PhD Position in Operations Research – Energy management in Hubs for Circularity

PhD Position in Operations Research – Energy management in Hubs for Circularity

Published Deadline Location
26 Oct 14 Dec Enschede

Job description

Several industrial areas are striving to become hubs for circularity by promoting industrial symbioses to prevent or reduce waste streams, prioritizing resource efficiency, and maximizing renewable energy use. This PhD project will focus on managing energy production and consumption within a hub for circularity, and their link to energy markets as well as other processes and resources available in the area. The ultimate aim is to reduce the consumption of non-renewable resources for energy production and maximize the synergy effects of industrial processes (e.g., recovery of waste heat, district heating, production and use of hydrogen from renewable energy sources).

The successful applicant will join the Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS) section of the High-tech Business & Entrepreneurship Department (HBE) at the Faculty of Behavioural Management and Social Sciences (BMS).

Background

Despite the ongoing efforts of the European Union policies, heavily industrialized clusters are lagging in the implementation of Industrial Symbiosis (IS) to transit to more resource- and energy-efficient setups. To advance IS implementation, a promising future research direction is Hubs for Circularity (H4C). H4C provide spaces where diverse actors, such as businesses, governments, researchers, and civil society, collaborate to accelerate the net-zero Circular Economy (CE) transition. UT acquired the large-scale Horizon Europe project entitled "Sustainable Circular Economy Transition: from Industrial Symbiosis to Hubs for Circularity: IS2H4C”. IS2H4C will deliver a systemic approach to sustainable CE transition, helping to materialise Sustainable Development Goals.

Our focus? Resource efficiency, IS matchmaking, Life Cycle Assessment, renewable energy, waste prevention, and innovative circular technologies, through an integrated approach combing physical and digital H4C. Ensuring community and government support, sustainable business and financial models, and respect for our planet is paramount.

Our vision? Make IS2H4C the blueprint for Europe's sustainable future and promote H4C as a reference sustainable regional development model. We're starting in four H4C pilot sites across the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Türkiye, collaborating with 35 partners from nine European countries.

Join us! UT is hiring six PhD students for IS2H4C, each with unique roles and qualifications. Be part of an interdisciplinary team shaping the future of CE and IS2H4C while advancing your research.

Key takeaways

During the project, the PhD candidate will perform research on the following tasks:
  • Investigate and optimize the energy management of the hub and its participants;
  • Model and optimize the interactions of the hub or individual hub participants with national energy markets;
  • Develop models and algorithms to optimize energy flows within the hub to reduce costs and increase environmental sustainability;
  • Include concepts of industrial symbiosis in the optimization to unlock collaboration between stakeholders and foster circularity;
  • Model the factors of uncertainty (e.g., energy prices, heating demand, production from renewable energy units) using scenarios, forecasts, or stochastic processes;
  • Incorporate uncertainty into the decision-making models by developing stochastic optimization approaches such as stochastic programming and reinforcement learning.

Specifications

University of Twente (UT)

Requirements

We look for a highly motivated, enthusiastic researcher who is driven by curiosity and has/is:
  • A master’s degree in Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, Business Analytics, or a related discipline;
  • A strong quantitative background and is experienced with quantitative analytics techniques, in particular prescriptive analytics (operations research);
  • Knowledge of stochastic optimization methods (e.g., stochastic programming, robust optimization, and reinforcement learning) and simulation techniques (e.g. agent-based simulation) is an advantage;
  • Motivation to work on sustainability challenges and renewable energy systems - Prior experience on these subjects is a plus;
  • Proficiency in coding with a language like Python, Matlab, C++, Java, or similar – Prior experience with an optimization solver like Cplex or Gurobi is a plus;
  • A good team spirit and enjoys working in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment;
  • Able to carry out independent research and willing to develop writing and publication skills;
  • Ability to collaborate with stakeholders from academia and industry;
  • Possess good communication skills and an excellent command of English.

Conditions of employment

We encourage high responsibility and independence, while collaborating with colleagues, researchers, other university staff and partners. We follow the terms of employment by the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Universities (CAO). Our offer contains: a fulltime 4-year PhD position with a qualifier in the first year; excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities; and a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School. It also includes:
  • Gross monthly salary of € 2.770 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.539 in the fourth year;
  • Excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • A training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • A green campus with free access to sports facilities and an international scientific community;
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • A full status as an employee at the UT, including pension, health care benefits and good secondary conditions are part of our collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.

Department

The HBE cluster is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive working culture. Our aim is that all job applicants are given equal opportunities. When we select candidates for employment, it will be on the basis of their competence and ability. To support the workforce diversity, we are open to offer flexible working conditions on an individual basis to support work-life balance, that may include contract of employment, working hours and location, or child care arrangements.

The High Business Entrepreneurship corporate video can be watched via this link.

Additional information

“Due to the urgency for an early start, we aim to fill in this position as soon as possible and we will start conducting interviews with short listed candidates starting from 23 November 2023; however, the application deadline is extended to 14 December 2023. Interested candidates can still apply until 14 December 2023.”

Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application latest 14 December 2023 and include:
  • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivations to apply for this position;
  • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references;
  • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

Please ensure that your application is submitted by the deadline. Do not make submissions via e-mail as they will not be considered.

Additional information can be acquired via email from Dr. Daniela Guericke (d.guericke@utwente.nl) with a cc to Dr. Alessio Trivella (a.trivella@utwente.nl) and Dr. Devrim Yazan (d.m.yazan@utwente.nl)

Specifications

  • PhD
  • Behaviour and society
  • 38—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1494

Employer

University of Twente (UT)

Learn more about this employer

Location

Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 14 Dec 2023 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).