Doctoral (PhD) student in Integrated planning and operation of energy systems

Updated: about 2 hours ago

Materials science and technology are our passion. With our cutting-edge research, Empa's around 1,100 employees make essential contributions to the well-being of society for a future worth living. Empa is a research institution of the ETH Domain.

In the Urban Energy Systems Laboratory we develop methods and tools to model, design, control and assess energy systems at various scales with a focus on buildings, multi-energy hubs and grids, and integration of renewable energy and storage systems. This doctoral student position will be embedded in our Laboratory and is jointly supervised by Empa and ETH Zurich.


Your tasks

In the framework of NCCR Automation, we are looking for a motivated doctoral student to investigate and develop methods which target energy system design and operation jointly. To date, the traditional methods of planning and operating energy systems have been mostly separated e.g., where planning procedures only consider an idealized operational stage and vice versa. A particular focus of our novel approach lies on investigating bi-level optimization and/or diffusing timescale methods which serve as candidates for energy system related applications. Challenges encompass - among others - harmonizing the differing design and control objectives, bridge the differing time-scales of interest and comparing and contrasting candidate approaches. We plan to utilize historical data in the Empa's NEST demonstrator and its multi-energy backbone to design and test novel electrical and thermal energy management systems. Later in the doctorate we envision real-life deployment of the resulting methods to the design of the energy system of a district in Switzerland.


Your goal will be to translate your own research ideas to tackle these challenges, in close collaboration with our interdisciplinary team and external scientific and industry partners. As part of this process, you will support our master students, publish in scientific journals, and participate in conferences.


Your profile

You are a highly motivated and dedicated candidate with an MSc degree in Energy, Mechanical, or Electrical engineering (or related field). You have an active interest in the on-going energy transition and in developing automation solutions to help make it a reality. Strong programming, modelling and data analysis skills in Python support you in contributing to our ongoing software development efforts. Your spoken and written English skills help you navigate our international environment.


Our offer

We are offering a multifaceted and challenging position in a modern research environment with excellent infrastructure. The ideal starting date is August 2024 with a planned duration of 4 years.

We live a culture of inclusion and respect. We welcome all people who are interested in innovative, sustainable and meaningful activities - that's what counts.

PatriciaNitzsche, Stv. Leiterin Human Resources / Dep. Head Human Resources



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