Sensorless4Solar: Low Cost and Reliable Control of Solar Energy Systems for Rural Electrification in Least-Developed Countries (LDCs)

Sensorless4Solar: Low Cost and Reliable Control of Solar Energy Systems for Rural Electrification in Least-Developed Countries (LDCs)

Eligibility: UK/EU/International graduates with the required entry requirements

Funding details: Bursary plus tuition fees (UK/EU/International)

Duration: Full-time – between three and three and a half years fixed term

Application deadline: 14th May 2021

Interview dates: Will be confirmed to shortlisted candidates

Start date: September 2021

For queries contact Dr Mathias Foo 


Coventry University is inviting applications from suitably-qualified graduates for a fully-funded PhD studentship within the Institute for Future Transport and Cities (IFTC).

The candidate will have deep knowledge and appreciation of power electronics and/or control systems.

Project details

Ensuring universal access to affordable, reliable, sustainable, and modern energy is Goal No.7 of UN SDG and one of the three aims of GCRF. Rural electrification through solar photovoltaics can help to achieve this goal in LDCs where the majority have access to sunny weather. In the remote areas, solar PV provides the needed power supply, while in the cities, solar PV will contribute towards decarbonisation of the existing power grid, leading to a sustainable future for all.

Using recent developments in nonlinear systems theory, this project aims at developing innovative estimation and control techniques for reduced-sensor operation of solar PV inverter (DC-AC), while ensuring high efficiency and low construction cost. The outcome of this project has the potential to ensure a cheaper (reduced-sensor cost reduction) and a more reliable solar inverter that will contribute towards rural electrification.

Regular collaboration and visits to Aix-Marseille University, France and Biricik Electric, Northern Cyprus are planned for this project.


This is a fully-funded studentship including full tuition fees (UK/EU/International) plus stipend (based upon the applicable UKRI rate at the point of the award) and additional allowances.


The successful candidate will receive comprehensive research training including technical, personal and professional skills.

All researchers at Coventry University (from PhD to Professor) are part of the Doctoral College and Centre for Research Capability and Development, which provides support with high-quality training and career development activities. 

Candidate specification

  • A minimum of a 2:1 first degree in a relevant discipline/subject area with a minimum 60% mark in the project element or equivalent with a minimum 60% overall module average. 
    the potential to engage in innovative research and to complete the PhD within a 3.5 years
  • a minimum of English language proficiency (IELTS overall minimum score of 7.0 with a minimum of 6.5 in each component)
In addition

The successful candidate will have a degree in engineering or applied mathematics with good analytical skills in control system and or power electronics. Experience with power electronic converter and coding (micro-controllers, dSPACE) are desirable. Candidates with strong background in either dynamical systems and control or power electronics are welcome. Previous publication experience would also be useful. 

How to apply

How to Apply

All applications require full supporting documentation, and a covering letter – plus an up to 2000-word supporting statement is required showing how the applicant’s expertise and interests are relevant to the project. Please contact Dr Mathias Foo before making a formal application.

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