.BSc, Grants, Opportunities

Grants FIGURE_2012-03

Application Deadline: 30-11-2012
PProject FIGURE – Flexible and Intelligent Grids for Intensive Use of Renewable Energy Sources (PTDC/SEN‑ENR/099844/2008) is recruiting 3 young researchers, graduated in Computer Science, Informatics or similar, willing to work in the area of Power Systems. This call concerns research activity in the area of intelligent resource management considering intensive use of renewable energy sources. This project is funded by Portuguese funds through FCT/MCTES (PIDDAC) and co-funded by “Fundo Europeu de Desenvolvimento Regional” (FEDER) through COMPETE – “Programa Operacional Factores de Competitividade” (POFC), with the following conditions:


Computer Science


Graduation in Computer Science / Informatics or similar


From January 1st 2013 until June 30th 2013 (06 months duration, eventually to be renewed till the end of the Project), in case the request for the Project extension is accepted by the Foundation for Science and Technology – FCT.


The main goal is to undertake research work in the area of intelligent resource management considering intensive use of renewable energy sources.

FIGURE addresses the resources optimization including Distributed Generation (DG), both from Distribution Network Operators and from generators and consumers point of view. FIGURE proposes a new approach to this problem by modeling and using the dynamic commercial relationships (made possible by successive opportunities for auctions and bilateral contracts) among players for a possible upgrade of the optima solution. Several methods are used, with emphasis on Genetic Algorithms, Swarm intelligence and Benders decomposition as these have previously allowed us to obtain good results. Optimization considers the available resources (network, generation, loads and storage) and their use permission (according to regulations, ownership, bilateral contracts and auctions). Uncertainty is an inherent data characteristic namely for demand and DG, addressed with fuzzy based methods.

Loads are important resources for optimization as Demand response (DR) helps coping with technical constraints (e.g. demand reductions, during peaks). This gives consumers an active role involving important decisions. FIGURE proposes a framework for supporting these decisions, considering player aggregation. Aggregators put together several players resulting in Virtual Players (VP) that can manage aggregated resources in a much more flexible and intelligent way than individual players. FIGURE extends the previously proposed framework for Virtual Power Producers (VPP) to include storage, consumers and loads of several types, namely Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicles (PHEV). This framework will support and implement VP participation in PS and EM.

Existing remuneration and tariffs methods are not complete and powerful enough for a competitive environment, in which even consumers can take strategic decisions. FIGURE will develop alternative methods to remunerate the services related with DG and DR provided by each player. These methods are flexible enough so that PS can use all the available resources and commercially adequate for a competitive market.

Currently the PS do not take advantage of DG in case of incident as DG is obliged to come out of service due to security problems. This should change in the future and there are already advances to overcome these problems. This also shows the need of adequate methodologies for decision making regarding the use of DG and DR in incident situations, including the possibility of intentional islanded operation. FIGURE contributes with a Decision-Support System (DSS) for this purpose.  

The candidates to be selected will undertake the following tasks, considering the above described project activities:

– Upgrade of previously developed models, methodologies and applications;

– Design, implementation, test, and use of the models and methodologies proposed in the scope of the project;

– Preparation of case studies and result analysis;

– Technical reports and scientific papers preparation and writing.

These tasks include the design of the foreseen methodologies, their implementation, and test. 


Law no. 40/2004 (August.18.2004 – “Estatuto do Bolseiro de Investigação Científica”); Regulation no. 405/2010, May.6.2010 (published in “Diário da República” no. 88, II Serie, 06.May.2010) – “Regulamento de Bolsas de Formação Avançada do ISEP”; “Regulamento da Formação Avançada e Qualificação de Recursos Humanos 2010” (published by FCT).


The candidate to be selected will be scientifically supervised by Professor Zita Vale.

The workplace is at GECAD – Knowledge Engineering and Decision-Support Research Center settled at Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto, in the following address:



Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto

Rua. Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 431

4200-072 Porto



As defined by FCT (€ 745.00/month), according to the table of stipends of the country (available in http://www.fct.pt/apoios/bolsas/valores.phtml.en).


Only candidates that have presented the complete set of application documents and showing evidence of having the required minimum profile required will be admitted. The selection method will take into account the following components: graduation classification (50%), curriculum vitae evaluation (50%). In case of doubts, an interview can be undertaken; in this case it will be conducted in English.

The selection panel will be chaired by Professor Zita Maria Almeida do Vale, Coordinating Professor with Aggregation at the Institute of Engineering of the Polytechnic Institute of Porto (ISEP/IPP) and Director of GECAD, Professor Maria Goreti Carvalho Marreiros, Adjunct Professor at ISEP/IPP and sub-director of GECAD, and Professor Isabel Cecília Correia Silva Praça Gomes Pereira, Adjunct Professor at ISEP/IPP.


The announcement of the Research Fellowship will be published at Eracareers’ website and ISEP’s website.

Final evaluation results, namely the candidate list ordered by candidate evaluation will be made public, in printed form, in GECAD. The candidates will be individually notified by email message.


Minimum profile required: Solid background on artificial intelligence, heuristic optimization, modeling, simulation, and some experience in the power systems field. At least 1 year of experience in scientific research activities. Good programming skills. Writing and speaking proficiency in English.

Preferred profile: Previous work experience in research activities in the area of power systems, heuristic optimization, and/or multi-agent systems. Experience in artificial intelligence based computer applications development. 


The application period will take place from November 19th until November 30th 2012

The application documents are the following:

Curriculum vitae; graduation diploma; document with courses marks; copy of any previously published works that are relevant for the application evaluation. An application letter with the fellowship reference (ref. FIGURE_2012-03) should be included, indicating clearly the motivation of the application and the full contact information (as minimum: email address, mobile phone number, postal address) of the candidate. All the documents prepared by the candidate for the application should be written in English. Documents should be sent to zav@isep.ipp.pt. Additionally, they should also be sent to the following address:



Instituto Superior de Engenharia do Porto

A/C Professor Zita Vale

Rua Dr. António Bernardino de Almeida, 431

4200-072 Porto



From November 19th until November 30th 2012


Additional information can be obtained by phone +351-22-8340511 or by email zav@isep.ipp.pt

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