Controls Postdoctoral Scholar, Center for Microgrid Research

University of St Thomas
Saint Paul, Minnesota
Apr 08, 2024
May 05, 2024
Engineering, Systems
Position Type
Scientist, Research
Full Time
Organization Type
The University of St. Thomas invites qualified candidates to apply for a Postdoctoral Scholar position at the Center for Microgrid Research. The position will support the Center's research on reliability, security, and resilience of microgrid systems. This includes advanced control system design, modeling and analysis, control architecture design and communication-based control and optimization, system integration and testing.

The successful candidate will be required to conduct independent research, develop new ideas and contribute to research proposals, engage with faculty, staff, and students, prepare manuscripts for publication, and present their work at conferences.


The St. Thomas (CMR) is seeking candidates for a postdoctoral scholar position in the area of microgrid control. The scholar will be part of a rapidly growing team of engineers and researchers and will have a unique opportunity to work simultaneously on a real-world industry-grade microgrid and state-of-the-art Hardware-in-the-loop HIL testbeds.

Essential functions:
  • Develop innovative solutions and technical approaches to design, modeling, and implementation of advanced control systems in microgrid applications.
  • Create a digital twin of the current and planned microgrid and test control systems on the digital twin and real-world microgrid
  • Serve as lead author on project reports, journal articles, conference papers, and presentations.
  • Develop experimental test plans to collect data to validate modeling and analysis work.
  • Leads and supports technical proposals for developing new projects
  • Meet grant goals and deliverables by completing assigned research tasks and reports.
  • Supervise and lead student researchers (undergraduate and graduate).
  • Work closely with the Center's director and the CMR team.
  • Contributes to the overall success of the Center by performing other essential duties and responsibilities as assigned.

The University of St. Thomas embraces diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity for all. Our convictions of dignity, diversity and personal attention call us to embody and champion a diverse, equitable and inclusive environment. We welcome applicants of diverse races, ethnicities, geographic origins, gender identities, ages, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations, religions, work experience, physical and intellectual abilities, and financial means. We are committed to building a team that represents a variety of backgrounds, perspectives, and skills. This commitment is consistent with our mission: Inspired by Catholic intellectual tradition, the University of St. Thomas educates students to be morally responsible leaders who think critically, work skillfully, and act wisely to advance the common good . A successful candidate will possess a commitment to the ideals of this mission.


The University of St. Thomas offers a competitive and comprehensive benefits program, which includes:
  • Up to 100% tuition remission for employees, spouses, and dependents upon eligibility
  • A generous Employer retirement contribution of 9.4% of annual salary upon eligibility
  • Medical, dental, and vision options
  • Employer-paid disability, life, and AD&D benefits

This position is grant-funded. We anticipate this to be a one year, benefits-eligible term appointment, dependent on the needs of the department. The position duration is renewable to up to 3 years depending on performance, department needs, and availability of funds.


The University of St Thomas School of Engineering:

The University of St Thomas School of Engineering (SOE) is a primarily undergraduate teaching institution focusing on engineering education within the context of a liberal arts framework. As part of the largest private university in Minnesota, the School of Engineering comprises nearly 15% of the campus population. The UST School of Engineering offers undergraduate and masters level programs in the areas of Electrical Engineering, Data Science, Software Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Civil engineering, and Manufacturing Engineering.

The Center for Microgrid Research:

The Center for Microgrid Research is in the midst of an exciting growth phase with more than $25 Million grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Department of Defense (DOD), and Minnesota Department of Commerce. In the next year, it is anticipated that the CMR team will grow to more than 10 full-time staff and 15 student researchers. Through the awards, the Center's infrastructure is expanding in capability and size. The microgrid's on-site generation capacity is increasing to more than 1.5 MW to feed power to 5 buildings on campus, covering more than 400,000 sq. ft. of space. The expanded microgrid will be made up of 2 smaller microgrids and have 4 points of connection with the local utility resulting in a unique networked-microgrids layout. The research and development infrastructure is growing to include state-of-the-art Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) testbeds for controller-HIL, power-HIL, and power-system-HIL. Research findings developed and prototyped on the HIL testbeds will be immediately applied to the real-world microgrid for real-world case studies and experiments. Moreover, the CMR's industry partnership network is rapidly broadening. As an example, the CMR is a founding member of the Minnesota Cleantech Consortium which includes 3M, Cummins, Xcel Energy, Connexus, Great Plains Institute, and many others.

Minimum Qualifications
  • Completed a PhD degree (U.S. or foreign equivalent), in Electrical Engineering, Energy Engineering, or a closely related.
  • Proven expertise in microgrid modeling and controls in Matlab/Simulink or similar
  • Demonstrated publication record
  • Proven communication, time management, and teamwork skills
  • This project is funded by the Department of Defense. Export control laws define US person as US citizen, permanent resident (green card), or refugee/asylee. DoD restrictions on project personnel exist for some, but not all, non-US persons such as citizens from China, Iran, and Russia

Preferred Qualifications
  • Experience with modeling high power systems such as advanced inverters (grid-forming techniques), generators, flywheels, motors, Electric vehicles chargers, or nonlinear loads
  • Experience in hardware-in-the-loop testbeds and digital twin creation
  • Experience with SEL RTAC 3555 or similar
  • Experience in advanced microgrid controls such as nonlinear methods and data-driven techniques.


Apply online at After creating and submitting an applicant profile, you will be taken to the job-specific application. Here you will be asked to copy/paste a cover letter, detailing your interest in the position. Additionally, upload the following materials to your profile:
  • Curriculum vitae with a list of publications
  • Complete the reference section of the application by providing contact information for 3 professional references. No references will be contacted without first getting the permission of the candidate.

  • In light of its commitment to create and maintain a safe learning and working environment, employment with the University of St. Thomas requires consent and successful completion of a background screening.

    The University of St. Thomas, Minnesota Human Resources Department advertises the official job listing on its website at

    The University of St. Thomas is an Equal Opportunity Employer