An inspirational journey of discovery to China – Dimitrios Tzelepis’ experience as a Lessells Scholar

The RSE Lessells Travel Scholarship enables individuals who are pursuing their PhD or postdoctoral research in any engineering sub-discipline to pursue a research project in any part of the world outside the United Kingdom.

2016 recipient Dimitrios Tzelepis shares his experience and how his visit sparked an ongoing international collaboration.

By Dimitrios Tzelepis
Dr Dimitrios Tzelepis is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the University of Strathclyde and Electrical Engineer. He specialises in power system protection, automation and control, with emphasis given to the challenges associated with high penetration of renewable energy sources.

“I had a great opportunity to evolve and improve my skills to become a better engineer and researcher.”

In 2016, Dr Tzelepiz was a recipient of the RSE’s John Moyes Lessells Travel Scholarship in 2016, enabling him to travel to Tsinghua University in Beijing, where he worked with a group of world-leading experts in the field of power system protection automation and control.

The United Kingdom’s electricity grids are transforming to accommodate the nation’s vision for a decarbonised energy sector, and I am highly motivated to contribute in my own way towards making existing energy systems more accessible and environmentally friendly through my work and research in electrical engineering.

By definition, engineering is the application of mathematics, science, empirical evidence and knowledge into real life applications. Receiving funding from the RSE in 2016 enabled me to travel to Tsinghua University in China where the facilities allowed me to develop, exploit and test novel and advanced protection systems for future distribution and transmission networks.

Tsinghua University’s laboratory facilities and general research strengths in the areas of power system protection, monitoring and fault location, together with expertise in travelling waves has had a lasting impact on my research, and working with globally-recognised experts in the field has enhanced my own professional development.

“Ultimately, I came away from my time at Tsinghua University as a better engineer and researcher and my academic profile has grown internationally thanks to the opportunity to co-author publications with recognised experts in my field.”

Receiving the travel scholarship has also fostered a strong collaborative partnership between the University of Strathclyde and Tsinghua University. Following my visit, the two institutions have since planned a series of joint activities, including co-supervision of PhD students, organising conferences and workshops, participating in joint bids and publication of papers in prestigious journals. This is anticipated to further enhance my professional and academic international profile and accelerate my career progress.

The Royal Society of Edinburgh has been very supportive, and its contributions have been essential for my visit at Tsinghua University. Without the valuable advice and necessary financial resources, my visit would be much smaller in length while the project wouldn’t be so fruitful.


Visit John Moyes Lessells Travel Scholarship for current deadlines and more information about how you can accelerate your career.