Control Group

Cambridge University Department of Engineering

Ian McDonnell

Background - Research - Publications

Position: PhD student

Office Location: BN4-85

E-mail: im316 [at]

Thesis Title:

Supervisor: Dr Glenn Vinnicombe


Ian graduated from the University of Cambridge with a BA and MEng in Engineering in 2012. During his final two years of his degree he specialised in Information and Computer Engineering. In 2012, he returned to Cambridge to begin studying for a PhD in Control Engineering after being awarded the MathWorks Studentship in Engineering.


Ian's main research interest to date has been in the area of power networks. During the final year of his MEng, based on the recent convex relaxation of the optimal power flow (OPF) problem, he developed a distributed optimisation algoirthm of the OPF problem. During his PhD Ian has investigated the dissipated power in high voltage power networks due to stochastic disturbances in power demand. He is currently interested in the stability and controller design of inverter and synchronous generator based microgrids, designed to facilitate the local integration of renewable energy sources. Of particular interest is the global optimisation poperties of particular distributed contollers which provide an optimal trade-off between economic dispatch cost and system resisitve losses.


McDonnell, I. and Vinnicombe, G. (2015). Dissipation in Power Networks due to Stochastic Disturbances. Control of Network Systems, IEEE Trans. on. Under Submission.