Postdoctoral researcher in optimal design and operation of smart sustainable buildings

Reference : ERIN-2019-023

Type: Researcher
Contract type: Fixed term contract
Duration: 18 months
Place: Belvaux



The Luxembourg Institute of Science and Technology (LIST) is offering a full time 18 months postdoctoral researcher position in the topic of optimal design and operation of smart sustainable buildings considering their interaction with the smart energy grid. She/he will join the Environmental Sustainability Assessment and Circularity (SUSTAIN) Unit of the Environmental Research and Innovation (ERIN) department ofLIST, 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 the 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.

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 postdoctoral researcher will be involved in the project gENESiS, whose three-fold research question is: how to optimally design and operate the EMS of an existing or new SSB while seeking its optimal integration into the smart power grid?

The main two objectives of the retained candidate are:

  • to develop a methodology for planning SSB EMS optimal design, which determines the optimal size and technology choice for RES and energy storage, heeding to renovation measures, as a trade-off between economic benefit and environmental impact; and
  • to develop an approach for EMS SSB optimal operation, which steers optimally energy generation, storage, and usage in SSB daily operation.

To attain these objectives, the candidate will develop models of SSBs and original mathematical optimisation tools at both planning and operation stages of SSBs resorting to mixed-integer linear programming and model predictive control. It is expected that the candidate will publish the main findings at peer-reviewed conferences and top journals.





  • PhD in electrical/thermal engineering, energy (at large), buildings, or operations research


  • Up to 4 years research experience upon PhD graduation
  • Good skills in programming in general and GAMS in particular, (buildings) energy modelling, applied mathematics/mathematical optimisation


  • Fluent in English (written and spoken)


Candidates interested in the above position can apply online.

The application file should include:

  • a CV
  • a motivation letter
  • the names of two or three referees


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