Doctor of Philosophy candidate
We need fresh ideas to solve the challenges the move to more renewable energy sources poses to the power system, says Peter Makolo who came to AUT as an international student from Tanzania, supported by a Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade NZ Scholarship.
“With the move to more renewable energy sources to help reduce carbon emission, there are going to be a lot of challenges in the power grid. I would encourage young researchers to embark on this research direction.
“My PhD research focuses on dynamic virtual inertia monitoring and optimisation for modern grid flexibility. The penetration of renewable energy sources has the potential to replace conventional synchronous generators in the network. This means the grid will be lacking conventional inertia currently provided by synchronous generators, which could cause rapid frequency fluctuations. The introduction of synthetic/virtual inertia into the network would solve this problem.”
He chose this research topic to offer new ideas to support the integration of renewable energy sources into the power grid, says Peter whose research is supervised by Dr Ramon Zamora.
For Peter, completing a PhD was the obvious next step in his career as an academic.
“I’m a lecturer of electrical power engineering at the University of Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. After successfully completing my master’s degree at Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden and working for few years at my university, I embarked on a PhD to further my research skills and knowledge to help advance my career.
“What attracted me to AUT is that it’s a young but fast-growing university that encourages innovation and advocates for new technologies. AUT has prominent researchers and professors who are known worldwide, and embraces its international students.”
Once he finishes his doctoral degree, Peter is planning to return to Tanzania to continue his teaching, research and consultancy career at the University of Dar es Salaam.
“I’m excited to share the knowledge obtained from my research at AUT with other young researchers in my country and elsewhere.”
Opportunities for emerging researchers
Peter’s research has opened up many opportunities to network and share his work with other researchers in his field.
“I had the opportunity to connect with many globally renowned researchers through their research groups and publications. It’s very interesting to see how experienced researchers solve problems. I’m also proud of having two conference papers accepted. One of them has already been published and was the runner-up paper at the AUPEC 2018 conference. Submitting some journal papers to top-tier academic journals is a big achievement for me.”
He is grateful for the support his supervisor has provided throughout his studies, Peter says,
“My supervisor has always been a lightbulb. He always encourages me push my limit, and has always been there to show me the way if I seem to lose focus. He tirelessly reads my drafts several times until we have the best version of the manuscript ready for submission. He has helped me a lot to find my path.”