Research Studentship in Electric Vehicle Charging Control Games

3.5-year D.Phil. studentship 

Project title: Aggregative game theory for optimal charging of large fleets of electric vehicles

Supervisor: Prof. Kostas Margellos

The studentship is part of an EPSRC funded project on "Aggregative charging control of electric vehicle populations" being undertaken by the University of Oxford (PI: Prof. Kostas Margellos).

The objective of the project is to develop automated algorithms for efficient charging of large fleets of electric vehicles. To achieve this, vehicles should defer their consumption at time instances where electricity price is lower, giving rise to the so called valley-filling behaviour. However, vehicles typically act as selfish agents, interested in the maximization of their local utility function, without being concerned with maximizing the profit of the entire population (i.e., social welfare optimum). As such, they are not willing to share information like their local utilities and consumption patterns that is considered to be private. In this project we will treat the problem of electric vehicle charging as a non-cooperative multi-player game, with vehicles acting as competing players. Using tools from non-cooperative game theory and distributed optimization we will try to determine a set of Nash equilibrium charging strategies for this game in a distributed way, and investigate their relationship with social welfare maximizing paradigms. For the latter, price of anarchy concepts – well known in the algorithmic game theory literature – will be employed.

The student will focus on the development and coding of the distributed charging algorithms; emphasis will also be given on analysing their optimality properties. S/he will be a member of the Control Group and will be supervised by Prof. Kostas Margellos. 

Eligibility

This studentship is funded through the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) Doctoral Training Partnership and is open to both UK students (full award – fees plus stipend) and EU students (partial award – fees only). Full details of the EPSRC eligibility requirements can be found here.

Award Value

University tuition fees are covered at the level set for UK/EU students, as are Oxford college fees (c. £7,432 in total p.a.). The stipend (tax-free maintenance grant) is c. £14,553 p.a. for the first year, and at least this amount for a further two  and a half years. 

Candidate Requirements

Prospective candidates will be judged according to how well they meet the following criteria:

  • A first class honours degree in Engineering, Mathematics or Computer Science;
  • Experience in control theory and optimization;
  • Mathematical maturity with emphasis on optimization theory;
  • Excellent English written and spoken communication skills;

The following skills are desirable but not essential:

  •  Ability to program in Matlab;
  •  Experience in energy systems management and operations;

Application Procedure

Informal enquiries are encouraged and should be addressed to Prof Kostas Margellos ().

Candidates must submit a graduate application form and are expected to meet the graduate admissions criteria.  Details are available on the course page of the University website.

Please quote 18ENGIN_09DTP in all correspondence and in your graduate application.

Application deadline:  noon on 19 January 2018 

Start date: October 2018