UAiPhD: Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO): Local Energy and Ancillary Services Markets (FRESNO C)

Applications open
Applications close
Open until filled
Payment per year
4 years
The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD)
Postgraduate Research
Australian Citizens
Australian Permanent Residents
New Zealand Citizens
Permanent Humanitarian Visa Holders
International Students
Type of Scholarship
Financial Need
Available In
Faculty of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences
Available To

The University of Adelaide Industry PhD (UAiPhD) program and scholarship

The UAiPhD is an innovative 4 year program, which includes completion of a 6 month industry placement.

As a PhD student, you will have the opportunity to work on an industry problem, while being supported by a University of Adelaide supervisor and an industry supervisor for the duration of the program.

In addition, you will undertake selected professional development activities offered through the University’s Career and Research Skills Training (CaRST) program or as directed by the industry partner. During your placement, you will gain valuable understanding on how organisations innovate and solve real world problems, and how you can make an impact with your research, while gaining a significant employment advantage.

Detailed information about the program can be found on our UAiPhD (iPhD) website.

The exciting project with SEAS-NVE Holding A/S is highlighted below.

Project name 

Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO): Local Energy and Ancillary Services Markets (FRESNO C)

Project description

While there is a unanimous agreement among different stakeholders and beneficiaries about transforming electricity grid through a large integration of intermittent renewable generation, there seems to be no economic and practical solution to deal with the intermittency of generation in the future. Among a handful of proposals, demand flexibility has been proven as a cheap, sustainable and green solution to solve the issues of uncertain and fluctuating power supply, which is recognized by the industry as well. For instance, South Australia, with the largest amount of rooftop solar PV per capita in the world, is planning to create the largest virtual power plant (VPP) in the world consisting of 50,000 prosumers with storage behind-the-meter. Nevertheless, several aspects of demand flexibility aggregation, such as business model, economic and technical issues of implementation, consumers behaviour modelling, and emerging local energy markets, are still unknown in practice. 

The “Flexibility Aggregator Simulation Platform (FRESNO)” is a research project that is designed to create a platform to simulate, test and verify advanced smart grid operation mechanisms at the distribution level. It is a revolutionary platform that is hoped to facilitate larger amounts of renewable integration into the grid and provides a secure environment for larger adoption of electric vehicles. Three major research problems are identified in collaboration with SEAS-NVE to develop the first version of FRESNO. The three projects will be conducted simultaneously and in close collaboration with each other. 

FRESNO C – This project aims to develop, test, and verify the impacts of local markets on the operation, profit and business model of the aggregator. To that end, the game theory will be used to form the interaction between prosumers, local market platform and the aggregator operation considering the potential of islanded operation as a business case for the aggregator. Cooperative and non-cooperative games will be explored to investigate the impact of the local market operation on the flexibility of prosumers in connection with the aggregator. 

Ideal Candidate
This is a multi-disciplinary research project at the intersection of game theory, statistical analysis and inference, optimisation and power system. Candidates with a degree (preferably a master’s degree) in electrical engineering, computer science, operations research, and applied mathematics are encouraged to apply. We are looking for candidates with proven skills and knowledge in:
•    Power system, battery and electric vehicle operation and integration (preferred)
•    Game theory, preferably with applications to power system 
•    Statistics, probabilities, and optimisation, preferably with applications to power system
•    Programming in Python or MATLAB

Scholarship and Eligibility 

This project is open to both international and domestic students who are currently onshore in Australia. 

The successful applicant may receive a scholarship of approximately $38,092 tax free per annum. This consists of a University funded Research Training Program Scholarship of $28,092 per annum (2020 rate), alongside an Industry Partner Scholarship of $10,000 per annum. 

In addition, $5,000 per annum will be provided to cover the cost of conference attendance (registration fee, travel, accommodation and meals), publication cost, thesis production allowance, software subscription if needed. 

For the duration of the industry placement, an additional $1,500 will be paid to the candidate to compensate for the extra living costs in Denmark. The industry partner will also pay for one two-way economy ticket between Adelaide and Copenhagen for the industry placement.

Details of the terms and conditions of the scholarship and all benefits can be found in the Conditions of Award: 

UAiPhD_Conditions of Award_New Students_JULY 2020.pdf 

Research Project Location

The University of Adelaide – North Terrace Campus

Industry Placement Description

Located in Haslev, Denmark, this 6-month placement at the Department of Digital Innovation of SEAS-NVE will enable the student to develop a small-scale working market platform considering the real-world challenges such as communication protocols and requirements, update intervals, packet loss, consumers’ privacy, unreliable metering/measurement and cybersecurity threats. A group of residential prosumers will be selected for a trial study and the local market platform will communicate with their home energy management system (HEMS) to run the local market. If time allows, the student will investigate the role of PV and battery/EVs on the local market efficiency too.


University of Adelaide
Faculty: School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering
Supervisor(s): Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani (primary supervisor)
Industry Partner
SEAS-NVE Holding A/S
Supervisor: Jon Anders Reichert Liisberg

Application instructions

The first step in being considered for this iPhD is to provide a copy of your CV and academic transcripts to the relevant supervisor of the project you are interested in . Following this, suitable applicants will be able to apply for admission and scholarship. Candidates should include the title of the advertised project in their application. 

For this project the relevant supervisor is Dr Ali Pourmousavi Kani

**Note: This project is open to both international and domestic students who are currently onshore in Australia. That being said, please ensure to include your current address in Australia in order to be considered. 

Information and Assistance

iPhD project information:
Nathan Crabe:

General scholarship information: