PhD Position (TU Delft) - Agent-Based Modelling of the Energy Transition

The TPM Energy Transition Lab is looking for a PhD candidate in agent-based modelling (ABM) on the energy transition. The candidate will be appointed for 4-years to research how to better understand and accelerate the energy transition through innovative modelling approaches. The PhD candidate studies how the energy behaviour of individuals, households, companies and other stakeholders relates to investment and use of energy technologies, but also perceptions about energy systems affect ongoing transition pathways and what this implies for the next decades.

The methodological focus is on developing reusable model building blocks for the energy transition and using those to study inverse generative simulations – possibly using machine learning techniques. This approach innovatively studies links between assumptions about how behaviour is operationalized (i.e., model structure) to what transition pathways may unfold (i.e., model outcomes). Through the case studies, we expect the candidate to interact actively with energy researchers from various related disciplines. The project will be conducted within the TPM Energy Transition Lab which enables many opportunities for collaboration within the university and beyond.

Requirements We are looking for a candidate with an MSc in systems engineering, (technological) innovation management, computer science, or an adjacent field. Affinity with simulation modelling or programming is required; experience with agent-based modelling is an asset. The candidate should enjoy working in multidisciplinary settings. Some background in policy analysis, behavior, and (institutional) economics is helpful, but more so is the ability and willingness to acquire this knowledge. The PhD candidate needs to be able to work independently and author research papers. There are opportunities to teach and supervise students. As the ET Lab advocates transparency, teamwork, and open science, we expect candidates to support that.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

If you are interested, please apply (at no later than 31 October 2022 via the application button. Please submit the following:

  • Your CV
  • Motivation Letter
  • Official list of all courses followed during your BSc and MSc studies with grades;
  • Abstract of your M.Sc. thesis or a paper that you have written, in which you demonstrate your writing (and scientific) skills.
  • Names and contact details of 2 references who may be contacted at a later stage in the selection procedure

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