Industry-funded PhD position in Electricity Markets and Energy Trading (V36.2928)

Industry-funded PhD position in Electricity Markets and Energy Trading

Department of Electrical Engineering
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Job description

Scholt Energy Control (SEC) B.V. in collaboration with the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e), Eindhoven, the Netherlands, is funding an industrial PhD position in the area of electricity markets with a focus on the development of bidding strategies for energy suppliers. The aim of the PhD research is to develop decision support tools based on techniques from large-scale optimization as well as machine learning, in order to improve the trading of an energy supplier in multiple electricity markets. The doctoral research will be conducted within the Electrical Energy Systems (EES) group of the Department of Electrical Engineering at Eindhoven University of Technology in close collaboration with SEC B.V. The expected starting date of the PhD project is September 2017.

Eindhoven University of Technology and Electrical Energy Systems Group
Eindhoven University of Technology ( is a world-leading research university specializing in engineering science and technology. The Department of Electrical Engineering is responsible for research and education in Electrical Engineering. The TU/e is the world’s best-performing research university in terms of research cooperation with industry (#1 since 2009).

The mission of the EES group is to make societal advances through education and research that improves electrical infrastructure and develops sustainable technologies needed for the supply and efficient use of electrical energy as part of sustainable, renewable energy systems. The group EES contributes to the area of electric energy supply and use, through three main research areas: Intelligent Power Grids (Smart Grids), Pulsed Power Technology, Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC).  The group size is around 75 full-time and part-time staff members (professors, associate professors, assistant professors, post docs, PhDs, guests and technical support). The group offers 15 BSc and MSc courses and supervises Bachelor EE and Master EE (Electrical Engineering) and SET (Sustainable Energy Technology) graduation projects.

Scholt Energy Control B.V.
SEC ( is a Dutch energy supplier that is currently operating in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. Having a business-to-business focus, its portfolio primarily comprises industrial, commercial and other energy-intensive companies. Along with serving such large energy users, SEC also provides market access to renewable electricity producers. Over and above, SEC acts as a Balance Responsible Party (BRP) for the majority of its customers, both on the demand and supply side.

SEC actively seeks to stay ahead in current and future developments in the international energy markets and is among the 250 fastest growing companies in The Netherlands.

Project description
Energy suppliers are responsible for providing energy to their customers at competitive prices. For this reason, energy suppliers participate in various markets and strive to optimally manage their resource portfolio, aiming to achieve maximum profit at a minimum cost for their customers. A supplier portfolio may comprise sustainable energy production units, flexible demand, and energy storage resources. Decision support tools are required in order to improve trading in the various market floors that operatein different geographic regions and at different time scales, i.e., day-ahead, intra-day and imbalance markets. Such tools should satisfy several requirements including the capability of maximizing profit and hedging risk in the face of a number of uncertainty factors, as well as computational tractability. 

Within the scope of this PhD project, an integrated decision support methodology which considers the participation of an energy supplier in electricity markets while actively managing its resource portfolio will be developed. The possibility of complementing large-scale optimization (e.g., decomposition techniques, distributed optimization) with machine learning will be explored. Particular attention will be devoted to addressing the uncertainty associated with the electricity market prices and the generation/demand in the portfolio, by devising uncertainty-aware bidding strategies and quantifying the risk embedded in the proposed decisions. 

The selected candidate is expected to actively contribute to research in the designated field and communicate the results in terms of participating in international conferences and publishing in top-ranked journals. In addition to that, a working software prototype to be deployed by SEC in its electricity market operations is expected to be developed within the PhD project.

Job requirements

Applicants are expected to demonstrate skills and competencies that will allow for a successful integration both in the academic and industrial research environment. The successful applicant should have:

  • An MSc degree, or equivalent, in Electrical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, or another closely related field, completed by the starting date of the PhD project.
  • Background in optimization & modeling techniques, game theory, and/or machine learning. Basic knowledge of trading, electricity markets and power system operations is considered a plus.
  • Strong programming skills. Experience in Python and/or GAMS is appreciated.
  • Excellent command of the English language.
  • A genuine interest in the subject, self-motivation and aptitude for independent work.

Conditions of employment

The following conditions of employment apply to this position:

  • A challenging research job in a leading university and an innovative and ambitious company;
  • Full-time temporary employment of 4 years;
  • In addition to monthly salary a holiday allowance of 8% and end-of-year bonus of up to 8,3%;
  • Fringe benefits (e.g. travel budget for visiting conferences)

Information and application



If interested, please use the button "apply now" at the top of  this page.The application should be written in English and comprise the following items:

  • Cover letter including information on applicant’s availability with respect to the starting date of the project.
  • Detailed CV.
  • Full contact details of at least two references.
  • Attested copies and transcripts of completed education and other certificates (e.g., MSc degree course list, TOEFL/IELTS test results).
  • Up to two selected publications (e.g., MSc thesis, conference/journal papers) in English. 

The required documentation should be submitted in separate, clearly named PDF files and attached as a single archive named “”.

Please keep in mind; you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each.