Postdoc in Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Control

Updated: about 1 month ago

Empa - the place where innovation starts

Empa is the research institute for materials science and technology of the ETH Domain and conducts cutting-edge research for the benefit of industry and the well-being of society.

The Urban Energy Systems Laboratory develops models and concepts for the planning and operation decentralized energy system technologies based on renewable energy and innovative districts, including prototypes and demonstration plants. To strengthen our scientific team we are looking for a

Postdoc in Borehole Thermal Energy Storage Control

You will join the funded GOES


project on "Geothermal based Optimized Energy Systems" where model and controller synthesis of a campus energy system with integrated borehole thermal energy storage (BTES) field, as well as abstraction of models/controllers to various settings, are key topics. This project is embedded in a larger international project under GEOTHERMICA and JPP Smart Energy 



Systems Based on measurement data collected from a real installation at Empa, you will develop control methods in order to ensure a carbon footprint aware predictive operation of the integrated BTES system with an objective spanning from real-time up to seasonal. You will develop methods to extract local features/learnings in order to abstract and transfer them other contexts. You will have the freedom to develop and execute your research ideas in close collaboration with our team and our external scientific and industry partners.

You will support the dissemination of research findings across the community, which includes collaborating with other lab members and institutes and publishing in scientific journals and conferences. Open science principles are strongly supported/encouraged.

Your tasks

  • Model and controller development in the domain of sector coupled district energy systems
  • Experimental validation of developments on the Empa campus energy system
  • Publish in scientific journals and conference proceedings
  • Project coordination and project ideation
  • Support of project acquisition
  • Supervise MSc students and Co-supervise PhD students

Your profile

  • PhD related to thermal systems, energy systems or control theory
  • Applied experience in energy systems simulation and control
  • Prior experience or knowledge of abstraction layers is an advantage
  • Open science mindset
  • Experience in using Python is preferable; Modelica and/or TRNSYS a strong plus
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English are mandatory, German language skills are a strong plus

We offer a stimulating, international and collaborative research environment at a leading research institution with an excellent infrastructure and a broad interdisciplinary surrounding. As an institution of the ETH Domain, we offer good employment conditions and plenty of opportunities for your professional development. The workplace is Dübendorf, close to Zürich. The contract will be initially limited to two years with a possibility of extension. The position is available from 01.04.2023 or upon agreement.

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