Two PhD positions in AI-based methods for integrated hydrogen (m/f/x)

Two PhD positions in AI-based methods for integrated hydrogen (m/f/x)

Published Deadline Location
4 Jun 30 Jun Amsterdam

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Job description

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) in Amsterdam has vacancies for:

Two PhD positions in AI-based methods for integrated hydrogen-electricity systems (m/f/x)

Our energy systems are undergoing rapid changes, with increasing adoption of distributed renewable generation (from PVs and wind turbines), new forms of demand (from EV charging, heating) and storage. This poses significant challenges for our power networks, as seen in the significant network congestion issues emerging in many regions of the Netherlands. In recent years, hydrogen has enmerged as a significant energy vector, with potential to address many of the challenges posed by the energy transition. The Netherlands national hydrogen research programme on hydrogen, Groenvermogen NL (GVNL, was established to perform fundamental and practical research required for realising and accelerating the hydrogen economy.

[1] The first position is part of WP2 of GVNL, that covers the transport and storage of hydrogen. The PhD position at CWI will concern the interface between hydrogen and electrical power network, in particular how AI optimisation and modeling methods for hydrogen storage can be used/operated in a smart way to provide flexibility for the electrical power network (such as how hydrogen units can act as a form of energy storage for renewable generation). Potential topics for this PhD position include:
  • Modelling the deployment of hydrogen storage for managing electricity network congestion, including optimizing their spatial placement and size
  • New AI/ML algorithms for smart control of H2 generation/storage units (e.g. reversible H2 fuel cells)
  • Novel methods for market-based coordination, and automated market design (using smart autonomous agents) when using H2 assets as a source for flexibility for local power grids

[2] The second position is part of WP3 of GVNL, that concerns end uses of hydrogen, including in local applications such as industrial parks, farms and the transport network (including hydrogen-based trucks and inland shipping). The PhD position at CWI will research how AI and multi-agent techniques can be used to model and optimise complex integrated energy systems that include hydrogen, especially in transportation chains and the energy sector. Specific potential topics include:
  • Algorithms for optimising the placement of hydrogen refueling stations, including freight and ship bunkering (refueling) stations
  • Models of local flexibility in microgrid applications that include hydrogen (farms, industrial parks etc)
  • New automated, agent-based hydrogen markets, especially related to transportation applications and local energy microgrids

The focus of both PhD projects at CWI, will be on development of novel dedicated approaches with (distributed) AI, multi-agent systems and/or machine learning techniques to support decision-making for integrated hydrogen-electricity systems. Fundamental AI techniques relevant to this project include a wide range of computational intelligence and ML techniques, distributed, multi-agent optimisation, market-based coordination between agents, automated negotiation and algorithmic game theory approaches. In terms of the optimization aspects, relevant topics include: single and multi-criteria optimization, dynamic constraints, uncertainty and risks, costs of actions, and economic/technical trade-offs. The PhD student will start with a survey identifying promising alternatives and then delve deeper into specific solutions and approaches and real case studies and data. The projects will involve regular discussion and presentation of the results to other consortium members from other universities, HBOs, research institutes and companies (who have, potentially, different expertise backgrounds). Hence effective communication skills are required

The PhD students will be employed for 4 years in the Intelligent and Autonomous Systems Group (IAS, at CWI, the National Research Institute for Mathematics and Computer Science in the Netherlands, located in Amsterdam. The IAS group has an extensive experience in developing and applying computational intelligent, multi-agent systems and applied game theory techniques to address societal problems, and energy systems are an increasingly important application area. The student with be supervised by two senior researchers in the group: Prof. Valentin Robu (also part-time professor at TU Eindhoven) and Professor Han La Poutré (also part-time professor at TU Delft). While the position is primarily based in Amsterdam, based on a successful dissertation, the students will be awarded the PhD degree from TU Eindhoven..


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)


PhD candidates should have a master degree in artificial intelligence, computer science or mathematics, and have a keen interest in energy applications. Candidates with a background in electrical engineering (especially from a smart power grids background), technology, policy and management are also encouraged to apply, especially if they have experience with numerical modeling, simulation and optimization methods. Candidates should have a clear interest in fundamental research, should be creative and solid in their research, should have (potential) interest in AI (multi-agent systems, machine learning, etc.) and in the problem area of integrated energy systems, and the ability to cooperate with experts from different disciplines. It is essential that you have good academic writing and presentation skills. Candidates are expected to have an proficient command of English.

Diversity code
CWI encourages a diverse workforce: we endeavour to develop talent and creativity by bringing people from different backgrounds and cultures together. We recruit and select based on capabilities and talent. We strongly encourage everyone with the appropriate qualifications to apply for the vacancy, regardless of age, gender, origin, sexual orientation or physical abilities.

Conditions of employment

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The initial labour agreement will be for a period of 12 months. After a positive evaluation, the agreement will be extended by 18 months. After this agreement ends, an additional labour agreement for 18 months will be provided at TU Delft, together constituting a 4-year PhD trajectory as is common in The Netherlands. The gross monthly salary, for a PhD student on a full time basis, is €2,590 during the first year and increases to €3,318 over the four year period.

At both CWI and TU Delft, employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI and TU Delft offer attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling and help with housing for expat employees.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is part of the Institutes Organisation of the Dutch Research Council (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries, an informal atmosphere and short lines of communication. We have an activity committee that organizes after-work activities and an informal women’s network.

CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam, the home of AMS-IX, that is presently developing into a major location of research in the physical sciences in The Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.


For more information about CWI, please visit or watch our video about working at CWI.


  • PhD; PhD scholarship
  • Natural sciences
  • €2407—€3318 per month
  • Higher professional education
  • 3481


Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)

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