Assistant Professor in Sustainable Heat Grids

Updated: 18 days ago
Deadline: 01 Aug 2024

The departments of Water Management and Geoscience & Engineering are jointly looking for a new colleague who will share our vision, ambition, and enthusiasm for research and education. We are inspired and motivated by the societal challenges posed by climate change, required energy transition, resource security and a sustainable society in an urbanized delta. Research addressing these societal issues requires an interdisciplinary approach. The research at both our departments can be characterized as “application-inspired fundamental research.”

We are looking for a colleague that can develop internationally leading research on sustainable district heating networks (DHNs). The EU, including NL, aim to have a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) economy. At present, heating and cooling of buildings represent about 50% of the energy use in Europe and is mainly derived from fossil fuels. Individual buildings are difficult to disconnect from fossil sources for heating/cooling. Hence increasing amounts of DHNs are being proposed to utilize sustainable sources of heating and/or cooling capacity. In addition, in existing DHNs, fossil sources need to be replaced by sustainable ones, putting different constraints on the existing infrastructure. DHNs can provide the link between heating/cooling sources, storage systems, and users and form an intrinsic part of novel sustainable energy systems. In this strategic position you will provide scientific knowledge to lead NL and the EU to their DHNs goals.

Within the TU Delft you will collaborate with experts in associated/connected fields: e.g. hydromechanics/hydraulics, systems and control, geothermal, solar, buildings, heat pumps, heat storage. In fact, TU Delft hosts all required expertise needed to make the heat-transition happen, and you will collaborate with experts in various research projects and contribute to our educational programme. Together with colleagues, you will develop dynamic and exciting research, contributing to (taking advantage of) several facilities and initiatives on DHNs already available at TU Delft and its partners. You will have access to the facilities at the Green Village which include an experimental low temperature DHN, the TU Delft high temperature DHN, data from heat storage systems on campus, and the new geothermal well and associated heat storage system. We have established a collaboration/information exchange platform related to heat networks and a university-wide research institute related to urban energy.

In this position, you will have the opportunity to develop your own line of research by formulating and answering research questions relevant to addressing issues or improving sustainable heating and cooling grids. In addition, you will be expected to contribute to the following areas: 

  • Education: Contributing to the further development and teaching of our MSc program of Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology, as well as thesis project supervision.
  • Organization: Contributing to organizational / administrative activities and committees within the departments and the faculty. Contributing to the Thermo-X platform on sustainable heating and cooling.
  • Projects: Initiating and contributing to new research projects, in particular on cross-faculty research proposals/projects. We encourage proactive engagement with both government and private partners for increased societal impact. More specifically, we cooperate with Deltares to further develop sustainable DHNs.

As a start-up grant, the candidate will be able to recruit one PhD candidate.

You are a successful candidate if you have:

  • A drive to innovate through research-based solutions as well as the capacity to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders.
  • A PhD degree in Energy Engineering, Systems and Control, Mechanical Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, or a related field, and have published relevant papers in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • A proven expertise in an area related to the development, operation and/or integration of DHNs for sustainable heating and cooling is needed.
  • An inspiring personality, with the capacity to create lasting and effective connections between researchers in other groups inside and outside TU Delft, and act as a driver for the development of DHNs in the Netherlands and beyond.
  • An ambition for acquiring external funding is required.
  • The ability and willingness to acquire a university teaching qualification is therefore necessary. Teaching of MSc students and PhD candidates will form part of your duties.
  • Industrial experience may be an advantage but is not required, and you should feel comfortable in contacts with industrial and governmental stakeholders and be able to represent TU Delft – jointly with colleagues - in the national and international research community.

This position is offered as an Academic Career Track position (0.8 – 1.0 FTE). During the Academic Career Track, we expect you to grow towards an Associate Professor position within a maximum of eight years, for which a position will be available. With other Academic Career Track colleagues, you will participate in the Academic Career Track Development programme, where you are offered ample opportunities to develop yourself in the areas of Education, Research, Societal Impact & Innovation, and Leadership & Organisation. You will regularly discuss your development and results with senior staff based on a personalized development plan and performance criteria agreed upon at the start of your Academic Career Track.

Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ programme as part of the Academic Career Track Development programme.

TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language within three years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged and you can work partly from home.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service addresses the needs of new international employees and those of their partners and families. The Coming to Delft Service offers personalised assistance during the preparation of the relocation, finding housing and schools for children (if applicable). In addition, a Dual Career Programme for partners is offered. The Coming to Delft Service will do their best to help you settle in the Netherlands.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the fieldof civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges suchas climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport& Planning, HydraulicEngineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website ofthe Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Jules van Lier (e-mail: [email protected] ), Dr. Martin Bloemendal (e-mail: [email protected]) or Prof. Phil Vardon (e-mail: [email protected] ).

For information about the application procedure, please contact our Talent Acquisition Specialist via [email protected] .

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 5 June 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • Your motivation letter.
  • Your extensive CV.
  • A personal research and teaching statement (max 3 pages).
  • Your statement about inclusiveness.
  • Contact information of two persons who can provide references.
  • A publication list.
  • An abstract of your PhD thesis (max 1 page).
  • Links to two publications most valuable to you.

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.


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