Opening for Postdoctoral Scholars and PhD Students

The U-Smart lab is currently looking for talented and self-motivated Postdoctoral Scholars and PhD students who are passionate to pursue their PhD degree towards shaping the future sustainable and resilient power and energy systems. The Postdoctoral Scholars and PhD students will work on funded projects and receive full funding and benefits.

We are specifically looking for candidates with one or more majors in electrical engineering, industrial engineering, operations research, computer science and economics. The prospective students should have strong knowledge base in mathematical optimization techniques and economics, preferably in the context of power and energy systems.

If you feel confident about your qualifications, please send your CV and a representative paper to Dr. Parvania. Candidates for PhD studies should also review and satisfy the admission requirements of the ECE department for graduate studies.

U-Smart Students received the ECE Best Senior Project Award

U-Smart senior students, Brian Barkey, Camille Saint Louis, Krysta Rasmussen, and Frank Tsai, received the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Best Senior Project Award. Congratulations the team!

The team presented their project on “Analyzing and Mitigating Electromagnetic Interference Between Power Lines and Commercial Irrigation Systems” during the ECE technical open house held on April 20, 2017, and received the Best Senior project Award at the Banquet ceremony.

The senior project was sponsored by Rocky Mountain Power under the ECE clinics program.


Konstantinos Receives Scholarship from Utah Governor’s Office

Konstantinos Oikonomou, a second-year PhD student at the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) receives a prestigious scholarship from the Utah Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) and Utah Science Technology and Research (USTAR) through the Energy Research Triangle (ERT) Scholars competitive grant program.

Konstantinos is pursuing his PhD degree at the ECE’s Utah Smart Energy Lab (U-Smart) under the supervision of Prof. Parvania. Konstantinos is interested in developing solutions for ensuring efficient and sustainable supply of electricity and water demand in urban areas that is becoming a challenge as urban population continues to grow with rapid pace. His research develops control methods to co-optimize the operation of urban power and water distribution systems in emerging smart cities, saving considerable amounts of precious energy and water resources.

“ERT continues to support Governor Gary R. Herbert’s vision for accelerating Utah-based solutions to power our energy future,” said Laura Nelson Ph.D., the Governor’s energy advisor and executive director of the Governor’s Office of Energy Development. The ERT-Scholars grant encourages training of Utah’s next generation of energy researchers. “ERT-Scholars creates a pipeline of talent for Utah’s energy industry by awarding highly-motivated young scientists who are passionate about making real changes in the way Utah thinks about energy,” says Ivy Estabrooke PhD, executive director of USTAR.

Source: USTAR

Rebecca Novy receives IEEE PES Scholarship

Rebecca Novy, an undergraduate student at the U-Smart lab, is selected to receive an award from the IEEE PES Scholarship Plus Initiative for the 2016/2017 academic year.

Rebecca is an outstanding student interested in power and energy systems, and passionate about pursuing her career in the power industry. She is also vice-chair of the IEEE PES Student Chapter at the University of Utah’s ECE Department, helping other students to learn more about the power and energy systems.

The award is very selective. Only 230 students across the USA, Canada and Puerto Rico receive the award. The award is given to undergraduate students in electrical engineering who have expressed interest in the power and energy field and who have maintained high GPAs. The $2,000 annual award is renewable for up to three years.

Panel Session on Ramping Scarcity Mitigation at INFORMS Annual Meeting 2016

The 2016 INFORMS Annual Meeting was held at Nashville, TN on November 13-16, 2016.

Dr. Parvania and Dr. Sahraei-Ardakani presented at a panel session on Power System Operation Models for Ramping Scarcity Mitigation. The full list of panelists and the presentation titles included:

  • Dr. Mostafa Sahraei-Ardakani, University of Utah, “Ramping Deliverability Enhancement Through Flexible Transmission”
  • Dr. Erik Ela, EPRI, “Explicit And Implicit Mechanisms For Ensuring Reserve And Ramping Capability”
  • Dr. Masood Parvania, University of Utah, “Definition And Valuation Of Continuous-time Ramping Trajectory In Power Systems Operation”
  • Dr. Venkat Krishnan, NREL, “Wind Ramping Product For Power System Ramping Scarcity Mitigation”

Presentation at the 10th Annual Trans-Atlantic Infraday Conference

The 10th Annual Trans-Atlantic Infraday Conference was held at Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Washington, DC, on Thursday, November 10, 2016. More info at the conference website:

Dr. Parvania presented at the confernece on “Continuous-time Marginal Pricing in Electricity Markets”. The presentation was based on a recently published paper on continuous-time marginal pricing of electricity in power systems.

U-Smart Activities in 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting

The 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) General Meeting was held in Sheraton Boston Hotel, Boston, MA.

Dr. Parvania presented the newly published Transactions paper titled “Unit Commitment with Continuous-time Generation and Ramping Trajectory Models”.

PhD Student Mr. Roohallah Khatami presented a poster on “Continuous-time Generation Scheduling for Ramping Scarcity Healing” during the PESGM 2016.


Presentation at FERC Software Conference

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) held a technical conference on June 27-29, 2016 to discuss opportunities for increasing real-time and day-ahead market efficiency through improved software.
Dr. Parvania presented at the conference on recent developments on novel continuous-time Unit Commitment (UC) model for power systems operation. The new continuous-time UC model schedules for continuous-time power and ramping trajectories of generating units. In addition, the model enables the continuous-time marginal pricing of electricity in power systems. The presentation is available online here.


Dr. Parvania receives a National Science Foundation Award

Dr. Parvania receives a National Science Foundation (NSF) Award for his new development on continuous-time flexiblity scheduling in electricity markets. The research offers a solution for the ramping scarcity problem in electricity markets with providing a continuous-time schedule for the generating units in day-ahead electricity markets, thus naturally taking care of sub-houlry and fast ramping of renewable energy resources.

U-Smart Activities in 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society General Meeting

The 2015 IEEE Power and Energy Society (PES) General Meeting is held in Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, Denver, CO. Dr. Parvania presented his newly published Transactions paper titled “ISO’s Optimal Strategies for Scheduling the Hourly Demand Response in Day-ahead Markets”.

Dr. Parvania and Mark O’Malley (University College Dublin) co-chaired a well-received panel session on “Demand Response for Reliable Integration of Variable Renewable Energy”. The panelists included:

  • Goran Strbac (Imperial College London): Whole-system approach to assessing benefits of Demand Response in supporting cost effective integration of renewables
  • Jianhui Wang (Argone National Lab): Grid Integration of Variable Generation considering Demand Response Forecasting Errors
  • Paul Sotkiewicz (PJM): Experience with Demand Response and Renewable Resources in the PJM Market
  • Marissa Hummon (Tendril): Reducing Renewable Generation Integration Barriers with Demand Response
  • Elaine Hale (NREL): Drivers for the Value of Demand Response under Increased Levels of Wind and Solar Power
  • Mark O’Malley (University College Dublin): Integrating Variable Renewable Energy and the Synergies with Demand Response