Prof. dr. Jef Beerten, tel.: +32 16 32 10 39, mail:

You can apply for this job no later than May 31, 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: Genk
  • Apply before: May 31, 2021
  • Tags: Ingenieurswetenschappen

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