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PhD in Renewable Energy

Duration Time 4 year

This program specification has been produced to conform to the Rwandan National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education Institutions. The objective of the program is to prepare students well for leading careers in research and development both in industry and academia.

  • Programme Rationale

In order to achieve the National goals vision of the country, University of Rwanda College of Science and Technology (UR-CST) is mandated to achieve Leaning excellence in STI capacity. In line with the above Africa Center of Excellence in Energy for Sustainable Development (ACE-ESD) by the World Bank’s ACE II project is mandated to train high-level professionals and academics in the field of Energy for sustainable development both engineers and policy markers through Master’s and PhD programmes. Renewable Energy is technical/policy programme that is required for developing innovative energy/policy services, solutions and research outputs. Therefore, ACE-ESD has is offering this PhD programme by Research related to Renewable Energy. We encourage a vibrant, collaborative and interdisciplinary research culture within the Center, based around strategic areas of expertise. Our regional and international community of researchers has an excellent record of research promoting collaboration and impact.

  • Research Areas

The research focus of the students could be related to one of these sub-fields but not limited to Smart & Micro-grid Technologies (Wind, Solar, Mini-Hydro, Biomass, Geothermal); Battery management systems (BMS): This involves the renewable energy control, embedded system and power electronics skills; Energy storage system (ESS: This involves the renewable energy control, embedded system and power electronics skills; Renewable energy (bioenergy including bio-fuels, solar energy, wind energy, etc.): Energy impact on the environment; Energy for socio-economic development; Energy system planning and modeling; Energy infrastructure optimization; Energy efficiency and demand side management; Alternative energy.

The ACE-ESD has budgeted for about 2 million USD to set up world-class high tech laboratories for Energy Research. ACE-ESD graduates are expected to work towards the development of new innovative approaches and solutions with relevance to the (East and South Africa) ESA priority domains related to energy engineering/ technology and policy solutions.

  • Educational Aims

PhD degrees by Research are different from taught degrees because the programme is an independent research project, rather than a programme of assessed coursework. The programme is aimed at candidates who want to qualify for research and scientific work at a high international level. The programme enables the graduates to pursue a research career in academia as well as in industry linked to the application related to renewable energy.

The programme has the following educational aims:

Making an original contribution: The essential requirement of a PhD is the creation of new knowledge. The research work has to inevitably build on the work and ideas of others, but as a research student they are expected to make an original contribution (novelty though it can be an applied research) to knowledge related to electrical power systems discipline by choosing a problem of development priority and find a solution to it by means of developing new ideas through the creation of new knowledge.

Leading a research: The students will lead the research project, but they will also have support from a Supervisory Team (ST) who are there to provide guidance and read and comment on draft work - but the ultimate responsibility for planning and managing the research will rest with the research students.

In general all research students will be able to,

  1. Identify new problems arising from recent developments in and related to the electrical power systems domain the ability to assess the likely impact of such developments on society.

  2. Conduct ethically and scientifically sound research in electrical power systems, within the bounds of the law and given due consideration of ethical and moral constraints.

  3. Successfully conduct and manage research undertakings, which may include aspects not only from electrical power systems domain but also from other domains within the discipline of energy materials science.

  4. Capability to apply current abstract research and methods within the chosen research domain to specific problems in creative and innovative ways.

  5. Critically apply theories, methodologies, and knowledge to address fundamental questions in their primary area of study. (Research, Critical Thinking, Content Knowledge).

  6. Ability to organize and participate in research and development through established national and regional research frameworks.


Graduates from this PhD programme by research will be able to:

  • Knowledge and Understanding

At the end of the research students should possess skills to

1. Critically examine the background literature relevant to the renewable energy field;

2. Develop skills in making and testing hypotheses, in developing new theories, and in planning and conducting experiments in renewable energy field;

3. Develop or design renewable energy solutions to remote areas;

4. Formulate Mathematical methods connected to renewable energy and their impact on the theory of algorithms.

  • Cognitive/ Intellectual Skills/ Application of Knowledge

At the end of the programme students should be able to:

1. Engineer in renewable energy systems by applying state-of-the-art of energy technologies and validation techniques in conjunction with simulation and experimental methodology;

2. Review research work within renewable energy domain, relate it to the forefront of knowledge, and assess its applicability for energy solutions;

3. Perform research that challenges established concepts, theory, methods and technology within the renewable energy systems field;

4. Handle Relevant ethical issues pertinent to renewable energy systems research and its application on off-grid solutions.

  • Communication/ICT/Numeracy/Analytic Techniques/Practical Skills

At the end of the programme students should be able to:

1. Develop practical research skills and learn new state of the art techniques used in renewable energy research;

C2. Carry out research work of high international standards that advances the forefront of knowledge and application related to renewable energy within area of off-grid solutions techniques;

C3. Identify and assess the need for innovation, and initiate and contribute to innovative energy projects that involve micro-grid in the society;

C4. Critically analyze complex system like micro-grid or smart grid technologies and give a specific problem based solutions;

C5. Use software development environment to simulate energy systems solutions.

  • General transferable skills

At the end of the programme students should be able to:

D1. Disseminate and publish research results through recognized channels, including scientific workshops, conferences, and journals within renewable energy field.

D2. Participate in research discussions and research collaboration internationally on scientific topics within the renewable energy field of specialization.

D3. Efficiently disseminate scientific research findings within the community and outside, to the research sphere for inter-disciplinary cooperation for increased visibility;

D4. Communicate scientific research outputs among the relevant stakeholders an energy research community;

D5. Contribute to the development of scientific knowledge, scientific methods, and energy based technologies and their application in society;