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PDEng trainee - Volker Wessels

PDEng trainee - Volker Wessels

Fulltime, two year trainee position at the PDEng program Smart Buildings & Cities of the Eindhoven University of Technology.
Technologisch ontwerper in opleiding (PDEng trainee)
Faculteit Bouwkunde


Fulltime, two year trainee position at the PDEng program Smart Buildings & Cities of the Eindhoven University of Technology. We are looking for candidates with a strong interest in energy in the built environment and a MSc degree in Architectural Engineering, Building Science, Building, Civil, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent. Knowledge from sustainability and user preferences analyses are essential and experience in Building Information Modelling and software development are beneficial.

Smart Buildings & Cities PDEng program

The Smart Buildings & Cities 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. The transition is a relevant theme for society (as reflected by the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges formulated by the European Commission), building industry and university (consider the TU/e’s Strategic Areas: Energy, Health and Smart Mobility and the TU/e’s Smart Cities Program).

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.

After the two year program our trainees become technical designers with a broad technological understanding of energy related disciplines in the built environment (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, building physics and services and ICT), who excel in their own discipline and who are able to work in multidisciplinary design teams, contribute to design issues outside their own core disciplines, integrate different technologies into new products and concepts, and who understand the commercial aspects of these innovative products and concepts.

Job description

The Department of the Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology offers you a trainee position to follow a two-year post-master technological designer program, which leads to the degree of ‘Professional Doctorate in Engineering’ (PDEng). The SEB&C program consists of two main parts:

1. Workshops. You will follow technical workshops in which you acquire knowledge concerning important concepts of disciplines other than your own (master) specialism. You will follow these workshops with other SEB&C trainees (all with different master specialisms). The workshops increase your ability to effectively and efficiently communicate with these other disciplines in multidisciplinary design teams. Furthermore, you will follow workshops on design methods, entrepreneurship and professional skills.

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2. Design projects. You will work on a design project with a group of SEB&C trainees and you will work an individual in-company assignment (see description below). The latter is a design project in collaboration with a company and the university. You work within the company structure (facilities, office desk, computer and other required equipment are provided by the company). It is your main responsibility to manage and execute the project. You are supported by an advisor from the company and an advisor from the university. A business plan for implementation or marketing of the project or product is part of the final deliverables.

A significant part of the first year of the program is dedicated to the workshops, while the second year is mostly dedicated to the in-company assignment. Nonetheless you will start working on the in-company assignment from the start of the program. The in-company assignment related to this traineeship is described below.

To meet the targets set by the Dutch government in order to fulfil the Paris Climate agreement (2015) goals, the housing renovation process needs substantial upscaling. Therefore the clients’ requirements need to be elicited in a structured format such that the building industry can offer standardized solutions that allow for large scale, high speed renovation processes. The client’s requirements consist of the physical and behavioral aspects. The standardized building solutions entails industrialized products and processes for house renovation for the Dutch market. In this project a simulation model is developed to support large scale, high speed housing cluster renovation processes.

Given a cluster of houses and their renovation a construction process is developed. The cluster of houses and their renovation have similar properties in terms of housing type, renovation package, and location. A construction process is developed for a renovation cluster based upon the required construction activities and based upon the available construction capacities at a contractor. To find an optimum between housing renovation cluster size and contractor’s construction capacity, combined with the industrialization rate and renovation speed a simulation model is developed. The simulation model will entail supplier logistics, prefabrication, transportation logistics, on site construction activities, etc. The simulation will be generic applicable for different renovation clusters and different types of construction processes. It should also be able in include new construction techniques such as 3D printing. The simulation can be used to provide insights for the contractor how to adjust its construction process to large scale, high speed housing renovation. The simulation model can also be used to optimize the supply chain for these projects.

A prototype of the housing cluster renovation process simulation model will be implemented using existing software for (logistic) process simulation. The prototype will be tested with a representative sample of cases (houses) and users (contractors). The prototype design and pilot test evaluations will be documented in a report.


Who can apply?

We are looking for

• an excellent and highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in Architectural Engineering, Building Science, Building, Civil, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent. Knowledge and experience in Process simulation, logistics and software development are essential.

• an interest in software engineering and applications for fabrication and logistics.

• an academic attitude in order to develop new systems and perform applied research with an integral view on what is needed for the future built environment.

• Knowledge of the Dutch residential stock and house types

• Knowledge of the common organization type of construction companies and their sub-contracters

• an excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing.


What do we provide?

We offer a fulltime traineeship of two years. The traineeship is a formal employment at the Eindhoven University of Technology according to the Collective Labour Agreement Dutch Universities (CAO-NU). Trainees receive a financial compensation according to this standard. Gross salary: € 1913

Trainees are provided with their own workplace in the building of the Department of the Built Environment. The university provides all general modern facilities belonging to first class universities; mediation in housing, excellent sports facilities, language courses, modern digital library facilities etc. For more information please visit

Informatie en sollicitatie

How to apply?

You can respond to this vacancy via our application page by clicking on the button "Solliciteer op deze vacature / Apply for this job". We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

 You can upload a maximum of 5 documents of up to 2 MB each. We would like to receive the following five documents (in Pdf format):

1. Maximum two page letter of motivation

2. Maximum three page curriculum vitae

3. Copies of relevant BSc and MSc diplomas with transcripts + copies of English proficiency tests scores such as IELTS or TOEFL

4. Copy (or a most recent draft version) of your MSc thesis

5. 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 do not upload documents larger than 2MB, so if necessary reduce the resolution of your documents.


The application deadline for this position is June 1, 2020. 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. The invited candidates will be asked to prepare a short presentation motivating their interest in the program. 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 June 1, 2020.


For more information on the program and our contact information, please check our website:

If you have questions about the content of this positon, please contact prof. B. de Vries, phone number +(31)40 – 247 2388, e-mail: b.d.vries[at]

Information about the employment conditions can be found here: