Postdoc in the Modelling & Integration of Renewable Energy Systems Using Subsurface Storage

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 10 Mar 2024

Challenge: Integrating fossil fuel-free energy solutions into the built environment.

Change: Researching how subsurface storage can be integrated to provide decarbonized heating & cooling year-round.

Impact: Having accurate subsurface models to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Heating and cooling the built environment accounts for around 50% of the energy used in Europe. And, because most of this energy is still fossil fuel-derived, decarbonizing heating could help achieve the EU’s ambitions of a net-zero greenhouse gas economy by 2050. Large-scale seasonal heat storage is a key part of the strategy because sustainable heat is mainly available in the summer, while the demand is in winter. As a postdoc in the Modelling & Integration of Renewable Energy Systems Using Subsurface Storage, you will play an important part in TU Delft’s efforts to reduce carbon emissions and benefit society.

Currently, TU Delft leads two important projects in this domain. A €20M European project (PUSH-IT) focused on the full-scale application of heat storage (up to 90°C) in geothermal reservoirs using technologies such as Aquifer Thermal Energy Storage (ATES), and, a nationally-funded project to develop an ATES triplet well system that allows for autarkic heating and cooling of buildings (i.e. removing the need for an external energy supply).

As a postdoc at TU Delft, you will contribute to the modelling of energy systems, integrate ATES into wider heating and cooling systems where heat is produced and used, and study how this subsurface storage could benefit heat networks and buildings. To control and optimise system performance, the accurate simulation of production temperature and subsurface processes will be one of your key tasks.

You will be hosted by the Water Resources and Geo-Engineering Sections in the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft. As part of our enthusiastic interdisciplinary team, you will have the opportunity to work closely with leading researchers and industry partners across the Netherlands and Europe. Here, you will receive all the support and coaching you need to develop your academic career. You will also support PhD students and work with other post-doctoral researchers on various modelling topics.

With an innate curiosity, you are a creative researcher who can plan, execute, deliver and communicate your research. You are a team player who thrives working with people in different organisations with different skill sets. Because you will be working in an international environment, you have a good command of English and excellent academic writing skills. Some Dutch would be an advantage as Dutch companies will be involved in the testing and piloting phase.

You also have:

  • A Master’s and PhD degree in mechanical engineering, civil engineering, applied earth science or a related degree with a substantial focus on modelling/quantifying of fluid flow, mechanics/dynamics and/or control.
  • Experience with modelling, e.g. building climate systems and/or subsurface energy systems.
  • Some experience with model validation, using/analysing monitoring data and/or integrating models, such as building models with subsurface models, would be preferred.

You will be hosted by the Water Resources and Geo-Engineering Sections in the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences at TU Delft . Joining our enthusiastic and inter-disciplinary team, you will have the opportunity to work in close collaboration with leading researchers and companies across Europe and NL, and collaborate in detail with industry partners. Geared to your experience, you will receive all the support and coaching you need to develop your academic career. The supervision committee will be made up of Professor Phil Vardon and Assistant Professor Martin Bloemendal (project lead). 

For this position we offer a 2.5-year contract, with a probation period of 2 months. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. Depending on performance, extension within the limits of the project budget can be considered

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

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 field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science 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, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

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

If you would like to know more about this role, contact Phil Vardon, Professor of Energy Geomechanics at [email protected] or Associate Professor Martin Bloemendal at [email protected]

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 10 March 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • Cover/motivation letter explaining your interest and your qualifications for this position, a proposal on how you would approach the described problem and how your skills match the requirements.
  • Curriculum Vitae.
  • Your PhD degree.
  • Proof of English language proficiency if applicable (TOEFL, IELTS).
  • Related journal and/or conference scientific papers.
  • Contact details of two academic referees.

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.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

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