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Networks and Distribution

Networks and Distribution research within the energy initiative is carried out across a number of departments and research groups at the University of Cambridge.

Power Electronics research includes:

  • Nanoscale materials and device design for energy conversion, including graphene for energy harvesting, storage, conversion and delivery.
  • Integrated and discrete semiconductor devices, smart sensors and MEMS integrated circuits for power switching and control, for example to make optimum grid connections for large photovoltaic electric generation systems.


Superconductivity research includes:

  • YBCO-based superconductors for lossless power transmission
  • fault-current limiters and energy-storage applications
  • novel high current device applications of engineering superconductors


Electricity networks including regulation is covered by the Energy Policy Research Group

We collaborate with industrial partners and are also actively involved in increasing both energy awareness and public understanding of the opportunities and challenges in networks and distribution.

Please visit individual faculty profiles to learn more about their research in the Networks and Distribution theme. The lead for Networks and Distribution is Professor Gehan Amaratunga.

People specializing in this area

Principal Investigators

Dr Mark Ainslie, CEng

Applied superconductivity in electrical engineering, including superconducting electric machine design, power system protection and energy storage, and electromagnetic modelling, including FEM.

Professor Gehan Amaratunga

Materials and technologies for electrical energy and power.

Professor Ross Anderson

Smart grids, smart meters

Professor Alastair Beresford

Privacy and security of mobile devices such as Android smartphones, iPads and laptops.

Professor David Cardwell

Superconducting Engineering

Dr. Tim Coombs

Network protection, fault current limiting devices, analysis of switch gear by observsation of partial discharge

Transmisson, superconducting cables

Professor Judith Driscoll

Materials science of complex functional  materials and nanostructures.

Professor Richard Gibbens

Mathematical and statistical modelling of energy networks


Professor Frank Kelly

His main research interests are in random processes, networks and optimization. He is especially interested in applications to the design and control of networks and to the understanding of self-regulation in large-scale systems.

Professor David Newbery

Liberalization, privatisation, competition and regulation in network industries, particularly electricity; Transmission access pricing, electricity market reform, climate change policy.

Dr. Patrick R Palmer, C.Eng.

Power electronics for network infrastructure


Professor Michael Pollitt

Incentive regulation of network industries; efficiency analysis of network industries

Professor Peter Robinson

The boundary between people and computers; this involves investigating new technologies to enhance communication  between computers and their users, and new applications to exploit these  technologies.

Professor Malcolm Smith

Control System Design

Professor Florin Udrea

High voltage power semiconductor devices

Professor Alan Windle

My research team is based around the creation and exploitation of carbon  nanostructures in materials science