2 PhD positions on Energy Flexibility Services for Sustainable Data Centers

2 PhD positions on Energy Flexibility Services for Sustainable Data Centers

Published Deadline Location
25 Mar 27 Apr Enschede

Job description

The Computer Architecture for Embedded Systems CAES, Design and Analysis of Communication Systems DACS, and Mathematics of Operations Research MOR groups of the University of Twente have vacancies for two PhD (fully-funded, 4 years) and one postdoc (3 years) related to the use of energy flexibility of data centers.

According to a recent report by the European Union), data centers in the EU accounted for an estimated 1.8–2.6% of total EU electricity use in 2022 while in the Netherlands this fraction is around 5%. These data centers are essential in the operation of digital services, and by that there is a growing need for improving their sustainability. Unfortunately, the energy systems of new data centers, industry and renewable energy generation cannot always be integrated due to a lack of grid capacity within the Netherlands. Furthermore, as the current growth of data centers increases this capacity problem further, this research project will work on mitigating this problem and develop solutions that allow datacenters to be better integrated in the electricity systems to make a positive contribution to addressing capacity issues and efficient use of renewable energy by shifting their demands in time and space using efficient orchestration algorithms.

Project Description:
The research is part of the MISD project and the candidates will become a part of a multidisciplinary team on energy management that consists of researchers from several research groups. The aim is to develop and integrate methods that support the integration of data centers in the energy grid by unlocking and using the flexibility in the operation of data centers to mitigate grid congestion and shift peak demands in space and time, e.g., to times of availability of renewable energy. The focus of the PhD positions are as follows:

? PhD-1 (CAES and MOR groups) works on an energy management system that offers flexibility to electricity grid operators, minimizes energy costs and can decrease the CO2 footprint of data centers. For this, energy flexibility models, simulation models and algorithms that exploit this flexibility need to be developed and integrated. The researcher will directly work with dr. ir. Marco Gerards and prof.dr. Johann Hurink.

? PhD-2 (DACS and CAES groups) develops a methodology that allows task scheduling capabilities of the data center to be used for creating energy flexibility. The researcher (with a Post-doc working in the project) will develop analytical models, simulation models, interfaces, and adapt and integrate continuum orchestration algorithms (e.g., smartly using edge computing resources and telco-edges) developed within the project of PhD-1 (energy management system). The researcher will directly work with dr. Suzan Bayhan and dr.ir. Marco Gerards.

Altogether, the researchers collaborate on common tasks and integrate and evaluate their work with research by other researchers within the MISD project.

Expected starting date: August 2024

Tentative first interview date: 13 May or 15 May 2024. The 1st (online) meeting serves as an introduction, where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

Tentative 2nd interview date: June 2024. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills, and your talents.


University of Twente (UT)


We are looking for highly motivated researchers with the following profile:
  • You have an MSc degree in Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, Sustainable Energy or in a related field.
  • You have a good team spirit and like to work in a multidisciplinary, internationally oriented environment.
  • You are familiar with analytical modelling, machine learning, optimization approaches or willing to develop these skills.
  • For PhD-2 position, an understanding of computing and communication networks (e.g., edge/cloud computing) is a plus.
  • You are proficient in English and able to collaborate intensively with industrial and academic parties in regular meetings and work visits.

Conditions of employment

  • As a PhD candidate at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year);
  • There are 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;
  • The flexibility to work (partially) from home;
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have 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;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff.


About the organization: Please visit our websites for more information about the research groups CAES, DACS, MOR.

Additional information

Are you interested in any of the positions? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before April 26, 2024 and include:
  • A motivation letter (max 1 page) emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for this PhD position. Please indicate also when you can start the position at the earliest and which position(s) you are applying to (PhD-1 and/or PhD-2).
  • A full CV including your publications, awards, and working experience. Your CV should demonstrate the scope of your work and education and indicate a good fit with the stated requirements for the position.
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades.
  • A short (max 1-page) description of your MSc thesis/final project.
  • References (contact information) of two scientific staff members who are willing to provide a recommendation letter at our request.

For more information regarding these positions, you are welcome to contact Suzan Bayhan (s.bayhan@utwente.nl).


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1719


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 27 Apr 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).