STI – PhD position in the field of district heating systems retrofits into renewable districts systems for the energy transition

Updated: about 1 month ago

IPESE lab description

The Industrial Process and Energy Systems Engineering (IPESE )  research group is working on the process and energy system engineering for efficient use and reuse of energy, efficient energy conversion, integration of renewables and complex system integration. The IPESE lab provides a fun, collaborative research environment with state-of-the-art facilities at EPFL, one of the leading technical universities worldwide. EPFL Valais is located in Sion in a scenic setting with excellent transport connections..

Position description

District heating is already well established in some cities. The transition into renewable-based districts implies the investigation of how to retrofit conventional districts into systems compatible with the energy transition, i.e. integrating a high share of renewables. The project will take place in the context of the SWEET SWICE project , in collaboration with the HES in Fribourg and the GROUPE-E company. The goal of the PhD will be to adapt existing district heating design methods to account for the existing district heating/cooling infrastructure and transform them with the concept of prosumers including smart operation and its integration with the energy system. The project combines mathematical programming, thermodynamics, and simulation models integrated with geographical information systems. In particular, the student will investigate the use of fifth-generation district heating systems using anergie heat distribution systems.

This position will be located in Fribourg EPFL campus.


Successful applicants need to be highly motivated, excellent students with a solid background in energy engineering, chemical engineering or related fields. Solid knowledge in mathematical programming, modeling of process and energy systems, simulation and  optimization is desirable, but can also be acquired during the PhD. Advanced coding and data science skills are a big plus.

The PhD candidate has strong communication skills and is able to work independently, as well as to collaborate with others. Strong sense of autonomy and independence are important.

What is offered

4-year fully funded PhD in the Energy Doctoral program, integrated into a dynamic group, and multiple possibilities of dissemination (conferences, seminars, etc).

Starting date

Continuous, until a suitable candidate is found.

How to apply

The interested candidate should send a CV (including list of publications), motivation letter, and transcript of records (bachelor and master) to . Short-listed candidates will be interviewed. Candidates should also apply to the EDEY doctoral program (view more details ) and list Prof. François Maréchal  as a potential host for their PhD studies.

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