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Summary form only given. This paper employs the trajectory sensitivity analysis (TSA) technique for optimal placement of flexible AC transmission systems (FACTS) devices that can be used as online controllers to improve the transient stability of multi-machine power systems. The impact of non-optimal placement of a controller has also been considered and discussed. In this study, we have used the static synchronous compensator (STATCOM) as the FACTS device. The STATCOM is modelled as a voltage source connected to the system through a transformer. The system studied is the WSCC 3-machine, 9-bus system. The reported results have been validated through simulations using power system analysis toolbox (PSAT). The results show that one line can be selected to place STATCOM as an optimal location to improve transient stability of power system.