Postdoctoral Researcher in sustainable energy systems

Updated: 5 months ago
Job Type: FullTime
Deadline: 15 Dec 2022

We at the University of Oulu work as part of the international science community to produce new scientific information and science-based solutions. We are committed to educate future pioneers to build a more sustainable, intelligent and humane world. Creating new, taking responsibility and succeeding together are values that build a strong foundation for all our actions. We offer a working environment where individuals can cultivate their skills, do meaningful work, and develop professionally. Our university's several specialized research and service units enable extensive and diverse development and career opportunities for experts in various fields.

We are now looking for

Postdoctoral Researcher

in sustainable energy systems to join the research led by Associate Prof. Mehdi Rasti in Sustainable energy systems empowering users with digital services. This multidisciplinary research team spans across the Faculty of Technology and the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering and is part of the6G Enabling Sustainable Society Research Programme ( ) financed by the Academy of Finland and the University of Oulu.

This postdoctoral position will be placed at the Faculty of Technology, Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit, but will conduct the research in close collaboration with the Centre for Wireless Communications.

Job description

The future society will be highly digitalized, hyper-connected and globally data driven. New digital services will be critically dependent on instant, virtually unlimited wireless connectivity. The expertise in wireless connectivity is one of the few major technical areas where Europe still retains a globally leading position, and the University of Oulu is strongly positioned to continue its pioneering role in wireless connectivity at global scale. UOulu’s 6G Flagship has since its establishment in 2018 engaged in speeding up digitalization via 5G-driven solutions and, importantly, taken a globally leading role in developing 6G, representing a fundamental leap in very high-capacity connectivity, edge AI and vertical services such as energy.

New connectivity-based technologies form the backbone of future energy services. The unique feature of 6G energy research is the user-centred approach to future energy systems integrating digital tools and flexibility services that are intended to reduce household electricity consumption whilst empowering citizens. Intelligent, AI-based computing near the sensors and the users (Edge AI) will be used increasingly in combination of personalized devices and applications. The intertwined nature of ICT and energy is a necessary precursor of sustainable societies and becomes even more pronounced when remote or developing areas are considered.

The objective of energy sustainable societies is to provide energy services to consumers, respecting the carrying capacity of the Earth. This implies climate friendly solutions aimed at reducing CO2 emissions, harnessing locally available renewable energy and aiming at the integration of distributed, renewable energy sources (RES). To enhance the capacity for RES integration, flexibility solutions, such as demand response (DR) need to be integrated. The primary challenge of energy in sustainable societies is to shift to sustainable economies through the concerted integration of RES via DR schemes.

The main aim of this research should be to develop advanced digital solutions and 6G energy services, which facilitate consumer participation, and ensure enhanced security, quality and reliability of energy services. The research should integrate digital solutions to energy systems to facilitate flexibility and sustainability.

The key research questions to study are:

  • What are the mechanism to provide energy trading, grid control, communications and demand response paradigms?
  • How can digital solutions enable active user engagement in future sustainable energy communities and what kind of new business models emerge within them?
  • How can 5/6G technologies make information flows in the power/energy systems timelier and more accurate?
  • How to utilize peer-to-peer flexibility approached that are able to optimize the use of demand response as well as RES and integrate them the local power grids?

You need to have understanding of the relevance of these issues; however, your research can focus on only one or two of these RQs. Your research will be supervised by Associate professor Mehdi Rasti and Professor Eva Pongrácz.

Qualification requirements

You are expected to have:

  • A doctoral degree in the energy fields, e.g. renewable energy, energy systems or electrical engineering, especially related to smart grids, smart buildings or digital solutions empowering user participation. The doctoral degree must be obtained no more than 10 years ago and prior to the beginning of employment. 
  • Experience and background in at least one of the following fields through research, projects or work experience: energy system sustainability, energy transition, building energy efficiency, demand response solutions. In addition, experience in one of the following fields is considered an advantage: European climate and energy policies, Northern energy market, 5G/6G wireless networks, artificial intelligence.
  • Fluent written and oral English skills and good communication skills, as well as strong communication and teamwork skills are required.

The following is viewed positively:

  • Good track record in writing project applications
  • Experience with the Finnish and EU research funding system
  • Good publication records
  • Teaching experience, or interest in teaching and advising on master and doctoral researcher’s levels

What we offer

  • We offer you a place in a highly talented research environment, performing research oriented at the sustainability transition in the energy system with a focus on the environmental and social impacts of the energy transitions process.
  • University´s wide variety of support services are at your disposal, allowing you to focus on your research.
  • In addition to modern research facilities, we offer you personnel benefits such as free occupational healthcare, affordable sport services and endless opportunities to develop your skills and competences.
  • Regular salary is paid 12 months per year, including paid leave and an additional holiday bonus in the summer.
  • You will receive also benefits provided by the Finnish government to residents, for example possibility to obtain access to the national healthcare system, tax benefits for employees with children and high-quality, affordable childcare services.

Working environment

The University of Oulu in Northern Finland, with approximately 13,800 students and 3,700 employees, is an international, multidisciplinary research university with a rich pool of creative and intellectual talent. The strengths of the University include broad, multidisciplinary research interests, a modern research and study environment, and wide cooperation with international research and educational institutes ( ).

You will primarily work in the Water, Energy and Environmental Engineering Research Unit at the Faculty of Technology, University of Oulu. However, the 6GFESS4 team crosses over and closely collaborates with the Center of Wireless Communication at the Faculty of Information Technology and Electrical Engineering, University of Oulu especially at the team energy efficiency.

Terms of employment

The position is fixed term for 5 years starting 1.2.2023 or as soon as possible thereafter. A trial period of 6 months is applied in the position. The salary will be based on the levels 5-6 of the demand level chart for university–level teaching and research staff of Finnish universities. In addition, a salary component based on personal work performance will be paid (maximum of 50% of the job-specific component). Starting gross salary is approx. 3400-3800€ (before taxes).  

How to apply

Applications, together with all relevant enclosures, must be submitted using the electronic application form by December 15th 2022 (23:59 Finnish local time). The application should be written in English and include the following:
1)     A motivation letter (max. 2 pages) summarizing applicant’s professional experience and expertise and describing why applicant is interested in this position. Also, information on personal research interests, experience and career plans are valuable to provide here.
2)     Curriculum vitae (max. 5 pages), preferably in accordance with the guidelines of the Finnish Advisory Board on Research Integrity
3)    List of publications 
4)     Certificates/Diplomas: Scanned copy of the original master and doctoral degrees certificate and transcript of records and, when necessary, official translations to English
5)     Contact information of two senior/experienced researchers who may be asked to give a statement on the candidate
6)     A research plan (max. 4-5 pages)

Only applications containing all relevant appendices and submitted through the online recruitment system will be considered. Top candidates will be invited to an on-site or remote interview.

Further information

Informal inquiries are welcome. For further information or informal inquiries, please contact

Prof. Eva Pongrácz (Email: ) or

Prof. Mehdi Rasti (Email: ) 

About Oulu, Finland

Finland is one of the most livable countries in the world, with a high quality of life, safety, excellent education system, and competitive economy. The Oulu region is home to over 200 000 people making it the largest urban center in the Nordics and one of the fastest growing regions in northern Finland. Oulu is a combination of beautiful, northern nature, vivid cultural life and modern technology. Oulu is also known for its highly-educated people and friendly, easy-going atmosphere. Living in Oulu is easy – everything is only max. 20 minutes away! Find out more about Oulu:

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