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Professor Hongjian Sun



AffiliationRoom numberTelephone
Professor in the Department of EngineeringE378 (Higginson)+44 (0) 191 33 42478
Member of the Centre for Communications Systems  
Fellow in the Durham Energy Institute +44 (0) 191 33 42478


Professor 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 Professor (Chair) since July 2020, Associate Professor (Reader) in 2017-2020, and Assistant Professor in 2013-2017. He is a Chartered Engineer, a Fellow of Durham Energy Institute, and a Fellow of Higher Education Academy.

There are a couple of PhD vacancies in his research group, please make contact to know more information.

Professor 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.

Professor 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

Prof. Sun's research mainly focuses on: (i) smart grid communications, (ii) demand side management and demand response, and (iii) renewable energy sources integration. He has an established track record of publishing high quality scientific articles: He has published over 150 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.

Prof. 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".

Prof. Sun is currently supervising (or line managing) over 10 Postdoc Research Associate and PhD students. 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 interests

  • Smart Grid and Smart Energy
  • Demand Side Management and Demand Response
  • Virtual Power Plant and Energy hub
  • Internet of Things and e-Health
  • Electric Vehicle Charging Infrastructure and Management

Research groups

Awarded Grants

  • 2020: EU H2020 MSCA-RISE TESTBED2 Project: "Testing and Evaluating Sophisticated information and communication Technologies for enaBling scalablE smart griD Deployment
  • 2020: Testing Voltage Levels In Legacy Appliances(£34569.00 from )
  • 2019: DecarboN8(£26954.00 from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council)
  • 2019: Ubiquitous Storage Empowering Response (USER) - phase 2(£144237.97 from )
  • 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: 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)

Esteem Indicators

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


Chapter in book

Conference Paper

Edited book

  • Sun, Hongjian, Wang, Chao & Ahmad, Bashar (2016). From Internet of Things to Smart Cities: Enabling Technologies. Chapman & Hall/CRC Computer and Information Science Series. Chapman and Hall/CRC.

Edited Journal

Journal Article

Other (Print)

Supervision students