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Postdoc: Planning algorithms for market allocations and control

Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past energy supply …

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Science Park, Amsterdam, Noord-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
40 uur
€ 3409 - € 4848 per maand


Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past energy supply was determined by demand and was supplied centrally, nowadays, balancing an increasingly decentralized supply requires a combination of adjusting conventional generation, exploiting efficient storage technologies, and implementing demand response with corresponding incentives thereof. This complex balancing task is currently held by aggregators, such as our project partner Senfal, that urgently need advanced planning and control algorithms to efficiently face this challenge.

The vacant postdoc position contributes to the research, development and experimentation to tackle scientific research questions within the TKI Urban Energy project ‘Flexible Assets Bid Across Markets (FABAM)’, in close cooperation with another dedicated project member performing applied research and development at the partner company Senfal Energie Nederland B.V.. The primary driver is increasing system efficiency by improving planning algorithms, market models, and the interaction between outside commitments, planning and control. The aims of FABAM are to extend the state of the art, arriving at a deployable, modular anytime online planning system, which may be tested and evaluated within Senfal’s existing control portfolio of flexible electrical assets and electricity market trading. The research shall draw on tools and techniques from sequential decision-making under uncertainty (MCTS, POMDPs, learning algorithms), (evolutionary) game theory and market response models.

The successful applicant will contribute to the research group's ambition to develop and mature fundamental principles that find applications in practical intelligent systems. The position is embedded in a diverse team of motivated junior and senior researchers with experience and ongoing complementary projects on topics such as (deep) multi-agent learning, negotiation, smart energy systems, and more. Group alumnis have moved on to excellent positions in academia and industry, making it a cornerstone in their career path.


Applicants are required to have a PhD degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, or in comparable areas, with preference for topics on machine learning (e.g., planning, search, learning). Candidates must be excellent and creative in their programming and should have a clear interest and some experience in planning and control algorithms. Previous exposure to multi-agent systems is a plus. They should be intrigued by the application area of electricity markets, and should be able to cooperate with experts from different disciplines. Candidates are expected to have an excellent command of English, and experience in academic writing and presentation.


The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The gross monthly salary for an employee on a full time basis, depending on relevant work experience, ranges from ca. € 3409 to € 4848. The appointment will be for a period of three years, with the intended starting date of April 1, 2017. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment: www.cwi.nl/terms-of-employment

Additional information

Applications can be sent until 11 February 2018 through the 'Apply' button. All applications should include

  • a motivation letter, explaining the interest in the proposed research fields
  • a detailed CV,
  • names and contact details of at least two referees, and
  • a list of publications, and a link to the PhD thesis, if available.

For residents outside the EER-area, a Toefl English language test might be required.

For more information about the vacancies, please contact
dr. Michael Kaisers
Tel. +31 (0)20 592 4035
Email: Michael.Kaisers@cwi.nl

For more information about CWI, please visit www.cwi.nl or watch our video “A Fundamental Difference” about working at CWI.


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is part of the Institutes Organisation of NWO. The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses. CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam that is presently developing into a major location of research in the natural sciences in The Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam and of the Vrije Universiteit as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.

Research Group “Intelligent and Autonomous Systems (IAS)