/Postdoctoral Researcher in Artificial Intelligence for energy applications

Postdoctoral Researcher in Artificial Intelligence for energy applications

PostDoc - Gent Zwijnaarde | More than two weeks ago

Ghent University – imec IDLab Research group

Ghent University is a world of its own. Employing more than 8,000 people, it is actively involved in education and research, management and administration, as well as technical and social service provision on a daily basis. It is one of the largest, most exciting employers in the area and offers great career opportunities. With its 11 faculties and more than 80 departments offering state-of-the-art study programs grounded in research in a wide range of academic fields, Ghent University is a logical choice for its staff and students.

About AI for Energy team

The “AI for Energy” team (AI4E), led by prof. Chris Develder and prof. Bert Claessens at the Internet and Data Lab (IDLab) at Ghent University – imec is looking for a qualified and motivated postdoctoral researcher. The postdoc will coordinate and perform research for bilateral/collaborative projects with industry partners, and thus play a key role in bringing state-of-the-art research into practice.

Our research group currently is involved in research projects in the energy domain, including mostly smart grid applications. The focus of our AI4E team in these projects is on data analytics, as well as coordination algorithms for, e.g., demand response. A major objective of the applications we want to support is to accommodate large penetration of renewable sources (wind turbines, solar panels, etc.). This involves characterizing and eventually predicting both power generation (from renewables) and consumption behavior (and its flexibility, e.g., what portion thereof can be shifted in time), using data analytics techniques, constructing generative models, applying machine learning, etc. The next step is to actively control power consumption, e.g., by developing algorithms for energy management systems (to steer power consumption and/or decide what to use local production for, e.g., push into the grid or local storage). 

Your role in these projects will be to identify the needs and opportunities from industry partners, devise and evaluate cutting edge algorithms, implement them, evaluate them in case studies and report on the results in a well-structured manner. Additionally, depending on the project, this may also involve the design/implementation of software prototypes for simulation and proof-of-concept demonstrations (in lab settings as well as live field trials in collaboration with industrial partners). You will coordinate and perform such work in the context of research projects that will give you the opportunity to interact and collaborate with researchers and engineers from other universities, research institutes and companies, e.g., in the context of programs funded by the EU. As you will be dealing with several aspects of designing and evaluating systems (mathematical models, machine learning, optimization techniques, software development, simulation, etc.), the function is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate and further improve several of your mathematical and engineering skills. Given that this is a senior position, you will also get the chance to develop and demonstrate your skills in project management, research proposal writing, negotiating and defining collaborative projects, and manage young PhDs through empowerment.

What you will do

  • At least 70% of your assignment will be spent on academic research.
  • Work on fundamental and applied research projects, with a focus on data science (analytics, modeling, machine learning) for applications in the energy and smart grid domains, as well as scalable/distributed algorithms to coordinate energy consumption and production (demand response, DR), including power markets.
  • Participate in European/national research projects and to cooperate with key players in the energy sector.
  • Contribute to a challenging, creative and constructive research environment.

What we do for you

  • We offer you a contract of indefinite duration with a maximum term of 2 years which can be extended to 6 years after positive evaluation.
  • Your contract will start on 1/01/2023 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale PD1. Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, a bicycle allowance and eco vouchers.. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).

Who you are

  • You hold a thesis-based doctorate (obtained max. 6 years ago; this term of 6 years is determined by the date written on the above-mentioned required diploma).
  •  Your Ph.D. degree should be relevant to the position (i.e., power and energy systems, significant expertise in computer science is a plus) with first-class performance as demonstrated through, e.g., outstanding grades, publications, collaborative project participation, open-source software contributions, dataset creation.
  • You have strong analytical skills, you are well organized, you are an excellent communicator and team player, and have basic project management experience.
  • You have a strong sense of responsibility and are also able to autonomously plan and perform research tasks. You can autonomously plan and manage small research projects and responsibly respect the set milestones, as well as manage the risks in a contingency plan.
  • Your English is fluent, both in speaking and writing. You have demonstrated maturity in scientific writing.
  • Knowledge and understanding of energy and power systems in terms of energy markets, ancillary services, etc.  
  • Knowledge and understanding of data analysis, machine learning, optimization techniques (e.g., ILP, heuristics), basic distributed software concepts is a strong plus.
  • A proven affinity with software development (participation in larger scale initiatives, e.g., open-source frameworks, is a plus), knowledge of Python is a plus.


Apply online through the e-recruitment system. We do not accept that are not submitted through the online system.

Your application must include the following documents:

  • In the field ‘CV’: your CV and an overview of your study results (merged into one pdf file)
  • In the field ‘Cover letter’: your application letter in pdf format
  • In the field ‘Diploma’: a transcript of the required degree (if already in your possession). If you have a foreign diploma in a language other than our national languages (Dutch, French or German) or English, please add a translation in one of the mentioned languages.
  • In the field “other documents”: (i) at least 1 piece of scientific writing with you as the first/sole author (a link to such document suffices), (ii) contact details for up to 3 references that we may contact a reference letter, (iii) an overview of your study results (MSc and BSc study transcripts.

Note that the maximum file size for each field is 10 MB.

As Ghent University maintains an equal opportunities and diversity policy, everyone is encouraged to apply for this position.

More information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Chris Develder (chris.develder@ugent.be). Important: do NOT send your application by email, but apply online.


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