About the Sustainable Power and Energy Lab

The Sustainable Power and Energy Lab (SPEL) at the University of Connecticut (UConn), directed by Dr. Zongjie Wang, is a power system research laboratory with a focus on power system non-linear optimization, grid planning and operation, and grid resilience. Our goal extends beyond the confines of traditional research; we are committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and dynamic educational environment that mirrors the interdisciplinary nature of our work. By integrating computer science, economics, and mathematics, SPEL aims to solve the complex interplay between power systems’ physical domain and the intricacies of electricity markets and promote innovations that enhance grid reliability and resiliency for both transmission and distribution systems.

In light of our dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI), and to strengthen the bridge between academic research and industry practices, SPEL warmly encourages applications from prospective MS/PhD students, especially those from backgrounds traditionally underrepresented in electrical engineering, including women and individuals from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds.

SPEL is also actively seeking multiple post-doctoral positions for the most recent $4.5 million OPTIMA award that Dr. Wang received from the Department of Energy as Lead Principal Investigator on 3/19/2024. Please check the details about our TRANSFORMATIVE project on UConn Today news published on 3/21/2024.

Applicants with a strong interest and profound expertise in power systems optimization, grid resilience, or operations research are encouraged to join our quest for sustainable energy solutions by applying through UConn's Electrical and Computer Engineering program. SPEL is particularly interested in candidates who have recently completed their M.Sc. or outstanding B.Sc. graduates looking to delve deeper into this critical field.  As part of SPEL, students will not only engage in cutting-edge research, but also benefit from targeted educational and training opportunities through our collaboration with the Eversource Energy Center. This unique partnership underscores our commitment to preparing our graduates for impactful careers in both academia and industry and equipped with a comprehensive understanding of DEI principles and the skills necessary for leadership in the evolving landscape of power systems and energy markets.

Research Focus

  • Modern power systems planning and operation
  • Grid resilience with high penetration level of variable renewable energy integration
  • Electricity markets


  • Nonlinear power system optimization and multi-period simulation techniques
  • Coordinated transmission and distribution system optimization
  • Data analytics for power transmission and distribution networks


  • Prof. Zongjie Wang Awarded $4.5M DOE Grant to Benefit Grid Reliability for Transmission and Distribution Systems March 21, 2024
    On March 19, the Department of Energy awarded Lead Principal Investigator, Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center and Assistant Professor of Electrical Engineering Zongjie Wang with a $4.5 million grant ($3,340,168 DOE and $1,127,191 awardee costs share) to pursue this groundbreaking initiative, which focuses on developing a new “TRANSFORMATIVE” tool that will make significant […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • Prof. Zongjie Wang is Appointed as Associate Director of the Eversource Energy Center March 19, 2024
    Prof. Zongjie Wang will be joining the Eversource Energy Center’s leadership team as Associate Director for DEI and Workforce Training to lead diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives as well as industry workforce training and development. Dr. Zongjie Wang is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has a joint appointment […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • Three Accepted Papers at the 2024 PESGM! See you at Seattle!! January 20, 2024
    We are delighted to share that SPEL will be at the 2024 Power & Energy Society General Meeting (2024 PESGM) in Seattle, WA. Our articles “Reduced-order Decomposition and Coordination approach for Markov-based Stochastic UC with Distributed Wind Farms and BESS”, “Optimizing Grid Resilience: A Capacity Reserve Market for High Impact Low Probability Events”, and “DER […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • SPEL’s New Journal on “Journal of Cleaner Production” (IF: 11.07) November 23, 2023
    “How can we future-proof our energy communities against climate challenges while advancing towards zero-carbon goals?” I am excited to share our SPEL’s latest research published in the “Journal of Cleaner Production” (Q1, Impact Factor: 11.07), supported by the Eversource Energy Project. Our paper, “Enhancing the Resilience of Zero-Carbon Energy Communities,” presents an innovative optimization framework […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • SPEL’s New Journal on “IEEE Access” (IF: 3.9) September 30, 2023
    Facing a landscape where renewable energy sources are increasingly vital, SPEL’s latest article provides a comprehensive review of AC optimal power flow formulations including objectives, controls, and network operational constraints in power systems with renewable energy integration. It tackles the significant challenges posed by the variability of renewable energies, such as wind and solar, and […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • New Journal on “IEEE Transactions on Power Systems” (IF: 7.3) July 23, 2023
    I am excited to share our latest research published in the Q1 top journal “IEEE Transactions on Power Systems” (Q1, Impact Factor: 7.326). Our paper, “An Open Source Representation for the NYS Electric Grid to Support Power Grid and Market Transition Studies,” presents an overview of the current New York State grid and develops an […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • Two Accepted Papers at the 2023 PESGM! March 1, 2023
    We are delighted to share that SPEL will be at the 2023 Power & Energy Society General Meeting (2023 PESGM). Our articles “A Pathway to Reduce Climate Change Impacts on Energy Communities: Decarbonization-Based Cost-Effective Grid Resilience Enhancement” and “Navigating the Penetration Level of Distributed Energy in Microgrids: A Quest for Enhancing Short-Term Power Grid Resilience,” […]
    Wang, Zongjie
  • Know More about Prof. Wang in the Career Champion Spotlight November 29, 2022
    Prof. Wang has been acknowledged as one of UConn’s Career Champions by the Center for Career Development. Check the full interview in the link below to get insight into Prof. Wang’s thoughts about helping her students succeed in their careers! Career Champion Spotlight: Zongjie Wang – UConn Center for Career Development
    Dorado Rojas, Sergio
  • SPEL’s paper @ Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews (IF:16.8) November 29, 2022
    SPEL is delighted to share this grid resilience review paper entitled “Trends in modern power systems resilience: State-of-the-art review,” recently published in the top Q1 journal “Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews,” with an impact factor of 16.8. The article presents a comprehensive review of power system resilience under different resilient metrics. The definitions of resilience, […]
    Wang, Zongjie