PhD student in smart sustainable buildings integration in smart energy grid

Reference : ERIN-2019-022

Type: PhD Student
Contract type: Fixed term contract
Duration: 14 months (+ 22 months + potentially 12 months extension)
Place: Belvaux



The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is offering a 36 months (that can be extended up to 48 months) PhD position in the topic of smart sustainable buildings integration in smart energy grid. She/he will join the Environmental Sustainability Assessment and Circularity (SUSTAIN) Unit of the Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department of LIST, which is developing knowledge, transferable technologies (e.g. software) and practical methods for the integrative evaluation and management of the sustainability of human driven systems. Within SUSTAIN Unit, the applicant will be incorporated in the Sustainable Energy Systems (SES) Group. The SES Group conducts research and develops innovative tools for the planning and operations of electric energy systems, with a specific focus on renewable energy integration in smart grids. Furthermore, the PhD student will be enrolled in the renowned Arenberg doctoral school (, and will be part of the research group ELECTA at KU Leuven (, with a campus in Leuven and in Genk (

The directive 2010/31/EU (revised in 2016) imposes that, by the end of 2020, new buildings must be nearly zero-energy buildings (nZEBs), meaning that their energy consumption and on-site renewable energy sources (RES) production be yearly nearly balanced. To achieve this goal, buildings are being equipped with RES and possibly energy storage devices. The concept of nZEB is pushed forward toward smart sustainable building (SSB), which imposes that the building : (i) meets nZEB requirements and its material stock has a low environmental impact, and (ii) integrates an efficient energy management system (EMS) to optimally steer RES, storage, and deferrable loads (smart appliances, electric vehicles, heat pumps).

The paradigm shift from purely energy consumer building to prosumer SSB requires the optimal integration of a cluster of SSBs in the smart energy grid, to exploit their win-win interactions in terms of flexibility provision (e.g. demand response).




The PhD student will be involved in the project gENESiS, whose three-fold research question is: how to optimally design and operate the EMS of a SSB while seeking its optimal integration into the smart power grid? The main objective of the PhD student work is to develop a methodology for optimal integration of a cluster of SSBs in the smart energy grid. To this end, the candidate will rely on models of SSBs (partly developed by other researchers involved in the project) and smart energy grids. To address the work objective, the candidate will develop original mathematical optimization tools at both planning and operation stages resorting to mixed-integer linear/non-linear programming, rolling horizon and model predictive control. It is expected that the candidate will publish the main findings at peer-reviewed conferences and top journals.  





  • Background in Engineering Sciences: Electrical engineering or power systems, with good background in applied mathematics, particularly mathematical optimisation

Required seniority

  • MSc degree in electrical engineering, power systems or energy systems, with very good to excellent marks (at least cum laude is required to start the PhD programme)
  • An MSc degree from a university within the EEA (European Economic Area) is required to start the PhD degree directly


  • Good programming skills, experience with modelling and optimisation


  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)


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 Stéphanie LUCADELLO

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