An Xiao

PhD student – Power Systems Group

My name is An Xiao and I am a PhD student in the Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group in the School of Electrical and Electronic Engineering.


I completed my MSc in Electrical Power Systems Engineering in 2009 and in doing so; I built up a very strong interest in Power Systems.   After finishing my MSc course, I decided to undertake further study to improve my knowledge in this area.

I chose the University of Manchester, because it has a very strong reputation in electrical power systems and houses the National Grid High Voltage Research Centre.   The Electrical Energy and Power Systems Group has a strong history of academic achievement, industry collaboration and teaching excellence and has a key role in meeting the energy challenges of the future.


To summarise my current research, I am producing a model for energy transfer between low current discharge and insulation surfaces to see how the discharge damages the surface of the insulator. This project is funded by National Grid and will be used to predict the ageing of insulators to ensure correct asset management.  On a day to day basis, my role includes both experimentation and simulation, so I may sometimes spend the day working in the laboratory or working on a computer.  I am also required to produce progress reports for my sponsor.

I have developed an optical system for the measurement of discharge temperature this combines knowledge of physical chemistry and electrical engineering.  This involves collaborative working with academic staff at Manchester and in other universities.

To showcase my research I have attended several academic conferences and attend progress meetings with the industry sponsors.  The Power Systems Research Centre also hosts many events with industry.  A recent event to celebrate the 10th anniversary of strategic collaboration with National Grid proved very successful in attracting a diverse audience and profiling our research.


On completion of my studies I will take up a post at the National Grid Control Centre.  My role will enable me to gain practical experience in power systems.  I hope that in the future I will contribute to the development of future energy landscapes, especially in the wind power area.

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