PhD candidate in Design Optimization Algorithms for Energy Efficient and Healthy Buildings

Updated: 7 days ago
Deadline: 18 Feb 2021

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The Faculty of Science and Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is looking for a

PhD candidate in Design Optimization Algorithms for Energy Efficient and Healthy Buildings

Project description
PhD position to develop (a) optimization algorithms for multi-objective optimization and (b) data-structures to represent and modify geometrical shapes. The goal is to research multi-objective design systems for optimal performance of buildings (‘architectures’) with respect to daylight, energy, and structural performance; work is in tandem with an engineering Ph.D. Student at TU Eindhoven, Built Environment Department . Candidates for the position at LIACS, Leiden University should have an MSc in Computer Science; have a strong analytical mind; are skilled in programming C++, and can write well-structured texts in fluent English.

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science of Leiden University (LIACS) offers a PhD position to follow a four-year research program, which leads to a Ph.D. degree. This position is part of an externally NWO financed project, which comprises two PhD positions in total.

This project will be a joint research project with the Technical University of Eindhoven, where a PhD Student with expertise in building simulation will work on physical simulation and performance assessment algorithms and the integration of the methods in the modern engineering design environments.

Selection criteria
The successful applicant should be a very motivated university graduate who is open to industrial cooperation and is a top performer among his/her peers, has an excellent education and/or research track record proven by relevant experience, publications, etc. You are expected to conduct original competitive research and proof-of-concept development, publishing the results in relevant conferences and/or journals, and participating in teaching duties. Applicants are expected to have:

  • An excellent and highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Artificial Intelligence, or related disciplines;
  • Knowledge in  C/C++ or Java (the existing simulation toolbox is programmed  in C/C++), knowledge in optimization and machine learning techniques;
  •  Preferably also interest in learning about the application domain, the design of buildings, and simulation techniques for building performance evaluation;
  • An academic attitude to develop new systems and perform applied research and work with experts from another domain (i.e. computing science);
  • An excellent command of the English language, both in speaking and writing, and structured writing skills in general.

Our organisation
The Faculty of Science is a world-class faculty where staff and students work together in a dynamic international environment. It is a faculty where personal and academic development are top priorities. Our people are committed to expand fundamental knowledge by curiosity and to look beyond the borders of their own discipline; their aim is to benefit science, and to make a contribution to addressing the major societal challenges of the future. The research carried out at the Faculty of Science is very diverse, ranging from mathematics, information science, astronomy, physics, chemistry and bio-pharmaceutical sciences to biology and environmental sciences. The research activities are organized in eight institutes. These institutes offer eight bachelor’s and twelve master’s programmes. The faculty has grown strongly in recent years and now has more than 2,300 staff and almost 5,000 students. We are located at the heart of Leiden’s Bio Science Park, one of Europe’s biggest science parks, where university and business life come together. For more information, see the website of the Faculty of Science .

The Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) is the Computer Science Institute in the Faculty of Science of Leiden University. According to our recent research visitation, we are one of the foremost computer science departments of The Netherlands. We strive for excellence in a caring institute, where excellence, fun, and diversity go hand in hand. We offer a clear and inviting career path to young and talented scientists with the ambition to grow. For more information, see the website of LIACS .

We offer a full-time PhD position for four years in the Multiobjective Optimization and Decision Analysis (MODA) research group, led by Michael Emmerich (Prof. Associate), who is a world leading expert in multi-criteria optimization and algorithms for sustainable design optimization.

Terms and conditions 
Initially, the successful applicant will be appointed for one year. After a positive evaluation of the progress of the thesis, personal capabilities and compatibility, the appointment will be extended by a further three years. Salary range from € 2.395,-  to €3.061,-  gross per month (pay scale P in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities).

Leiden University offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development and sabbatical leave. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions. Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for a substantial tax break.

All our PhD students are embedded in the Leiden University Graduate School of Science . Our graduate school offers several PhD training courses at three levels: professional courses, skills training and personal effectiveness. In addition, advanced courses to deepen scientific knowledge are offered by the research school.

Leiden University is strongly committed to diversity within its community and especially welcomes applications from members of underrepresented groups. We wish to reflect society both in age, gender and culture, as we believe that this would optimize the dynamics in our organization. Therefore, we support and understand the need for a work/life/family balance and consequent varying working hours and places. In the Netherlands, a maternity allowance is standard for 16 weeks. Child care is available at and near the Bio Science Park.

Enquiries can be made to Michael Emmerich, email .

To apply for this vacancy, please send an email to . When applying, please use the following subject: “vacancy number – your name”. Please ensure that you attach the following additional documents (in PDF format), quoting the vacancy number:

  • A motivation letter (max 1 A4);
  • A Curriculum Vitae (max 3 A4), English certificate;
  • PDF of article or thesis (or link to thesis);
  • At least 1 reference with contact details (e.g. Master thesis supervisor);

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

The application deadline for this position is 18 February 2021

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