Are you eager to contribute to the energy transition from fossil fuels to offshore renewables? And do you have an active interest in how people adopt apps, games, and digital dashboards? Or are you excited to investigate what makes technical employees “tick”? Do you aspire to conduct quantitative research at the interface of marketing, service management, information systems, and psychology? Then we are looking for you to support our research team in the prestigious project HybridLabs: Accelerating Dutch innovations in offshore renewables through data-driven hybrid labs, funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO).
The urgency to transform the energy system in the Netherlands and in Europe is clear, but the targets set to achieve the energy transition are huge. For example, the worldwide installed capacity of offshore wind energy needs a 30-fold increase compared to the current situation. Achieving such targets – in overseeable timeframes – will only be possible if radical innovations are made in the way we develop and deploy offshore renewables: floating wind energy structures. In the project HybridLabs, we aim to accelerate the deployment of offshore renewable technologies for both electricity and hydrogen production, hence addressing the energy transition needs whilst also strengthening the offshore food and ecological transitions. In a large consortium with partners including other education and research institutions, SMEs, foundations, and large businesses, teams of researchers will work on the infrastructure (e.g., testing facilities and simulators), designing and testing innovations (e.g., sensing, control, and design strategies for floating installation techniques), and implementation (e.g., legal, logistic, and societal readiness).
You can contribute to this groundbreaking project in one of the following two PhD positions:
1. PhD Candidate in The Human Factor in Offshore Renewable Energy: The Employee Transition
A particularly pressing problem in the energy transition from fossil fuels to offshore renewables is the low availability of qualified personnel. Although some of these engineers will be trained in educational institutions, many others need to make the transition from fossil industry to renewables. This is not an easy transition, as new jobs require different skills, are typically located in other geographical areas, may have lower wages than fossil energy jobs, and employees may have a strong personal identification with their current organization or sector.
This PhD position contributes to the implementation chapter of HybridLabs and will focus on the overall mental transition of engineers with the aim to identify strategies that help fossil fuel workers to transition mentally to their new jobs in renewable energy. In addition, the project highlights the changed reality regarding the products on which they operate and examines the effects of differences in job design on employees’ work attitudes and behaviors. Finally, the project investigates how smart technology can help employees in their work routines.
You will conduct interviews with engineers to provide an in-depth understanding of the situation and their considerations for employment decisions and job performance. You will also be tapping through surveys attitudes and behaviors of employees in the fossil fuel as well as renewable energy sector to see to what extent they identify with their current organization and what factors would need to change for them to ensure a smooth transition.
2. PhD Candidate in Citizen Involvement in Offshore Renewable Energy Monitoring
For offshore renewables to be successful, they should not only be technically viable but also socially desirable. Citizens are important stakeholders in offshore renewables innovation, because even if individuals decide not to (initially) be a consumer, i.e., use offshore-generated energy, they are faced with the consequences of the deployment of this innovation (e.g., a changing landscape, energy price, etcetera). This PhD project focuses on involving citizens in this innovation through an offshore renewables monitoring dashboard. This online dashboard will be developed and enables sharing of biodiversity monitoring live from the offshore structures in an immersive, multisensory environment and thus allows citizens to participate through sharing their observations about the marine animal species underneath and surrounding the floating structures.
This PhD position contributes to the implementation and knowledge utilisation chapter of HybridLabs and aims to 1) identify design factors that drive citizens to adopt the offshore renewables monitoring dashboard, 2) substantiate the effects of using the offshore renewables monitoring dashboard on citizens’ acceptance of offshore renewables structures and the adoption of energy produced from them, and 3) identify effective strategies to secure continued use (i.e., prevent disadoption) of the monitoring dashboard.
You will conduct interviews with citizens to provide an in-depth understanding of the situation and their considerations for using digital dashboards and renewable energy. You will also be tapping through surveys citizens’ responses to prototypes and simulations of the offshore renewables monitoring dashboard. Different versions of the dashboard will be developed, or simulated, that differ on the factors of interest (e.g., the strategy implemented to secure continuous usage).
Both PhD positions are located in the Innovation Technology & Marketing (ITEM) group (for more info https://www.tue.nl/en/research/research-groups/industrial-engineering/innovation-technology-entrepreneurship-marketing) in the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS) of Eindhoven University of Technology. You will work closely with Dr. Jeroen Schepers, Dr. ir. Ad Kleingeld and/or Prof. dr. Ed Nijssen.
You will benefit from the strong relationships with renewable energy companies and related stakeholders (CrossWind, Campus@Sea, Heerema Engineering Solutions, Rijkswaterstaat, Shell, TKI Wind op Zee, Port of Amsterdam, North Sea Foundation) and research institutions (University of Technology Delft, Wageningen University and Research, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen, University of Twente) of the consortium. The consortium collaborations will help ensure the practical relevance of the research and will help you in data collection.
Anticipated starting date: 1 August 2024
A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.
Curious to hear more about what it’s like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Jeroen Schepers, Associate Professor of Frontline Service and Innovation, email@example.com or +31 40 247 2170.
Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e!
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We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. You can send us your application through the online job portal of the TU/e. We do not accept applications sent by e-mail. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.