Research course

Smart Grid Systems

Open University · Faculty of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics

Entry requirements

Minimum 2:1 in a technical discipline, electrical power system engineering preferred

Months of entry


Course content

Spurred by the recent and ongoing growth of renewable generation in the electricity system there is much current interest in ‘smart’ electricity distribution grids. System smartness will allow for time-shifting of electricity demand and in the future will better incorporate electricity and other energy storage systems. In this way a smart and renewables-based electricity system promises to deliver low-carbon electricity. What, however, will these changes imply for electricity system reliability? This aspect is a key focus of our research interest.

Potential research projects

One proposed project seeks, in particular, to understand short-term grid security issues (initiating issues of duration less than 1 second). This project will involve an understanding of issues from electrical power engineering, such as reactive power and whole system inertia. The project will be largely desk based and in the spirit of technology and policy (i.e. the overlap of science and technology with energy policy) research.

Current/recent research projects

  • George Matthew, System dynamics of smart grid development and utilization, PhD research since October 2013

Potential supervisors

Fees and funding

Please see The Open University website

Qualification and course duration


part time
72 months
full time
36 months
distance learning
variable months


distance learning
variable months
part time
24 months
full time
15 months

Course contact details

Professor William J. Nuttall
+44 (0)1908 655113