Graduate student calls
The CERC Team is recruiting outstanding team-minded students to pursue their graduate degree while contributing to our goal to transform communities and cities.
MASc, MSc and PhD positions are available for the following topics:
- Gamification of a 3D Urban Simulation Platform (Sim City meets Real Science)
Analysis of how gamification principals can be applied to engage both city-planners and city-dwellers in complex urban development using an interactive 3D simulation platform. More specifically develop and test prototypes, using modern game-engine technologies, to explore player motivations, experiences and behaviours, that will deliver 2 key goals: i) help city planners make more sustainable, resilient and liveable cities, and ii) help citizens learn about their future neighbourhoods and give valuable ‘bottom-up’ feedback.
Background in computer science, software engineering, or similar required. Creative thinker essential. An appreciation of video games is desirable.
- Graphical Techniques within a 3D Urban Simulation Platform (Sim City meets Real Science)
Analysis of how graphical techniques, including VR and AR, can be used to visualize complex urban development simulation data, making it both easy to understand and fun to interact with. More specifically develop and test graphical prototypes, using modern game-engine technologies, to explore the effectiveness of your ideas for user interfaces, visual feedback systems and player experiences, in engaging city planners and city dwellers in future versions of their neighbourhoods.
Background in 3D graphics modelling, visual effects, or similar required. Creative thinker essential. An appreciation of video games is desirable.
- Service distribution and workflow managements for urban scale data management and modeling.
Research on multi domain modeling and data acquisition to allow combined simulation of building energy and transportation demand. Integration of urban data for model validation. Evaluation of workflow systems and distributed web services for model combinations. Development of a prototype for workflow management system.
Background in computer science, software engineering, or similar required.
- 3D platform development for stakeholder interaction and citizen participation.
Analysis of required functions of an urban data and 3D modeling platform to transform city quarters. 3D scenario visualisation of urban development and integration of citizen contributions and comments. Development of a prototype visualisation and participation scenario.
Background in computer science, software engineering, or similar required.
- Geovisualisation of urban energy and resource flows
Fast rendering and visualisation of 3D city scenarios including sensor data representation of stationary and moving objects. Develop strategies for 3D city transformation scenarios. Prototype visualisation of urban microclimate such as wind flows, temperature and emission distributions and more.
Background in geo-informatics, computer science, or similar required.
Call for joint PhD Applications: On the Design and Operation of Low Voltage Electrical Networks for Resilient Zero-Carbon Districts
We invite applications for a joint PhD position at Concordia University (CU) located in Montréal, Canada and the City University of New York, City College (CCNY) located in New York, USA.
The successful candidate will be co-supervised by Professor Ursula Eicker (CU) and Professor Ahmed Mohamed (CCNY) and will spend about two years at each institution. Tuition fees and stipend will be covered for the period of the PhD program. The PhD position is entitled, “On the Design and Operation of Low Voltage Electrical Networks for Resilient Zero-Carbon Districts.”
A future zero-carbon grid will consist of a myriad of distributed energy resources (DERs), including photovoltaic and wind generators, micro-CHP units, energy storage systems (ESS), and flexible loads. DERs are geographically distributed in urban areas and are connected to the low–voltage grid at multiple points of common coupling. The power grid of the near future will need to accommodate additional electricity demand due to the electrification of heating and transportation.
A distribution grid with a high penetration of renewable energy (e.g., >50%) has to deal with the intrinsic intermittency in the power supply, voltage regulation and angle/voltage stability problems, and protection coordination issues under rapidly changing states of the power system. ESS and flexible loads have the potential to provide some flexibility. Capacitor banks and smart inverters can provide the required reactive power support. DERs are likely to be virtually aggregated through the utility, or a third-party DER aggregator. Aggregated DERs can form partial-feeder, feeder, or area substation community microgrids. Community microgrids facilitate integration of DERs from both technical and financial perspectives. In addition, they substantially increase the resiliency of the power grid by islanding themselves during blackouts.
In this PhD work, models for distribution grids and microgrids shall be developed for analyzing the performance of networks supplied with high renewable energy fractions under various load/generation scenarios over the entire seasonal changes. Dimensioning of components, such as ESS and V2X units, which are needed to match volatile generation and fluctuating loads shall be considered. Another important question that will be addressed is the optimization of spatial placement of generation and storage capacity in urban areas and of local versus more central generation capacities in terms of performance, but also resilience.
The to-be-developed models should be capable of interfacing with larger urban simulation models that evaluate the energy demand associated with buildings and with the transportation sector.
