PhD Position Market and Institutional Changes to Support the Transformation of Urban Energy Systems
Delft University of Technology Faculty Engineering Systems and Services

PhD Position Market and Institutional Changes to Support the Transformation of Urban Energy Systems



Department/faculty: Engineering Systems and Services (ESS)

Level: University Graduate

Working hours: 36-40 hours weekly

Contract: <empty>

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date

    May 21, 2019


Engineering Systems and Services (ESS)



The Department of Engineering Systems and Services (ESS) operates on the interface where complex systems meet engineering. Energy, mobility, and ICT systems and services are continuously converging. The Department therefore contributes to comprehensive engineering from a systems integration perspective.


ESS analyses, models, and shapes these complex systems, using cutting-edge tools such as Agent-Based Simulation and Modelling, ICT architecting, Choice Behaviour Modelling and cost-benefit analyses. Human behaviour, economics, laws and regulations, and the fact that systems recurrently impact behaviour are all taken into account.ESS truly integrates the social sciences into systems engineering.


The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) encompasses three technical disciplines that underpin the operation of future energy systems. Within EEMCS, the department of Electrical Sustainable Energy specialises in sustainable generation, transmission, distribution, and use of electric energy.






Job description




You will perform a doctoral research project at Delft University of Technology as part of the STEP-UP research consortium, with Imperial College London as lead university and Tsinghua University and Zhejiang University, both members of China's prestigious C9 League of universities, as other partners. The STEP-UP program aims to bring together experts from Netherlands, UK and China in economics, social science and engineering to develop a comprehensive assessment framework to investigate optimal pathways towards an efficient, clean and resilient urban energy system.




Within this program, your tasks are:




1. To investigate market designs in support of optimal development of sustainable urban energy systems. The objective is to incentivize flexible demand to respond optimally to changes in the availability of renewable energy, both locally and nationally, within the capacity limits of the energy networks. You will develop market designs and coordination mechanisms for the various local energy carriers: electricity, heat, (green) gas and (electric) vehicles.




2. To develop an agent-based stochastic simulation model for testing alternative urban energy markets and regulations. The development of this model is expected to constitute the majority of the work in this project.




3. To assess the required institutional changes to support the transition to sustainable urban energy system.




This is a four-year doctoral appointment, which will be jointly supervised by dr. Laurens de Vries of the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management, and dr. Simon Tindemans of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science. The research will be performed in collaboration with our three partners. Their research will focus on ICT-enabled intelligent operation of urban energy infrastructures, the design of urban energy infrastructures and the development of a roadmap for sustainable urban energy transformation that includes the perspectives of the citizens as well as local and national policy. It is envisioned that the project contains a placement of a few months at one of the Chinese partner universities and several joint meetings in the UK and China.






You have a recent Master's Degree in a quantitative discipline and demonstrable affinity with energy economics and/or energy system analysis. You have prior experience with computer modeling and simulation and a good understanding of probability theory and statistics. You are at the top of your class and enjoy performing research. You are independent, self-motivated and eager to learn. You can express yourself clearly in discussions, oral presentations and written material.


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a flexible compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly contribution to work-related costs. A flexible work schedule can be arranged. 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. The 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 for more information.


Information and application


For more information, please contact L.J. (Laurens) de Vries via


To apply please compile the following documents (with the following orders) into a single pdf file named lastname_firstname.pdf:


    Statement of purpose




    The contact list of three references


    Academic transcript of completed courses (Bachelor and Master).


Incomplete submissions will not be considered.


Applications should be submitted to, referring to vacancy number ATTBM 19.007 in the subject of the email.


Application deadline is 20 May 2019 (end of day).



Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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