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KU Leuven
At the division of Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion (TME) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, a young research group led by prof. Erik Delarue is working on energy systems modeling (unit commitment, system planning, equilibrium modeling, renewables integration, energy policy and energy market design). Several PhD students and post-docs are working on modeling and on applications towards energy and climate policies. We currently have a PhD position available.


Many electricity generation systems are undergoing drastic changes, through rapidly increasing shares of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) like wind and solar photovoltaics. Given this context, a large-scale deployment of energy storage technologies can be a true game changer for the entire system as it holds the possibility to decouple generation and demand in the temporal and spatial dimensions. Storage basically relaxes the quasi-instantaneous balance required between demand of energy services and the corresponding supply. It does so across the different levels in the energy system (from the large-scale system level to local household scale), and across different energy carriers (electricity, heat, natural gas).

This PhD position is part of a larger University-funded research project entitled “Energy Storage as a Disruptive Technology in the Energy System of the Future”, which is an interdisciplinary collaboration between groups from the mechanical and electrical engineering departments. The aim of this project is to address the implications of a massive deployment of energy storage technologies on the overall operation of the energy system, its components and the control(technical), the economic viability and role of different market actors and business cases, and on the further evolution of the energy system.

The proposed PhD position here will focus on system level storage and the techno-economic aspects, including the associated regulatory issues and market design. Especially the aspect of operating under uncertainty and incomplete information is a critical aspect to be addressed, as well as the presence or absence of (market)incentives.

The PhD candidate can start from existing energy systems models and dedicated expertise available in the research group, and will collaborate with the other research group members.



We are looking for a highly motivated, enthusiastic and communicative researcher with a Master of Science degree in Engineering or a related field, from a reputable institute. You should have obtained excellent study results.

The candidate should have a strong interest in energy, and especially in energy system operation and planning, renewables integration, energy policy and modeling. Experience with Matlab/Python/GAMS/Julia is a plus. Candidates with a background in a.o.optimization, computer science, operations research are also encouraged to apply. Applicants should also have good English communication skills.



KU Leuven is among the top European universities. It is a key player in the field of energy research, also through the collaboration within EnergyVille.

We offer:

  • A doctoral scholarships (fully funded) for four years (net monthly salary of about ~ €2,000), and a PhD degree in Engineering if successful
  • A highly specialized doctoral training, making the candidateexpert in energy systems modeling
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
  • The opportunity to be active in an international research environment,engage in research collaborations and participate at international conferences

A targeted start date is to be agreed upon. Part of this research is to be performed within the framework of EnergyVille, a research collaboration on sustainable energy between KU Leuven,VITO, imec and UHasselt.



Applicants should express their interest by sending an email to prof. Erik Delarue via the dedicated email address . The email should *strictly* contain the following information in the text body, in bullets: - Name - Master degree (Master specification, University + Country, Year obtained, Promotor) - Master thesis title - A one paragraph (up to half an A4 page) statement explaining the motivation for applying for this vacancy at KU Leuven. Please also attach an academic CV to your email. Do not directly apply in the online system as referred to below. This will be only necessary for selected candidates in a second stage. Note that if you do not receive a response to your email within two weeks, this means you have not been selected for the second stage. Decision: as soon as a suitable candidate applies (so do not wait till the closing date to apply). Starting Date: earliest start is July 1st 2018. Later start is possible. For more information please contact prof. Erik Delarue via .


You can apply for this job no later than August 31, 2018 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

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