PhD position Graph-based Machine Learning for Power System State Estimation

Research / Academic

TU Delft is a top tier university and is exceedingly active in the field of Artificial intelligence and the TU Delft's campus has strong expertise in energy systems. Energy systems are the backbone of our modern society, but are becoming increasingly complex and challenging to operate as renewable energy, heating and transport sectors are integrated into the system. It’s crucially important that energy systems are sustainable, reliable and effective, now and in the future.
As part of your 4-year PhD project, you will develop novel graph-based machine learning algorithms for state estimation of energy systems. The scientific challenge is to design a real-time state estimator for the distribution system that accounts for future needs. The future system requires tasks to manage flexibility provisions from distribution systems, effective anomaly detection, congestion management, and fraud detection. State estimation is an important task where the operator considers very little noisy measurement data to infer the full system state. However, often, the accuracy is used to infer the full state while the true state is seldom known and can only be reproduced in computer simulations. Therefore, you will explore a novel approach investigating graph neural networks and structural information and learn the state-estimator semi-supervised enforcing known constraints.
You will be hired as a PhD researcher at TU Delft. Your academic supervisors are Dr. Jochen Cremer (TU Delft, daily supervisor) and Prof. Peter Palensky (TU Delft). Recognising the transformational power of AI, TU Delft has launched a large cross-faculty AI initiative where this lab will expand the Delft AI Energy Lab. There, we combine ground-breaking Artificial Intelligence (AI) methods with the reliable theory of the physical energy system. The area of data-driven scientific computing promises to combine statistics, time-frequency analysis, low-dimensional model reductions, and other techniques to extract information from data. With AI, we make such information useful for the management and planning of complex energy systems. While being part of the DAI Energy Lab at TU Delft, you will be a member of the Intelligent Electrical Power Grids research group. Additionally, you will spend two days a week at Alliander (in Arnhem) where you will be supported by around 10 Scientific staff, data scientists and power system experts.


  • A MSc degree in either Machine Learning, Robotics, Control Systems, Operations Research or in Power/Energy Systems, Electrical Engineering, etc.
  • Demonstrated competences in one or more of these categories: AI, computer/data science, machine learning, energy system modelling, dynamic systems, power systems or another relevant field.
  • An affinity with teaching and guiding students
  • A proven record and interest in further developing your modelling, programming, analytical and scientific writing skills
  • An affinity with energy and power systems, with net-zero carbon targets, technical challenges
  • The minimum requirement of a TOEFL score of 100 IELTS of 7.0 per sub-skill (writing, reading, listening, speaking) applies to all PhD candidates.
  • The ability to work in a team, take initiative, be results oriented and systematic

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Salary Benefits:

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Work Hours:

38 - 40 hours per week


Mekelweg 2