If you have a background in math, science or engineering (or just a strong interest in these subjects), and you'd like to study and solve important problems in the electricity industry, the School of Engineering at the University of Vermont could be the place for you. The School of Engineering has a unique, complex systems focus that fits well with electricity industry studies. Paid research or teaching assistantships are available for qualified applicants. Fill out this form if you would like more information. Also check out the information that is available on the School of Engineering web site.
Reliability, security and risk in bulk power networks
Power grids are generally robost to small disturbances, like a strike of lightning or a random fault. However occassionally unlucky combinations of disturbances occur, and cause very large blackouts.
This vulnerability makes everything more difficult in power systems operations, including the integration of large-scale wind and solar power.
One of the chief goals of our research is to develop statistically valid methods for quantifying, understanding, and mitigating the risks associated with large blackouts.
Of particular interest to me, are finding ways to apply big data and complex networks methods to these challenging, and fascinating problems.
Collaborators: Seth Blumsack, Pennsylvania State University,
Maggie Eppstein, UVM,
Ian Dobson, Iowa State University.
The video at the right shows the application of an electrical distance metric to the problem of finding tightly connected clusters of buses within an electrical power network. The video shows the progress of a genetic algorithm over time.
The impact of large-scale wind power deployment in the United States
Electrical energy from wind is potentially one of the most affordable of existing low-carbon electrical energy resources. But the wind does not always blow, resulting in power output that is irregular at best. In this project we are seeking to figure out the impact of large-scale wind deployment on frequency in the US Eastern Interconnect, and determine how this would affect regulation costs.
Collaborators: Jay Apt and
Carnegie Mellon University.
Facilitating the grid-integration of plug-in hybrid electric vehicles
In collabration with the UVM transportation center we are working to quantify the impact of electric vehicles on the transmission and distribution infrastructure, and to come up with new methods for reducing the potential stress associated with simultaneous electric vehicle charging.
A Crowdsourcing Approach to Energy Efficiency
In collaboration with Josh Bongard, we're working to develop new energy efficiency tools, using a bottom-up, crowdsourcing approach.