Postdoc on responsible heat transition in the built environment

Postdoc on responsible heat transition in the built environment

Published Deadline Location
14 Mar 16 Jul Eindhoven

You cannot apply for this job anymore (deadline was 16 Jul 2023).

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

If you are interested in making the heat transition in our built environment socially inclusive and if you want to contribute to responsible design and implementation approaches for the energy transition - then this job advertisement is for you!

Job description

Research project description

Do you want to join our research efforts on developing 'a socio-technical approach for designing and implementing the heat transition in the built environment' (ARRIVE)?

The built environment is a key sector in need of transformation to reduce CO2 emissions and energy consumption.

An increasingly accepted notion to decarbonize energy sectors is the so-called 'system of systems' (SoS) approach, in which all energy carriers (e.g. heating, cooling, H2, water etc.) are integrated into one system and in which the electricity carrier serves as the backbone. A 'SoS' approach is especially relevant for buildings and their energy systems' transformation. Yet, transforming our energy systems in the built environment (and beyond) requires much more than technological changes. Technological innovations are intimately interwoven with social questions, for example relating to acceptance and ownership but also to access and justice.

As post doc on the ARRIVE project you will be contributing to knowledge and practice for making the much-needed energy transition in our homes and buildings more responsible, just and inclusive.

Job description

Despite stressing the importance of the social embeddedness of technological innovations, a techno-economic focus seems to prevail when designing and implementing energy interventions. As a consequence, technological design, performance and impact are predominantly understood and evaluated under an economic lens, pushing social aspects into the background. Therefore, technical solutions -though cost efficient - often do not reach the majority of the users as they do not take the social and contextual aspects shaping users' energy needs and practices into consideration.

With your work you will contribute to addressing this tension, considering issues such as gender and inclusiveness, vulnerable households, energy literacy and control vs automation. Based on a selection of case studies (starting with the Netherlands) you will study and apply insights in ongoing energy interventions in buildings.

A second, related focus concerns questions of assessment and impact: you will develop indicators and a methodology aiming to measure the impact of a socio-technical approach to interventions in the built environment.

You will get the opportunity to also share your knowledge and increase your skills through being engaged in (a small number of) educational activities.

The Postdoc position is embedded in the Technology, Innovation & Society (TIS) group. The TIS group is part of the School of Innovation Sciences, one of the two schools of the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS). Research at TIS concerns how humans and societies bring about technological change, and how technological innovations change society. Researchers in the TIS group study these processes in a systemic, transdisciplinary, and transnational perspective. Many of the TIS research projects are strongly embedded in practical environments and involve co-creation and an action research approach.

This position and research project are made possible by the BEHeaT program initiated by the Eindhoven Institute for Renewable Energy Systems (EIRES). EIRES facilitates the collaborative development and swift deployment of new technologies and devices by bringing together TU/e researchers working on materials, systems, and processes for energy storage and conversion. 
EIRES consists of collaborating research groups within TUe. These include over 140 researchers and more than 450 PhDs. EIRES brings these researchers together and creates new network connections between researchers and industry.

Within the focus area of energy transition in the built environment, a large-scale research program was recently launched. This program, BEHeaT, stands for Built Environment HeaTransition. The program is funded with TUe's own resources as well as contributions from industry. The research program has a pragmatic approach.

Within the BEHeaT program, research is conducted into the (further) development of various (new) materials, components and/or systems in relation to intelligent buildings, heat storage, heat networks and/or electricity grids. The focus is not only on physical materials, components and systems, but also on dynamic (predictive) models. We believe that in order to have impact, any research must take systems integration as its starting point. In addition, we believe that technology does not stand alone and should always be seen in relation to the (end) user. In this way, the impact of research results is increased.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are looking for a motivated researcher, with a PhD on a related topic in fields such as social studies of energy, STS, sustainability transitions or equivalent.

The ideal candidate:
  • has strong methodological skills in qualitative research; proven experience with mixed methods designs is a pro.
  • has knowledge of and/or eagerness to engage with participatory, action oriented or transdisciplinary approaches to research.
  • aims to make theoretical knowledge relevant for practice.
  • has affinity with teaching.
  • is a team player who enjoys working in a dynamic, interdisciplinary team and is able to communicate across disciplinary boundaries.
  • has excellent (written and verbal) proficiency in English, good communication skills, Dutch is a pro.
  • is responsible and self-reliant, and has a scientific mindedness while being practice-oriented.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for 2 years.
  • Salary in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale 10
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • Partially paid parental leave and an allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • TU/e Postdoc Association that helps you to build a stronger and broader academic and personal network, and offers tailored support, training and workshops.
  • A Staff Immigration Team is available for international candidates, as are a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) and a compensation for moving expenses.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • V39.6449


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

Learn more about this employer


De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you