PhD Programmes

  • PhD Programme in Energy and Process Control

    General Information

    Number of places: 30

    Languages: Spanish

    • Fernando Briz del Blanco


    • Fernando Briz del Blanco
    • Marcos Alonso Álvarez
    • Ignacio Álvarez García
    • Manuel Arrebola Baena
    • Manés Fernández Cabanas
    • Jorge Luis Parrondo
    • Manuela Prieto González
    • Eduardo Blanco Marigorta

    PhD Programme in Energy and Process Control of the University of Oviedo

    This PhD Programme aims at educating Doctors in the field of generation, transportation, transformation, management and usage of energy, both from traditional sources of energy and from renewable source, as well as in the field of process control, including aspects related to the instrumentation, supervision and communications. The goal is that the new Doctors of this Programme receive an advanced formation in some of the research methodologies and activities that are characteristic of the field of energy and process control, through the composition of a PhD Thesis focused on its diverse scientific-technological facets.

    Some of the other competences expected from the students include the conception, design, start and completion of a substantial process of research with rigor and scientific method, and that they are able to contribute with an original research that expands the limits of knowledge and which is worthy of being published in a journal of international reference.

    The PhD Programme in Energy and Process Control is the result of the integration of two PhD Programmes currently offered by the University of Oviedo: Process Control, Industrial Electronics and Electrical Engineering (MEES2011-0138) and Energy Engineering (MEES2011-0746). Both have been awarded with the Mention of Excellence by the Ministry of Education for the period comprised between 2011 and 2014.

    Related Documents

    Access and Admission

    Access Profile:

    The Programme is mainly aimed at Graduates in Engineering or Applied Sciences who have completed a Master's Degree with a technological profile in any of the fields covered by the Programme, such as the following Master's Degree offered by the University of Oviedo: Erasmus Mundus in Sustainable Transportation and Electrical Power Systems; Energy Engineering; Conversion of Electrical Engineering and Power Systems; Automatization Engineering and Industrial Computer Science; Information Technologies and Communications in Mobile Networks (TICRM) or Erasmus Mundus in Mecatronics and Micromechanical Systems.

    The PhD Programme also admits candidates who have completed other Master's Degrees as long as they have an Undergraduate Degree in the fields of Industrial, Civil, Chemical, Material, Mining or Telecommunication Engineering. In this case, the aforementioned Master's Degrees will be used as the guideline for admission, and the Academic Committee may request that the candidate takes formative complements. As a general rule, these formative complements will be made up by subjects taken from the aforementioned Master's Degrees, up to a maximum of 18 ECTS credits.

    Criteria for Admissions:

    The criteria for selection used will be the following:

    • In general terms, the PhD Programme will give preference to applicants whose past formation aligns with the access profile over those who need formative complements. Nevertheless, this criterion should not be taken as a strict form of exclusion, since there may be the case that an applicant with a different profile from the recommended one but who has an excellent academic record may be chosen over one that does adjust to the profile of the Programme, but who has a less brilliant academic record.
    • In the case of students of an Undergraduate Degree that follows similar lines to the recommended profile, the Programme will take into account their academic record during the selection process. Nevertheless, given the different origins of the students, the Programme will also bear in mind their the criteria for certification of the available grades.
    • The Programme will positively value the applicant's professional and researcher experience, especially that related to the areas of specialization of the PhD Programme.
    • Certification that proves a sufficient knowledge of the English Language will be positively valued.
    • Candidates may be requested a personal interview, in person or online, with a member of the Academic Committee of the PhD Programme, who will assess aspects such as the candidate's interest in the Programme and the knowledge and skills that are not shown on their academic record. During the interview, the candidate's level of spoken English may also be evaluated, regardless of the certificate that they might have presented.

    The average points of each canditate will be tallied with the following criteria:

    1. Criterion (in a 0-10 scale)
    2. Undergraduate Academic Record: 0.25
    3. Master's Academic Record: 0.3
    4. English: 0.1
    5. Other formative aspects: 0.1
    6. Other skills: 0.25

    In the case of the points given to the academic records of the Undergraduate and Master's Degrees, their average grade will be multiplied with the corresponding value assigned. For Master's Degree, the assigned value will be of 0.3 points if the Master's Degree fits the access profile of the research line requested. Should this not be the case, the Academic Committee of the Programme will consider its relevance in a justified way. Should the candidate have completed more than one Master's Degree, the one that adequates the most to the research line requested will be used. If there were additional Master's Degrees, they would be included in the section of Other formative aspects. This last section may also include other courses completed by the candidate, stays in centers of relevance for the research, etc.

