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Durham University

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Dr Hongjian Sun, PhD, SMIEEE, MIET, FHEA

Associate Professor (Reader) in the Department of Engineering
Telephone: +44 (0) 191 33 42478
Room number: E378 (Higginson)
Mid Career Fellow in the Durham Energy Institute
Grey College Mentor of Grey College

(email at


Dr Hongjian Sun received his Ph.D. degree at the University of Edinburgh (U.K.) in 2011 and then took postdoctoral positions at King’s College London (U.K.) and Princeton University (USA). Since April 2013, he has been with the Department of Engineering at the University of Durham (U.K.) as an Associate Professor (Reader) in Smart Grid, with the title of Assistant Professor in 2013-17. He is a Mid-Career Fellow of Durham Energy Institute, and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

Dr Sun has been involved in a number of activities with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE): He is a Senior Member of the IEEE; He is serving (or served) as a technical program committee (TPC) member for many IEEE flagship conferences, e.g., IEEE ICC (2010-now), IEEE Globecom (2011-now), IEEE SmartGridCom (2015-now), and IEEE VTC (2011-now); He is a peer-reviewer for a number of IEEE prestigious journals and was nominated as an Exemplary Reviewer by IEEE Communications Letters in both 2011 and 2012; He has been with the IEEE 1900.6 Standards Working Groups on the Advanced Radio Systems since 2011.

Dr Sun has been on the Editorial Board of:

Additionally, he served (is serving) as an organizing chair for the following workshops/symposium:

Research and Projects

Dr. Sun's research mainly focuses on: (i) smart grid data processing and communications, (ii) demand side management and demand response, (iii) artificial intelligence for energy systems, and (iv) renewable energy sources integration. He has an established track record of publishing high quality scientific articles: He has published over 120 papers in refereed journals and international conferences; He has made contributions to and coauthored the IEEE 1900.6a-2014 Standard; In addition, he has published 5 book chapters, and edited 2 books as the leading editor:

Dr. Sun is Principle Investigator or Co-Investigator on a number of projects, with funding successes from the EU H2020, EU ERDF, UK EPSRC, UK BEIS, Innovate UK, China NSF, and industry. These projects include:

In the past, he was the key researcher for EPSRC project "Robust Intelligent Lamp Post (ILP) Sensor Networks for Energy Efficient Transportation Systems" and Korean ETRI project "Cognitive Radio Technology".

Dr. Sun is currently supervising (or line managing) 2 Postdoc Research Associate, 8 PhD students as primary supervisor, and 2 PhD students as secondary supervisor. He also leads Smart Grid research activities and is Head of Durham Smart Grid Laboratory, which consists of 2 Real Time Digital Simulators (RTDS Novacor nad RTDS PB5), a PV emulation system, a wind turbine emulation system, an Electrical Energy Storage, an Electric Vehicle and charging station, an Air Source Heat Pump, smart meters, wireless sensor networks testing kits, and a software-defined radio platform (inc. 5 USRPs). 

Research Groups

Department of Engineering

Research Projects

Durham Energy Institute

Research Interests

  • Smart Grid and Smart Energy
  • Demand Side Management and Demand Response
  • Artificial intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning
  • Virtual Power Plant and Energy hub
  • Internet of Things and e-Health
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Management

Indicators of Esteem

Selected Publications

Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Other (Print)

Show all publications

Media Contacts

Available for media contact about:

  • Engineering: Communications: Smart Grids
  • Engineering: Energy systems: Smart Grids
  • Engineering: Communications: Cognitive Radio
  • Engineering: Communications: Cooperative Communications
  • Science: Education, industry & the community: Smart Metering


Selected Grants

  • 2018: Smart Energy Exchange for Decarbonising Energy Systems Research Network (SeedNet) (£14870.00 from Academy of Medical Sciences)
  • 2017: Bio-inspired self-healing strategies triggered by big-data anomalies in systems exhibiting complex behaviour to enhance resilience (£6000.00 from Epsrc)
  • 2017: Electrical and thermal storage optimisation in a virtual power plant (£52741.00 from Innovate UK)
  • 2017: H2020-TESTBED: Testing and Evaluating Sophisticated Information and Communication Technologies for enabling a Smarter Grid (£158692.09 from European Commission)
  • 2017: H2020-TESTBED: Testing and Evaluating Sophisticated Information and Communication Technologies for enabling a Smarter Grid (£20769.23 from European Commission)
  • 2017: Solid Wall Insulation Innovation (£51393.00 from )
  • 2016: Cognitive Network Development for Veicular application based on machine learning (CONDOR) (£68670.58 from Hyundai Motor Company)
  • 2016: Cognitive Network Development for Veicular applications based on machine learning (CONDOR) (£4746.00 from Hyundai Motor Company)
  • 2016: Towards Joint Power-Communication System Modelling and Optimisation for Smart (£101098.80 from Epsrc)
  • 2015: Smarter Grid: Empowering SG Market Actors through information and Communication Technologies (Smarter EMC2) (£298004.47 from European Commission)