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The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE) is ranked as the #1 public US program and in the top 10 worldwide in the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU). MAE has approximately 60 faculty and 1,300 undergraduate students. MAE has a strong research group in controls, robotics, and dynamic systems which received a large federal grant to build a national testing facility.
MAE will build a large facility for distributed energy resources (DER) control and testing over 5 years. The DERConnect facility will serve as a national test bed for autonomous energy systems, distributed control algorithms, and electric vehicles, solar power inverters, smart buildings, and battery energy storage systems. This networked cyberphysical facility will enable the transition of the electric power system from a few centralized fossil generators to a renewable energy system with millions of interconnected, independent DERs in residences and businesses that will dramatically reduce costs and increase efficiencies.
This is a unique R&D environment that is rooted in advanced commercial technologies, but sits at the cutting edge of their applications in a world-class research university. The research engineer will work alongside a project scientist, two postdocs, four PhD students, and a project manager.
The R&D Engineer will lead the technical implementation of DER controls, communications, operation, databases, and user interfaces. During transition to operations around 2024, we envision that the R&D Engineer would become the facility maintenance engineer. The R&D Engineer would then have the opportunity to collaborate with partners across the US in experiment execution and research papers, and maintain and upgrade state-of-the-art instrumentation in electric power systems and controls.
Areas of responsibilities:
Setup and operation of power system simulation hardware and software:
Real-time simulators: Program real-time simulators to support the simulation of collaborative actions of millions of power devices.
Hardware-in-the-loop (HIL) systems. HIL systems will interface with real-time simulators and real DERs to support virtual hardware testing.
Testing environments with millions of devices.
DER management system (DERMS). In collaboration with industry partners, select a DERMS and interface it with electric vehicles, buildings, and battery energy storage systems.
Distributed controllers / agents. Deploy hundreds of identical controllers / agents around UCSD and maintain configurations to enable distributed controls experiments.
Retrofit existing equipment such as battery energy storage systems, electric vehicle charging stations, and smart buildings with distributed controllers.
Design, program, and commission interfaces between electric power, communications, and database systems. Design and maintain interfaces. Apply standard communication protocols such as IEEE 2030.5 in collaboration with industry partners.
Design, program, and commission user interfaces. Set up the configurations and access to any DER and set of DERs in the facility to be
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Primary references are publications that are cited as references during examination development.