Professor Xin Zhang

Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering

Professor in Control and Power Systems

Photo of Professor Xin Zhang
Profile picture of Photo of Professor Xin Zhang
+44 114 222 25619

Full contact details

Professor Xin Zhang
Department of Automatic Control and Systems Engineering
Amy Johnson Building
Portobello Street
S1 3JD

My research is about electrical power and energy systems. Currently, I hold the prestigious UKRI Future Leaders Fellowship and EPSRC New Investigator Award. My research experience covers power system control, planning and operation, digital power systems, cyber-physical system modelling and co-simulation, smart grid and renewable energy, and transport electrification (land-air transport) with grid integration. 

I lead the Sheffield Control and Power Systems Laboratory. This $5M+ research lab attracted the major research council grants including EPSRC Future Leaders Fellowship, EPSRC-UKRI Innovation Fellowship, as well as industrial support of Rolls-Royce, National Instruments, Texas Instruments, Siemens, ALSTOM, Turbo Power Systems, Chroma, Yokagawa, OPAL RT, etc.

My industrial experience (2011-19) was gained from National Grid ESO as the GB Electricity System Operator, where I was professionally trained as a power system engineer in planning and real-time operation, mainly in the GB Electricity National Control Centre. My specific industrial expertise includes power system modelling and operational tools development for energy balancing and system security, and real-time transmission network control. Previously I worked at Cranfield University as a directly appointed Senior Lecturer (2019-21) and Brunel University London (2021-23).

  • PhD in Electrical and Electronic Engineering (2010), The University of Manchester
  • MSc (distinction) in Electrical Power Engineering (2007), The University of Manchester
  • B.Eng in Automation, Control Science and Engineering (2006), Shandong University
Research interests

My research is interdisciplinary across power, energy and digital aspects of system engineering. My primary research interest is in power systems, with wider research interests of cyber-security, machine learning, digital twins and their applications in power & energy industry.

Broadly, I investigate net-zero energy networks as critical infrastructure, integrating transport, information and communications, renewable, storage and hydrogen. I address energy resilience and flexibility challenges across Energy Theme.

  • Power system planning, operation and control (transmission, distribution, microgrid, renewables)
  • Cyber-physical system modelling and co-simulation (networked system control, power, energy, communications, transport)
  • Laboratory research platforms, hardware and facilities for simulation and control of power grid (real-time digital simulators, power electronics, intelligent computing)
  • Transport electrification (electric vehicle / aircraft charging, transport-energy nexus)

Journal articles

Conference proceedings papers


Funder: UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Future Leaders Fellowship (MR/W011360/1)

Project: Digitalisation of Electrical Power and Energy Systems Operation

Role: PI; Value: £1.8 million; Period: 2022 – 2026

Funder: EPSRC New Investigator Award (EP/W028905/1)

Project: Aviation-to-Grid: Grid flexibility through multiscale modelling and integration of power systems with electrified air transport

Role: PI; Value: £481k; Period: 2022 – 2025