PhD on 3D City models for energy applications

PhD on 3D City models for energy applications

Published Deadline Location
14 Feb 31 Mar Delft

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Job description

Thanks to the steady improvements of 3D data acquisition, processing and integration techniques, semantic 3D city models are becoming increasingly available for a wide range of urban applications, ranging from flood simulation to noise assessment. However, the potential of semantic 3D city models for energy-related applications has only been partially explored. Among the main challenges are: (1) the integration of highly heterogeneous data – in terms of semantics, spatial (building-block-neighbourhood-city) and temporal (minute-hour-month-year) resolution –, and (2) the identification of which features/properties from 3D city models contribute the most to improving energy simulations.

The task of this PhD is to investigate how semantic 3D city models can effectively contribute to enhancing multi-scale, energy-related applications. Within this task the PhD will define methodologies and develop algorithms that, for example:

  • Allow a deeper, quantitative insight in the suitability of urban surfaces for installation of solar panels;
  • Advance bottom-up quantitative characterisation of the building stock in terms of energy performance and retrofit potential (e.g. can we fill possible gaps in the input data using machine learning?);
  • Automatically extract from 3D city models suitable data for microclimate simulation tools (e.g. for the identification of urban heat islands).

The precise field of the study will be discussed and agreed upon between the PhD candidate and the supervisors.
Cooperation with energy experts from TU Delft or other universities and equivalent research centres is envisioned as part of the job, as is the collaboration with practitioners from governmental institutions and municipalities.
More information at:

The PhD will take place in the 3D Geoinformation group at TU Delft under the supervision of Dr. Giorgio Agugiaro and Prof. Jantien Stoter. Possibility to spend time as a visiting researcher in other peer institutes (either in the Netherlands or abroad) is also included.

The 3D Geoinformation group currently has also an open PhD position on 'Automation of urban flow simulations with 3D City Models', see Candidates may apply to both positions with one application (and identify their preference).


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for highly motivated candidates who hold an MSc degree (or almost completed) in computer science, geoinformatics/geomatics, engineering, or in a related discipline. They are expected to have a strong interest in 3D city models and energy-related topics, for example, urban energy modelling and simulation. They are also expected to have good programming skills and a good command of English (oral and written). The interest and ability to interact with experts from different disciplines will be fundamental to carry out the PhD. The starting date is in consultation with the candidate.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

The candidate will be appointed on a four-year contract with a go/no-go decision around Month 12 (if a no-go is given, then the contract will end). Salary start at € 2.325 and grows into € 2.972 gross per month in the fourth year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Delft University of Technology offers an attractive benefits package with additional holiday (8%) and end-of-year bonuses (8.3%), training and career development. Our individual choices model gives you some freedom to assemble your own set of terms and conditions.
For international spouses we have set up a dual career programme.  Candidates from outside the Netherlands may be eligible for the 30% ruling.

A PhD candidate will be enrolled in the Delft University of Technology Graduate School. The Delft University of Technology Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.
Please visit for more information.


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Architecture & the Built Environment

The faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment has a leading role in education and research worldwide. The driving force behind the faculty’s success is its robust research profile combined with the passion and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is a place that is buzzing with life from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Academics and students have been working on improving the built environment with the help of a broad set of disciplines, including architectural design, urban planning, building technology, social sciences, process management, and geo-information science. The faculty works closely with other faculties, universities, private parties, and the public sector, and has an extensive network in the Netherlands as well as internationally.

The more than 100 members of the Urbanism department are united in contributing to the Urbanism mission, namely to advance, share and apply knowledge on how the built environment interacts with humans and their behaviour, and how design, planning and engineering interventions can better satisfy human and societal needs. Here ‘advance’ refers to our research, ‘share’ to our education and dissemination and ‘apply’ to our conviction that Urbanism needs to be an action-oriented, forward-looking practice. The department has a global reputation for excellence in research and education and is particularly known for the ‘Delft Approach’ that brings together the creativity of design with academic research methods. This integral urbanism enjoys high international esteem in professional practice, research and education.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • BK2020/02


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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