KU Leuven ESAT-Electa is the research unit on electrical energy and smart grids at the Department of Electrical Engineering (ESAT) of the University of Leuven. It received the 'excellent' mark during the last audit. The research unit has 6 professors, 10+ postdocs and senior researchers, 12 technical and administrative staff and 50+ PhD students, and is active in many projects. It is a co-founder of EnergyVille.
EnergyVille is a knowledge centre, focused on sustainable energy and intelligent energy systems. It combines the strengths and expertise of its partners, KU Leuven, VITO and imec with the aim of reaching the top 5 in innovative energy research in Europe. Since 2016 EnergyVille has great research infrastructure (incl a smart grids lab) in Genk, where your main work location is.

For one of our major research projects, we are looking for a motivated PhD student, who understands electric transmission systems, information and communication technology, reliability modeling and cybersecurity, and who is thrilled to combine these into a working modeling tool.
The energy transition leads towards smarter electric power systems taking the form of cyber-physical systems in which the electrical power grids are strongly interlinked with a growing number of information and communication systems. The project CYPRESS aims at developing novel knowledge, methods and tools needed to help ensuring the security of supply through the transmission grid, while accounting for the specific nature of cyber-threats and integrating them into a coherent probabilistic risk management approach.

Our research unit will be responsible to set up a cosimulation platform to analyse such cyberthreats, and to evaluate their impact on the grid reliability


 We are looking for an excellent, enthusiastic PhD candidate with the degree of Master of Science in Engineering Science (electrical engineering, energy science, computer engineering...) or alike and with a strong interest in cybersecurity and/or reliability modeling of electric power systems. The candidate should have a solid engineering background and love cosimulation. Affinity with probabilistic methods and with cybersecurity is a plus.

The candidate should have distinguished him/herself during the studies (excellent grades, publications) and shall wish to acquire a PhD degree in the course of four years at the Arenberg Doctoral School of the University of Leuven.

In addition to a scientific and research attitude, the candidate can process complex matters in an independent way.

The researcher will be a KU Leuven PhD student (Engineering Science), and also work as part of EnergyVille's research team in Genk. 

She/He gets a contract as PhD scholar (doctoraatsbursaal, zie

A PhD typically takes 4 years, where the contract is renewed yearly.

Starting date as soon as possible, but can be discussed (not later than fall 2021).