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Working at TU/e

PhD - Modeling and optimization of buildings in local energy communities

PhD - Modeling and optimization of buildings in local energy communities

Are you our next PhD student and eager to develop a virtual test environment that can be used to investigate and optimize the performance of buildings in layered local energy communities? This PhD research is part of a larger project with multiple partners from industry and academia.
Built Environment
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Job description

This PhD research is part of the TROEF project (‘Transparant Reduceren van CO2 en Optimaliseren van energie in een Ecosysteem van Flexibiliteit’). The goal of the TROEF project is to develop a novel layered energy-ecosystem, including the required systems, tools and business models, in order to optimize the energy exchange between buildings in local energy communities and to minimize CO2 emissions.

The goal of this PhD research is to develop a virtual test environment that can be used to investigate and optimize the performance of buildings in a local energy community. The test environment will be used to assess the potential (value) of a local energy community and the potential of coupling multiple local energy communities. Moreover, it will be used to develop and optimize new operational strategies for local energy communities on building level, community level and on the level of coupled communities.

The virtual test environment is envisioned to follow a bottom-up modeling approach, i.e., invidual buildings are modeled including their energy systems and energy flexibility sources. The influence of occupant behavior on building level and community level will be taken into account in the models. The test environment will be based on a co-simulation approach between the developed building energy models and electricity grid models.
The complex interactions between buildings that exchange/share electricity at community level requires new modeling methodologies, in which it is crucial to understand the appropriate modeling complexity on building level, building energy system level and community level.

The research will be embedded in the Building Performance (BP) research group of the Department of the Built Environment ( This research project will be executed in close collaboration with the Department of Electrical Engineering. A PhD candidate at Electrical Engineering will start in parallel with this project.

As mentioned above, this PhD research is part of the TROEF project with multiple partners from industry and academia. You will actively participate with these partners throughout the project.

Job requirements

We are looking for excellent and highly motivated candidates with an MSc degree in Architectural Engineering, Building Science, Building, Civil, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent. Interest in physical processes (heat, air and moisture transfer) in the built environment, sustainable energy technologies and experience in computational building performance simulation is essential.

We offer a stimulating and ambitious research environment. To complement this environment and for the specific projects mentioned above, we are looking for outstanding candidates that meet the following requirements:

  • You are highly motivated, talented and enthusiastic.
  • You have a relevant MSc degree as indicated above. - You have an independent and well-structured working style.
  • You are interested in supervising master student.
  • You have strong communication skills and the attitude to participate successfully in a multidisciplinary team.
  • Professional working proficiency in English. A minimum grade of an independent language test is required (TOEFL or IELTS) for all non-native English-speaking 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.

Conditions of employment

  • 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.

Information and application

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact
dr. ir. Pieter-Jan Hoes, p.hoes[at]

Information about the employment conditions can be found here.

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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.
  • Copy (or a most recent draft version) of your MSc thesis.
  • Transcripts of academic records indicating courses taken, including grades,
  • Contact details of two references (e-mail, phone number).

We look forward to 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.

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