PhD Position Design, Optimisation and Control of Innovative Battery Systems in Power, Propulsion and Energy Systems on Board of Ships

PhD Position Design, Optimisation and Control of Innovative Battery Systems in Power, Propulsion and Energy Systems on Board of Ships

Published Deadline Location
20 Dec 6 Feb Delft

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Do you want to contribute to the optimal design and control of innovative battery systems in ships?

Job description

To remain competitive and to meet global goals for greenhouse gas reduction in response to the grand societal challenge of climate change, the maritime sector needs to develop zero-emission solutions. To achieve that, we need advances in battery systems for maritime applications. For some ships, such as ferries, these battery systems make it possible to sail fully battery electric. For other ships, these battery systems have other functions, such as replacing spinning reserve, backup power, peak shaving, optimizing loads of generation systems, and enhancing dynamic performance.

To advance batteries for maritime applications, the NWO project Maritime Batteries will investigate different aspects of maritime batteries, such as battery chemistry (at the Storage of Electrochemical Energy group of TUDelft), battery degradation (at the Nanomaterials for Energy Conversion and Storage group of UTwente), battery circularity (at the Technology, Innovation and Society group of TUEindhoven), EMC in battery systems (at the Power Electronics and EMC group of UTwente) and integration of batteries in the drive and energy systems of the ships (at the Sustainable Drive and Energy Systems group at TUDelft)..

This PhD position aims integration of batteries into the drive and energy systems of the ship This includes at least the following aspect. Firstly, we need to make an inventory of the requirements for maritime batteries for different types of ships with different operating profiles. Secondly, we need to integrate maritime batteries into the power, propulsion and energy system of ships and charge and discharge them in a suitable way. Thirdly, the implications for the ship design need to be investigated. Fourthly, we want to investigate the optimal design and control of the power, propulsion and energy system of the ship considering battery degradation.

The research will be carried out in close cooperation with national academic and industrial partners working on the NWO-funded project Maritime Batteries. The industrial partners will provide excess to use cases and recorded data of state-of-the art zero-emission ships. The zero-emission laboratory of MARIN can be used for validation of the control strategies with real components.

You will be part of a large team of PhD students working on different aspects of energy transition in the maritime sector, including combustion engines on e-fuels (hydrogen, ammonia, methanol), fuel cells, DC systems, and sizing and control of the power, proplusion and energy system.

You will work at the Delft University of Technology, Department of Maritime & Transport Technology, under the supervision and guidance of experts on batteries, optimisation and control, and electrical and marine engineering, Dr. Henk Polinder and Dr. Andrea Coraddu. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Suitable candidates would have the following qualifications:


  • MSc in electrical engineering, control engineering, marine engineering, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, or another relevant engineering discipline;
  • Communicative skills and motivation to work together with both (international) academic and industrial partners;
  • Experience in programming e.g., MATLAB, Python, C++, R;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Ability to work in a project team and take responsibility for own research goals;
  • Inventive and independent attitude.


  • Experience with batteries and the power electronics for charging and discharging batteries.
  • Experience with mathematical optimization, and control;
  • A strong drive to work on zero-emission and circular shipping in the marine sector.

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

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.


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 Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03271


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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