Networks and communications for smart grid applications

Study level


Topic status

We're looking for students to study this topic.


Professor Glen Tian
Division / Faculty
Science and Engineering Faculty


Smart grids are a new concept to design and operate power generation, transmission, distribution and other related systems in an integrated environment with emerging services.

There are a number of challenges in developing and using smart grid systems. One of the challenges is low-latency communications for real-time smart grid applications in:

  • wide area networks (WANs) such as wide area control
  • neighbourhood area networks (NANs) such as real-time demand response
  • home area networks (HANs) such as home energy scheduling.

Existing standards for smart grid communications are based on IP networks, which were not designed for real-time control systems and thus do not provide real-time performance guarantee.

New network protocols and technologies need to be developed in WANs, NANs and HANs to complement existing smart grid network technologies to enable real-time communications for real-time QoS performance.

We have collaborations with QUT’s Power Engineering group and have also established a big data lab for experimental HPC and networks at QUT, facillitating excellent research in this area.

Research activities

We aim to develop new network architectures, protocols and technologies for WANs, NANs, and HANs to complement existing smart grid network technologies.

This will enable real-time communications for smart grid applications with low-latency requirement.


Expected outcomes include the creation of new network architecture, protocols and technologies for real-time smart grid communications.

Skills and experience

  • Skills in computer networks are essential.
  • Some experience in computer networks and communications is desirable.
  • A basic understanding of power grid will be helpful but not essential.


You may be able to apply for a research scholarship in our annual scholarship round.

Annual scholarship round



Contact the supervisor for more information.