Three fully funded Ph.D. positions and one postdoc position are available for Spring/Fall 2024 intake. The students/postdoc will support two DOE projects, one NSF project, and one industry-sponsored project with descriptions below:

  1. (DOE) Model-free control and fault detection/diagnosis (FDD) for next-generation heat pumps — This is a collaborative project with Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where the OU team will be responsible for development and experimental validation of model-free algorithms for heat pump optimal control and FDD. The algorithms will be devised based on online convex optimization and learning-based control techniques, so strong numerical or math background is required.
  2. (DOE) Aging-aware optimal control of motorized energy storage — This project aims to characterize aging behaviors of electric motors used in energy storage systems, such as heat pump-driven thermal storage and pumped-storage hydro, and develop aging-aware control strategies. Students with general mechanical/electrical engineering backgrounds are encouraged to apply.
  3. (NSF CAREER Award) Altruistic game-theoretic control of sustainable communities — This project will study a new altruistic game-theoretic framework to characterize residential energy use behaviors in response to electricity carbon intensity signals. The problem will be addressed as non-convex cost-sharing games. Strong math background is required.
  4. (Industry-Sponsored) Life expectancy modeling for fractional HP DC motors — The team will develop and experimentally validate a life expectancy model for small-sized DC motors.

For those interested, please email Dr. Jie Cai at