Assistant Professor in Sustainable Heat Grids

Assistant Professor in Sustainable Heat Grids

Published Deadline Location
17 Oct 1 Dec Delft

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Job description

The departments of Water Management and Geoscience & Engineering are jointly looking for a new colleague who will share our vision, ambition, and enthusiasm for research and education. We are inspired and motivated by the societal challenges posed by climate change, required energy transition, resource security and a sustainable society in an urbanized delta. Research addressing these societal issues requires an interdisciplinary approach. The research at both our departments can be characterized as “application-inspired fundamental research.”

We are looking for a colleague that can develop internationally leading research on sustainable district heating networks (DHNs). The EU, including NL, aim to have a net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) economy. At present, heating and cooling of buildings represent about 50% of the energy use in Europe and is mainly derived from fossil fuels. Individual buildings are difficult to disconnect from fossil sources for heating/cooling. Hence increasing amounts of DHNs are being proposed to utilize sustainable sources of heating and/or cooling capacity. In addition, in existing DHNs, fossil sources need to be replaced by sustainable ones, putting different constraints on the existing infrastructure. DHNs can provide the link between heating/cooling sources, storage systems, and users and form an intrinsic part of novel sustainable energy systems. In this position you will provide scientific knowledge to lead NL and the EU to their DHNs goals.  

Within the TU Delft you will collaborate with experts in associated/connected fields: e.g. hydromechanics/hydraulics, systems and control, geothermal, solar, buildings, heat pumps, heat storage. In fact, TU Delft hosts all required expertise needed to make the heat-transition happen, and you will collaborate with experts in various research projects and contribute to our educational programme. Together with colleagues, you will develop dynamic and exciting research, contributing to (taking advantage of) several facilities and initiatives on DHNs already available at TU Delft and its partners. You will have access to the facilities at the Green Village which include an experimental low temperature DHN, the TU Delft high temperature DHN, data from heat storage systems on campus, and the under-development geothermal well and associated heat storage system. We have established a collaboration/information exchange platform related to heat networks and a university-wide research institute related to urban energy.

In this position, you will have the opportunity to develop your own line of research by formulating and answering research questions relevant to addressing issues or improving sustainable heating and cooling grids. In addition, you will be expected to contribute to the following areas:

  • Education: Contributing to the further development and teaching of our MSc program of Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering and Sustainable Energy Technology, as well as thesis project supervision.
  • Organization: Contributing to organizational / administrative activities and committees within the departments and the faculty. Contributing to the Thermo-X platform on sustainable heating and cooling.
  • Projects: Initiating and contributing to new research projects, in particular on cross-faculty research proposals/projects. We encourage proactive engagement with both government and private partners for increased societal impact. More specifically, we cooperate with Deltares to further develop sustainable DHNs.

As a start-up grant, the candidate will be able to recruit one PhD candidate.    


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


You are a successful candidate if you have:

  • A drive to innovate through research-based solutions as well as the capacity to effectively communicate with internal and external stakeholders.
  • A PhD degree in a related subject and have published relevant papers in the peer-reviewed literature.
  • A proven expertise in an area related to the development, operation and/or integration of DHNs for sustainable heating and cooling is needed.
  • An inspiring personality, with the capacity to create lasting and effective connections between researchers in other groups inside and outside TU Delft, and act as a driver for the development of DHNs in the Netherlands and beyond.
  • An ambition for acquiring external funding is required.
  • The ability and willingness to acquire a university teaching qualification is therefore necessary. Teaching of MSc students and PhD candidates will form part of your duties. 
  • Industrial experience may be an advantage but is not required, and you should feel comfortable in contacts with industrial and governmental stakeholders and be able to represent TU Delft – jointly with colleagues - in the national and international research community.      

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

Our intention is to offer you a permanent position after a probation period in which you will be evaluated based on performance indicators agreed upon at the start of the appointment. We expect that you have the potential to grow towards an Associate Professor and/or Full Professor in the future.

Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ program. TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language within three years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.
Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ programme.

TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!


Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.


  • Lecturer; Assistant professor; Associate professor; Professor
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €3974—€5439 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD02920


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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