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PDEng trainee – Energy flexibility from buildings by using comfort strategies

PDEng trainee Energy flexibility from buildings by using comfort strategies

Are you eager to develop energy flexibility services from buildings based on adaptive comfort strategies? Are you our next PDEng trainee in the PDEng program SBC Smart Buildings & Cities?
Technologisch ontwerper in opleiding (PDEng trainee)
Built Environment


Smart Buildings & Cities PDEng program
The Smart Buildings & Cities (SBC) PDEng program wants to contribute to the transition towards smart, intelligent and sustainable cities where quality of life is high. This transition requires new solutions which can only be created through multiscale and transdisciplinary (design) approaches. This requires technical designers who are able to work in a multidisciplinary environment and know how to communicate with different disciplines and stake holders. This PDEng program educates trainees to become those technical designers! Please note that this program is about technological design, i.e., the process of solving problems by means of a technological design, this in contrast to (PhD) research, which is the process of understanding problems.

The trainee position leads to the degree of ‘Professional Doctorate in Engineering’ (PDEng).
The program consists of two main parts running in parallel:

  • Half of the program consists of post-master level education in the form of generic design projects and courses about design methods, entrepreneurship and professional skills. Furthermore, it includes several technical courses about topics relevant to SBC.
  • The other half of the program is dedicated to an individual design project in collaboration with a company. It is the main responsibility of the trainee to manage and execute the project. Each trainee is supported by an advisor from the company and an advisor from the university.

The company design project connected to this traineeship is related to energy flexibility services that can be offered by office buildings.

Providing energy flexibility as a service to balance the (local) electricity grid offers interesting (business) opportunities to the building owner. The building can for example offer/sell its energy flexibility to an aggregator on the market and thus reduce its operational costs; the aggregator can group the flexibility of multiple buildings in order to generate enough flexibility volume for the market.

The goal of this project is to develop a tool that predicts the potential energy flexibility that a specific office building design can provide by using adaptive comfort control strategies (without compromising thermal comfort). The tool compares the predicted energy flexibility to the other available energy flexibility sources in the building. The business case associated with the predicted building energy flexibility will be investigated, i.e., it will show if the energy flexibility provided by the building is of interest to an aggregator on the energy market.The tool can be used by energy consultants to identify which building design show the most potential to be used as an energy flexibility source.

The PDEng trainee will be embedded in the Building Performance research group – 


We are looking for an excellent and highly motivated candidate with:

  • a MSc degree in Building Science, Building Physics, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent. Interest in physical processes (heat, air and moisture transfer) in the built environment, sustainable energy technologies and computational building performance simulation is essential.
  • a design-oriented attitude.
  • ability to work in a team and interested in collaborating with the industrial partners.
  • an academic attitude in order to develop new technologies and perform applied research with an integral view on what is needed for the future built environment.
  • an excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with a close relationship to industry.
  • A full-time employment for two years.
  • To support you during your PDEng and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PDEng trainees.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits 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.
  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information
Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more about the project? Please contact Pieter-Jan Hoes, p.hoes[at]

For more information on the SBC program, please contact dr. L.Hensen Centnerová, l.hensen[at]

We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include (in Pdf format):

  • Maximum two page letter of motivation
  • Maximum three page curriculum vitae
  • Copies of relevant BSc and MSc diplomas with transcripts + copies of English proficiency tests scores such as IELTS or TOEFL
  • Copy (or a most recent draft version) of your MSc thesis
  • At least two names with contact details (preferably e-mail) of people whom we may contact for more information about you and your thesis, or last professional work.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files or reduce the resolution of your documents.

Language requirements
An excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing.

The application deadline for this position is April 15, 2021. After this deadline the high potential candidates will be shortlisted. These candidates will be invited for a second selection round. In this second round the candidates are requested to send a small assignment (max. 2-3 pages). After this round the most promising candidates are invited for an interview with a selection committee. After all interviews are conducted the selection committee will decide who will be offered the trainee position. Our aim is to inform the candidate of our final decision no later than May 31, 2021.