UCL Energy Institute


Jonathan Bourne

Thesis title: Understanding the vulnerability of power-grids to cascading failures using complex-network analysis

Jonno Bourne PhD: height map graph

Primary supervisor: Elsa Arcuate
Secondary supervisor: Adian O'Sullivan

Sponsorship: EPRSC award 1828879

Start date: January 2017
Completion date: January 2021

This PhD explores cascading failures in the power-grid using complex network analysis. Within the PhD, a model simulating for cascading failures is developed. This model is used to challenge certain common assumptions in the field. A framework for analysing the robustness of complex networks is developed and used to compare relative robustness for networks with different loading parameters and topologies. 

With the knowledge gained from the simulation model and robustness framework, the threat posed by a cyber-physical attack on the UK power grid is analysed and defensive measures proposed.

Jonno Bourne PhD: Strained Relationship graph


Jonathan Bourne graduated from Manchester University in 2007 with an MEng in Mechanical Engineering. He then worked for 8 years in the Norwegian energy sector, in both oil and renewables. In 2015 he moved to the UK to study for an MSc in Business Analytics at UCL. In between finishing his MSc and starting his PhD he worked for the Financial Conduct Authority as a Data Scientist