PhD Position in Energy Systems Modeling

Catholic University of 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). In our group, PhD students and post-docs are working on modeling and on applications towards energy and climate policies.


Many electricity generation systems are undergoing drastic changes, through rapidly increasing shares of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) like wind and solar photovoltaics. Models are often used to address the corresponding challenges (technical, economic,policy), by analyzing system operation and planning.

We currently have two PhD positions and one post-doc position available, in the context of various projects granted under the Belgian Energy Transition Fund:

  • NEPTUNE: North-sea Energy Plan for Transition to sUstainable wiNd Energy; focus on scenario building under uncertainty.
  • ADABEL: Advanced Data Analytics ensuring cost-efficient security of supply and balancing throughout the BELgian energy transition; focus on data-driven improvement of adequacy assessment procedures and short-term balancing practices.
  • PROCURA: Power to X and Carbon Capture& Utilization Roadmap for Belgium; focus on the role of power-to-X in multi-energy systems and markets.

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

Candidates 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 candidate expert in energy systems modeling
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)
  • The opportunity to participate in an (inter)national research projects, research collaborations and international conferences
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)

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)

- Master thesis (Title, Year, Supervisor)

- A one paragraph (up to half an A4 page)statement explaining the motivation for applying for this vacancy at KU Leuven. In this regard we strongly encourage you to visit the research group’s website(see link above) and have a look at some of the recent publications.

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. Starting Date: earliest start is February 1, 2020. Later start is possible. For more information please contact prof. Erik Delarue via jad@kuleuven.

You can apply for this job no later than May 31, 2020 via the 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

  • Employment percentage: Voltijds
  • Location: Leuven
  • Apply before: May 31, 2020
  • Tags: Werktuigkunde
  • Download: file

In your application, please refer to