- Applicants must at a minimum fulfill the PhD admission criteria at both institution (e.g., TOEFL and GRE requirements)
- Please, visit the PhD program page at each institution for further details
- B.S. degree (required) in Electrical Engineering, or a closely related field
- Solid background in power systems and renewable energy Strong programming skills and ability to learn new programming languages and tools
- M.S. degree (preferred) in Electrical Engineering
- Solid background in power systems, renewable energy, and microgrids evidenced by a track record of publications
- Load flow analysis using software packages, such as OpenDSS and PSSE
- Ability to program in Python and MATLAB
- Ability to use geographic information system (GIS) software packages, such as ArcGIS is a plus
To be considered for this position, please send your application package to both Ursula Eicker and Ahmed Mohamed, with the following subject line, CU/CCNY Joint PhD Applicant. Emails must include a curriculum vitae, and optionally other supporting documents, such as sample publications. Applications will be received until the position is filled. The tentative starting date of this PhD position is September 2021.
Call for PhD Applications: On the Design and Implementation of IoT framework for monitoring and control within the various flows in Next-Generation Cities
We invite applications for a PhD position at Concordia University (CU) located in Montréal, Canada.
The successful candidate will be supervised by Professor Ursula Eicker (CU) and will receive a stipend and tuition waiver for the period of the PhD program. The PhD position is entitled “On the Design and Implementation of IoT framework for monitoring and control within the various flows in Next-Generation Cities.”
A city has many different energy, data, capital, and resources flowing through it on a day-to-day basis. What distinguishes a conventional city from a sustainable next-generation city is the presence of frameworks within the city make it able to monitor, manage and control the various flows in an optimal/cost-efficient manner.
This is obviously not a trivial matter as a city is a dynamic entity that is constantly in flux and changing and growing each day. This implies that any framework that is created must be well-thought out, open-ended and extendable such that it is able to grow and change with the city itself. With the availability of hardware, software and computational power at reasonable prices (that are capable of monitoring and accumulating information within a city and managing them effectively), algorithms that make it possible to analyse the data, and a thermo-electrical network that is on the verge of being changed forever with the push for a vast and new array of distributed energy resources (DERs) and energy storage systems (ESS) (that would make efficient satisfaction of our energy demands possible), the need for a cross-disciplinary analysis, design and implementation (at least for a small sub-sector of the systems as proof of concept) of a holistic and scalable IoT (Internet-of-Things) framework has never been more prescient.
Towards coming up with a framework, as part of the PhD, the first step would involve coming up with a coherent representation of a city that covers as many sectors as possible and identify representative systems within each of the sectors that accurately reflect the present in addition to the new distributed resources that represent the change required to make the system sustainable. As an additional step, time needs to be devoted for identification of appropriate ameliorative strategies that cover up existing gaps within the city infrastructure that are not being studied are yet to be integrated to accommodate a modern communication and monitoring framework.
While these two initial steps are being performed, almost simultaneously, a study on the existing hardware and programmable microcontrollers that adhere to existing communication and monitoring protocols and their ability to be expanded across the sectors that they were fabricated for needs to be studied.
At the end of all this groundwork that has been performed, a hardware set-up needs to be put together, which brings all the knowledge accrued in the previous steps. The communication protocols need to be written and the appropriate data collection frequencies set. The data management methodology needs to be conceived that complements the framework created. A select number of control algorithms and management systems that manage the different flows require being instituted. Finally, the entire framework needs to be tested, assessed and improved across a pre-defined set of systems that shows that it is capable of handling the various systems, processes and flows within a city and successfully allow efficient management of them.
All the work needs to be performed with a special focus on open-source methodologies and accommodating as many non-proprietary standards as possible. What cannot be replaced needs to adhere to future proofable standards that only bolster the successful transition of our existing cities to sustainable next-generation cities.
The ideal PhD candidate needs to be able to communicate across the different fields and collaborate with the different co-collaborators and existing stakeholders in the market, who are already working on different aspects of control and management.
- Applicants must at a minimum fulfill the PhD admission criteria of Concordia University (please visit the PhD program page at Concordia University for further details)
- B.S. degree (required) in Electrical/Chemical/Mechanical Engineering, or a closely related field
- Solid background in basics of computer science, fundamentals of thermal systems and/or electrical systems
- Strong programming skills and ability to learn new programming languages and tools
- M.S. degree (preferred) in Electrical Engineering
- Solid background in work with programmable microcontrollers, renewable energy, and microgrids evidenced by a track record of publications
- Ability to program in Python, Golang and/or Rust
- Ability to write software interfacing with the programmable controllers
To be considered for this position, please send your application package to email@example.com with the following subject line: CERC PhD Applicant. Emails must include a curriculum vitae, and optionally other supporting documents, such as sample publications. Applications will be received until the position is filled. The tentative starting date of this PhD position is September 2021.
For more information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org