EngD - Optimal-structural design and business-case development of BIT-exchanger

EngD - Optimal-structural design and business-case development of BIT-exchanger

Published Deadline Location
31 May 30 Jun Eindhoven

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Fulltime, two year trainee position at the EngD program Smart Buildings & Cities. We are looking for candidates with a strong interest in the energy transition for the built environment and who enjoy working together with companies to develop a business-case for their market product.

Job description

Smart Buildings & Cities EngD program

The Smart Buildings & Cities EngD program wants to contribute to the transition towards smart, intelligent and sustainable cities where quality of life is high. This transition requires new solutions which can only be created through multiscale and transdisciplinary (design) approaches. This requires technical designers who are able to work in a multidisciplinary environment and know how to communicate with different disciplines and stake holders. This EngD program educates trainees to become those technical designers! Please note that this program is about technological design, i.e., the process of solving problems by means of a technological design, this in contrast to (PhD) research, which is the process of understanding problems.

The Mechanical Engineering Department of the Eindhoven University of Technology offers you a trainee position to follow a two-year post-master technological designer program, which leads to the degree of 'Professional Doctorate in Engineering' (EngD). The program consists of two main parts running in parallel:
  • Half of the program consists of post-master level education in the form of generic design projects and courses about design methods, entrepreneurship and professional skills. Furthermore, it includes several technical courses about topics relevant to SBC. This part of the program also offers ample opportunity to develop professional skills.
  • The other half of the program is dedicated to an individual design project in collaboration with a company. It is the trainees main responsibility to manage and execute the project. Each trainee is supported by an advisor from the company and an advisor from the university. A business plan for implementation or marketing of the designed product or process is part of the final deliverables.

The company design project is part of a larger BIT-project. BIT stands for Building Integrated Thermal collector, BIT-exchanger or BIT for short. The Dutch company SolarTech started the development of the BIT, which can be applied in or behind building components such as roof tiles, facades, roof terraces and solar panels. It is crucial in this respect that such a BIT-exchanger seamlessly connects to these building components and can easily be connected to other energy systems, including heat pumps and thermal storages. The aim of the BIT-project consortium as a whole is to develop a robust, simple and inexpensive building element, the BIT-exchanger. It should be possible to engineer the building element in such a way that it is easily applicable in the four defined application categories: solar panel, terrace, tiled roof and facade. The most important factor that plays a role in the successful roll-out of the newly developed building element is the heat transfer to the energy carrier characterized by the fin factor. The BIT-exchanger can be used as the main, and possibly the only source for heat pump systems. Combination of the BIT-exchanger with thermal energy storage is also being investigated. The aim is to make the BIT-exchanger from aluminum. Aluminum is infinitely recyclable and therefore an extremely sustainable basic material.

The consortium consists of SolarTech International BV (https://energiedak.nl/english/), TNO (https://www.tno.nl/en/), Energy Technology & Fluid Dynamics group of TU/e (ET&FD https://www.energy-tue.nl/), ZND Nedicom (https://www.zndnedicom.nl/) and NRGTEQ (https://www.nrgteq.nl/).

The company design project will focus on 1) modeling the system performance of a BIT-exchanger system including a business case investigation and 2) experimental measurements on different versions of the BIT-exchanger.
  1. Simulations will be carried out by ET&FD for a selected number of system configurations yet to be defined, in which the application of the BIT-exchanger is integrated with a heat pump and a thermal storage. Because the temperatures that can be achieved with the BIT-exchanger are not yet known, it is unclear which is the most suitable storage method. TRNSYS will probably be used to run the simulations. An economic/energetic analysis is carried out on the selected cases in order to arrive at an optimal business case for the application of the BIT-exchanger.
  2. A BIT-exchanger with optimal efficiency will be designed together with the consortium partners. The main technical goal and challenge is aimed at improving the fin factor, applying an optimal coupling structure and/or improving the heat transfer. Product development will lead to one (or a number of) product variant(s) of which it can be quickly determined with a solar simulator how it relates to the basic collector and under different surfaces. These measurements are performed with TU/e's Eternal Sun solar simulator and in close corporation with the consortium partners.
The EngD trainee will be embedded in the Energy Technology & Fluid Dynamics group - https://www.energy-tue.nl/.

For questions about the project contact dr. C.C.M. Rindt (c.c.m.rindt[at]tue.nl).


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


  • A highly motivated designer, with a MSc in Mechanical Engineering, Built Environment or Applied Physics.
  • The ideal candidate has completed MSc courses in fluid mechanics and heat transfer, has experience in numerical modeling using CFD and has experience in setting up and running heat transfer experiments.
  • A team player who enjoys supervising Master's students and working together with companies to develop a market product.
  • A proven ability to manage complex projects to completion on schedule.
  • Excellent (written and verbal) proficiency in English, good communication skills.
  • Independent and responsible.
  • Can-do mentality.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with a close relationship to industry.
  • A full-time employment for two years.
  • To support you during your EngD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for EngD trainees.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • Assistance for finding accommodation is offered.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V35.6670


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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