PhD position on Artificial intelligence for user-centered and energy-efficient operation of buildings

PhD position on Artificial intelligence for user-centered and energy-efficient operation of buildings

Published Deadline Location
20 Apr 28 May Delft

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Challenge: decarbonisation requires synergy between users and building controls.
Change: Artificial Intelligence.
Impact: lower energy consumption in buildings whilst enhancing occupant health.

Job description

Delft University of Technology is hiring a doctoral candidate on “Artificial Intelligence for user-centered operation of buildings”. The PhD position is part of the Horizon Europe IA Smarteestory project.

The selected candidate will work on developing data-driven user archetypes and inference strategies to personalise building control and reduce energy consumption whilst increasing user comfort and satisfaction. The candidate will contribute to the development of a novel AI-enhanced strategy for assimilating user needs in a non disruptive manner and accordingly inform model-based building control systems. Further, the candidate will design the information infrastructure between users and building controls, balancing data accuracy with intrusiveness.

This AI Strategy will be then integrated in a smart building automation and control system for monitoring and optimizing historic non-residential buildings energy performance according to an innovative multi-domain approach (integrating the 9 domains proposed by SRI methodology), incorporating specific historic building requirements as well as human requirements and envisaging real-time and active user engagement. The AI strategy will automatically detect (interacting with users via specific technologies identified in project initial stages, e.g., smart home systems) the building users’ archetypes (via integrated Bayesian inference, clustering, and reinforcement learning algorithmic workflows) therefore informing the optimization and control services on their specific preferences.

The position is a four-year doctoral appointment. You will be jointly supervised by Dr. Ing Alessandra Luna Navarro, and Dr. Charalampos Andriotis, and work in a research team. You will be a member of the Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology, Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment. The project will offer opportunities to collaborate with industrial partners and academics from other disciplines, as required (building controls, energy modelling, information technology and human comfort and building physics).

About the Smarteestory project
SMARTeeSTORY will propose an integrated building automation and control systems for monitoring and optimizing building energy performance according to an innovative multi-domain approach (integrating SRI domains: HVAC, Dynamic Façade, Lighting, EV), incorporating historical building requirements as well as human requirements by envisaging real-time and active user engagement. SMARTeeSTORY system will automatically detect (interacting with users via specific technologies identified in project early stages, e.g. smart home systems) the building users archetypes (via AI algorithms) therefore specific preferences (SMARTeeSTORY database of users’ archetypes and preferences in smart buildings – energy demand, comfort, etc.) informing the optimization and control services. Such a system will encompass interoperable and cyber-secure software (cloud-based middleware provided with multiple services for: monitoring & digital twin, analysis and prediction, optimization and control, embedding physics and data-based models for forecasting building energy performance and using Digital Building Logbook as a Common Data Environment) and hardware. The system will be deployed at TRL 8 in three demo sites (non-residential historic buildings) identified in Latvia, Spain and The Netherlands.



Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • A Master’s degree in a discipline related Building Technology, Architecture, Building Physics, Energy Engineering, Computer Science, Machine Learning or other related disciplines;
  • Knowledge of building physics, human comfort and interaction in buildings, energy systems and passive climate design for energy-efficient buildings and preferably experience with experimental research with human volunteers, environmental monitoring or dynamic building energy simulation tools;
  • Experience with programming (e.g. with Python, command-line tools, version control);
  • Preferably experience with Machine Learning techniques for time series analysis, clustering and inference;
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills in English proven by a minimum score of 100 in TOEFL or IELTS of 7.0 per sub-skill (writing, reading, listening, speaking). For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements
  • You enjoy performing research. You are independent, self-motivated and eager to learn;
  • You are keen to work with partners to link real-world challenges to fundamental research questions.      

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.

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.

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, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 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 energy and creativity of its student body and academic community. It is buzzing with energy from early in the morning until late at night, with four thousand people studying, working, designing, conducting research and acquiring and disseminating knowledge. Our faculty has a strong focus on 'design-oriented research’, which has given it a top position in world rankings.

Staff and students are working to improve 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.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment.

About the department
The Department of Architectural Engineering + Technology provides education and performs scientific research in the field of building technology related to building design. It positions itself as an important player in the integration of design and engineering. The core areas of interest are façade design, structural design, climate design and computational design with an important core focus on sustainability

The PhD position is shared between the Architectural Facades & Products research group and AiDAPT Lab. 


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03836


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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