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PhD Advanced Control Future-proof district heating

The future supply of heating and cooling to the built environment will rely on renewable sources such as geothermal sources, aquathermia, data centres or …

2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
32 - 38 uur
€ 2325 - € 2972 per maand


The future supply of heating and cooling to the built environment will rely on renewable sources such as geothermal sources, aquathermia, data centres or other medium temperature heat sources in order to significantly reduce the CO2 emission of the built environment. These sources are limited in temperature and capacity compared to traditional gas-fired boilers. Therefore, the demand-supply matching requires a new generation of advanced control strategies that can be used by practitioners both in the design phase of future-proof heating/cooling systems, as well as in the operational phase of these systems.

In this exciting project, we will investigate and develop the next generation control strategies that can meet the (sometimes conflicting) goals of the district heating/cooling stakeholders. Key requirements of the next generation control strategies include scalability to practical network size, ability to account for certain physical parameters like the thermal inertia of the buildings and a proper balance between centralised and distributed control. Both agent-based and model-predictive control strategies have interesting properties, but also limitations. The successful PhD candidate will get a unique opportunity to develop the cutting edge of control systems for future-proof and sustainable district heating/cooling networks.

This PhD project is co-funded by the Ministery of Economic Affairs and Climate and a large group of stakeholders that collaborate in the R&D programme WarmingUP. This collaboration ensures short communication lines with applied R&D institutes Deltares and TNO and with district heating companies such that our scientific progress will have a "short time to market".

For more information on WarmingUP see: WarmingUP news item


We are looking for an excellent PhD candidate with a strong background in systems and control, preferably with application to large-scale systems or networks. As a PhD candidate you are expected to develop a science-based approach in close collaboration with experienced staff from P&E and DCSC. You will identify relevant sub questions and supervise MSc students. You will communicate intermediate results to a group of stakeholders and the international scientific community.

To apply, you should have the following qualifications:
• MSc in mechanical engineering, electrical engineering or a related area, with a strong background in Systems and Control.
• Experience in the field of network analysis, model reduction uncertainty analysis or building physics.
• Intrinsic motivation for research.
• Ease with teamwork in a multidisciplinary environment.
• Proficiency in English and excellent communication skills.

Proficiency in Dutch is recommended.


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Ivo Pothof, Associate Professor, email: i.w.m.pothof@tudelft.nl, tel: +31 6 2288 3518. Please do not send applications to this mail.
For information about the selection procedure, you can contact Hilma Bleeker, HR advisor, email: application-3mE@tudelft.nl.

To apply for this position, please send the following documents, combined in one pdf, to application-3mE@tudelft.nl referring to vacancy 3mE20-36:
• a one-page motivation that is specific to this vacancy
• a detailed CV
• contact details of 2 or 3 referees