    In terms of the assessment of the level of English, the candidate will be awarded the maximum score if they certify a B2 level. The Academic Committee will evaluate and assign a score to this section based on both the certificates provided and the personal interview.

    The section of Other skills will include those aspects that are considered to be relevant in the formation and past experience of the candidate and which are not directly reflected in the previous sections, for example, references that may be given by lecturers from the Master's Degree, their professional experience or other types of participation in topics related to the proposed line of research, etc.

    In order to be granted admission, the applicants must score at least 5 points, following the aforementioned criteria.

    Complementary Formation:

    In general terms, during the process of admission, the formative profiles of the candidates will be assessed and the Academic Committee may request them to take formative complements in the line of research chosen in order to access the PhD Programme. Generally speaking, these formative complements will be make up by subjects taken from Master's Degrees, up to 18 ECTS credits, detailed as follows:

    • Electronic power circuits (3 ECTS)
    • Control of electromechanical systems (3 ECTS)
    • Introduction to power systems of renewable energies, electrical traction and energy efficiency (3 ECTS)
    • Experimental techniques in Thermal and Fluid Engineering (4.5 ECTS)
    • Numerical techniques in Thermal and Fluid Engineering (4.5 ECTS)
    • Management and exploitation of electrical systems (4.5 ECTS)
    • Distribution installations and consumption of electrical energy (3 ECTS)
    • Electrical machines for generation and traction (3 ECTS)
    • Analysis and implementation of automatization systems (9 ECTS)
    • Digital processing of signals and communications (3 ECTS)
    • Industrial computer systems (6 ECTS)
    • Generic and specific topics in scientific research (3 ECTS)
    • Projects and methods of R&D&i (3 ECTS)
    • Generic and specific aspects of Scientific Research (3 ECTS)
    • Initiation to research (4 ECTS)

    Formative Activities


    • Cross-curricular Formation
      Total Amount of Hours: 60

      Description of the Activity: This activity aims at working on the basic competences and working on the general capacities and skills of the PhD students.

      It is composed of seminars and the PhD Conferences. The Seminars will approach, among other topics, contents related to the dissemination and communication of research or the quality entry in the working world as specific formation in the topics related with more than one field of research. The PhD Conferences combine conferences, panels and participative sessions, as well as the showcase of "posters" that explain the contents of the theses and the advances of the research that is being conducted by the PhD Students.

      A detailed annual scheduled will be composed and made available at the website of the International Center for Postgraduate Studies (

      The goal is that the PhD students acquire, among others, the following learning results:

      • Searching for scientific information online.
      • Creating, presenting and publishing scientific information.
      • Creating and presenting a patent.
      • Knowing the basic principles of enterprise creation and self-employment.
      • Exchanging knowledge between PhD students.
      • Disseminating their research activity among the enterprises and the whole of the Asturian society.
      • Finding professional alternatives to the development of their university research career.
      • Highlighting their role as innovator to the enterprise.

      This activity is compulsory for all the PhD students of the University of Oviedo, who have to attend for a minimum of 60 hours during their formative period.

      Teaching languages will be Spanish and/or English.

      Monitoring Procedures: An individualized control of attendance will be performed. When deemed necessary, the performance of the PhD student in these activities will be assessed with an essay or project whose precise specifications will be given to them by the people in charge of said formative activity.

      All these controls are part of the document of activities of the PhD student (DAD), which will be regularly revised by the Tutor and the Director of the Thesis, and evaluated by the Academic Committee in charge of the Programme.

      Mobility Actions: Not applicable

    • Stays and participative activities
      Total Amount of Hours: 60

      Description of the Activity: The main objective of this activity is to strenghten the CB15 and CB16 competences.

      Staying for more than three months at a research center that is relevant to the research is considered as an activity with an enormous importance in the process of formation of the PhD candidate, and therefore it is highly recommended that all students partake in one. Nevertheless, the need to finance it may prevent the students developing this activity. Therefore, as an alternative to stays, the candidate may become involved with other participative activities.

      During the composition of their PhD Thesis, the student will have to complete at least three of the following actions.

      Stays that are longer than three months in relevant centers of research. Priority will be given to stays abroad, especially when their are geared towards the European PhD. Nevertheless, the PhD Committee may accept national centers to fulfill this requirement, as long as it is properly justified. Although it is not considered compulsory, full-time candidates should complete a stay during their second year of formation, so that they may have already started their research and, at the same time, that they have enough time left to apply the new knowledge into their research in the future. Part-time students will be encouraged to make their stays during the vacational periods between their other activities, preferably between the second and fourth year of the Programme.

      PhD students who have a grant or contract that contemplates this type of activities (e.g. FPI/FPU grants), it will be compulsory that they make a stay at least once their formation.

