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  3. PhD position: Brain4Buildings: User-centric interfaces and feedback

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PhD position: Brain4Buildings: User-centric interfaces and feedback

This position is one of the four 4-year PhD positions offered within the Department of the Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology. These …

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de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


This position is one of the four 4-year PhD positions offered within the Department of the Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology. These positions are part of the national 'Brains4Building' project awarded within the MOOI call for Mission-driven Research, Development, and Innovation. The funding for this work is provided by the RVO Netherlands Enterprise Agency. In this work, you will actively participate with several other companies and universities in the Netherlands within a large-size project.

The B4B project adds operational intelligence to buildings in order to achieve a transition towards energy-efficient and -flexible buildings (see Dutch climate agreement). Buildings need brains in order to adapt and react to occupant behaviour, and enable self-diagnosis and self-optimisation. The ambition of this project is to develop scalable and modular solutions that realise 20-30% cost reduction. B4B hereby aims at the development of control and management systems for utility buildings, as well as the testing and execution of open source prototypes (living labs, use cases).

In this position, you will be working on the topic: User-centric interfaces and feedback.
The final users of buildings and buildings' systems are not fully taken into account in the design of control systems, which are often developed from a technology driven perspective. In the design of systems, participatory design can be used to consider the preferences and actual needs of users. However, the actual and dynamic requirements and preferences of the users are not yet fully considered in the systems.

Furthermore, energy, health and wellbeing aspects are invisible and therefore difficult to understand for users. Feedback should be tangible for people so they are able to understand the consequences of their actions. This also is applicable to the interaction between energy, comfort and wellbeing and productivity.

Your role in this project will be

  • to develop data-driven methods to visualize smart buildings performance;
  • to develop data-driven occupancy models for their integration in grey and black box models for fault detection and diagnosis systems;
  • to contribute to the development of ML algorithms to predict building performance.

Your work will be applied in the development and redesign of existing interfaces with industry partners, that will be tested in living labs.


Applicants are required to hold a MSc degree in engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, industrial or similar), data sciences with affinity with ML, and/or computer science.

The preferred candidate will meet as many of the following requirements as possible:

  • ave interest on building physics and/or human-technology interaction or user-centric design; previous experience in these topics is a plus.
  • Experience with diverse data handling techniques (e.g.: SQL, graphDB, Neo4J,
    MongoDB, …)
  • Experience or interest in working with Artificial Intelligence and applying it to smart buildings research;
  • Proven programming skills.
  • Knowledge of machine learning techniques is a plus.
  • Ability to function within a large project team, including industry
  • Fluent English skills, both written and spoken; advance Dutch skills are a plus because we will also conduct interviews with Dutch users. A minimum grade of an independent language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS) for all candidates who hold a MSc degree from another program than the TU/e. IELTS: Overall grade 7.0 with a minimum sub score of 7.0 for both speaking and writing. TOEFL: Overall band score of at least 90 and a minimum score of 21 for each section. TU/e only accepts the TOEFL internet-based test.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called '30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
Professor Olivia Guerra-Santin, o.guerra.santin[at]tue.nl

For information about terms of employment, click click here or contact HRServices.be@tue.nl.

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:
  • Cover letter (2 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest and an explanation of why you meet the job requirements (see above).
  • Detailed Curriculum vitae, including the contact details of two references (e-mail, phone number).
  • Brief description and copy of your MSc thesis.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it, Screening will continue until the position has been filled.

We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way. Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.