      Should the candidate lack any specific financial aid for this type of activity, they may opt to replace it with an alternative. Said activities will consist of the presentation by the candidate of the results of their research in specialized forums, in a different place than the University of Oviedo. These activities include conferences (either with oral presentations or posters), congresses, symposia, technical meetings, etc. that are relevant to the PhD Thesis.

      Part-time students (who belong to an enterprise or who develop their research as part of a research project in an enterprise) may also exchange staying abroad with their participation in committees, technical meetings, etc. of a professional nature.

      Full-time students should make these presentations during their second or third year into the Programme. Part-time students should make these presentations between their third and fifth year into the Programme.

      It is evident that the number of hours needed to complete this activity is substantially higher if the student chooses the first option instead of the second one. The number of minimum hours specified corresponds to, therefore, the second option. The time has been calculated as the time needed to prepare and defend an oral presentation in a conference.

      Monitoring procedure: Once the activity has been completed, the candidate will send to the Academic Committee of the Programme the corresponding documentation (information of the say, certificates of attendance to a congress, presentations, posters, etc.). The Academic Committee of the PhD Programme, or its delegate the Monitoring Committee, will notify the candidate on the result of the assessment of the activity as part of the document of activities of the PhD student (DAD).

      PhD students whose grant or contract include financial aid for mobility will be required to attend at least once this type of activity. Only if the grant is denied the student will be able to exchange this activity for one of the activities specified in option 2) of the previous section. In this case, the candidate will send to the Academic Committe of the PhD Programme both the application form and the answer with the denial.

      Before starting the activity, candidates and their tutors should check with the Academic Committee that the activity meets the requirements of the Programme.

      Mobility Actions: In general terms, candidates will be required to travel to complete this activity. The funding needed may come from both specific financial aid for mobility of the researcher staff by public entities or the University itself, or from the research group itself in which the student is embedded. As mentioned before, candidates whose grants or contracts include a specific aid for mobility will have to stay at a research center at least once during their formation.

      Part-time candidates from enterprises, especially when they choose to present the results of their research in technical or professional forums, are encouraged to seek funding from the enterprise or organization to which they belong to conduct this activity.

    • Dissemination of results: Publications
      Total Amount of Hours: 80

      Description of the Activity: A key aspect of the development of the research activity is that of dissemination of the results, through the publication in indexed journals or congresses that are relevant to the topic of the thesis. The preparation of scientific-technical publications for journals or congresses on the results of their research is a way for the candidate to put into practice their capacity to organize and summarize the information that they want to communicate, apart from framing it in the latest scientific literature. Therefore, the publication of the results in journals and congresses is considered a fundamental formative activity for the development of the CB15 and CB16 competences, apart from a marker of the quality of the work done.

      Before the defense of the Thesis (second or third year for full-time students, between the third and fifth year for part-time students), the candidate will have to compulsory meet one of the following requirements:

      • Have prepared and sent for correction a contribution to an journal indexed by the Journal Citation Reports or the equivalent catalog for each speciality.
      • Have prepared and sent for correction two publications in international conferences that are relevant to their field of research.
      • Exceptionally, if the nature of the Thesis should impose criteria of confidentiality, restrictions to its publication, as it may be in the case of collaborations with enterprises, a third case is considered as an alternative.
      • A patent or product with intellectual property registry. This includes Patents in exploitation or those that have passed an examination by the Board of Patents. Patents with licensing contracts. Applications for national and international patents that have passed any step in the procedure that can be considered as a marker of quality. Products registered as intellectual property (artistic works, technical works, computer applications, etc.)

      Contributions in this section may only be counted once. If two or more candidates are co-authors of the work, this may only be counted for one of them, or, alternatively, be shared in the estipulated ways. Thus, for students who share publications for the first and third cases of this section, the sum of their participation must be at least 1 point, while for those who opt for the second alternative, their contribution must be of at least 2 points. The Academic Committee of the PhD Programme will be notified of the way in which their contributions must be tallied.

      Part-time candidates have the same requirements in terms of hours as full-time candidates, but spread throughout the duration of their Thesis.

      Monitoring procedure: The Academic Committee, or its delegate the Monitoring Committee, before the defense of the PhD Thesis, will certify that the student meets at least one of the aforementioned requirements, which will have to be included in the DAD. If a publication for a journal or international conference has not been approved yet by the corresponding editorial or scientific committees, the Academic Committee (or by delegation, the Monitoring Committee) will check that the corresponding publications in journals meet the usual criteria from the latest specialized literature (precedents), organization and summary of the information, and originality and reach of the contributions.

      Mobility Actions: Not applicable.

    Lines of Research


    • Fernando Briz del Blanco