PhD Smart Grid Researcher - IDLab Gent

Gent - PhD
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You will perform research using and developing techniques for advanced data analytics, and machine learning algorithms.

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About imec

Imec is a world-leading research and innovation hub in nano-electronics and digital technologies. The combination of our widely acclaimed leadership in microchip technology and profound software and ICT expertise is what makes us unique. By leveraging our world-class infrastructure and local and global ecosystem of partners across a multitude of industries, we create groundbreaking innovation in application domains such as healthcare, smart cities and mobility, logistics and manufacturing, and energy.
As a trusted partner for companies, start-ups and universities we bring together close to 3,500 brilliant minds from over 70 nationalities. Imec is headquartered in Leuven, Belgium and also has distributed R&D groups at a number of Flemish universities, in the Netherlands, Taiwan, USA, China, and offices in India and Japan. All of these particular traits make imec to be a top-class employer. To strengthen this position as a leading player in our field, we are looking for passionate talents that make the difference.

About IDLab at Ghent University

IDLab is a core research group of imec with research activities embedded in Ghent University and University of Antwerp. IDLab performs applied research and development of high speed and densely deployed wireless Internet technologies and data science. IDLab’s research areas cover machine learning and data mining; semantic intelligence; distributed intelligence for IoT; cloud and big data infrastructures; multimedia coding and delivery; wireless and fixed networking; electromagnetics, RF and high-speed circuits and systems. The IDLab team counts about 300 members (40 professors, 50 postdocs, 200 researchers, 15 support staff).

What you will do

You will join the “smart grid” team in IDLab at Ghent University, which applies machine learning and data mining techniques to try and address challenges that power grids are facing, both from the grid perspective as well as subparts thereof, down to, e.g., building energy management systems. As a PhD candidate, you will perform research using and developing techniques for advanced data analytics, and machine learning algorithms. These are highly valuable both to automatically detect/learn power consumption behavior as well as control it (e.g., in balancing renewable energy sources with local consumption). We currently have research tracks in (1) quantifying and assessing flexibility in power consumption, (2) demand response and control algorithms for energy management (e.g., on the building or microgrid scale), (3) non-intrusive load monitoring, and are starting up a track in (4) time series prediction (of both load and supply).

Your role in one of these research tracks will be to 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, but also in live field trials). You will perform this 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. 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. 

While grounded in fundamental academic research, as a PhD candidate you will also participate in collaborative research with industrial and/or academic partners in Flanders and/or on a wider geographic scale (e.g., EU H2020 projects), in the framework of new/ongoing projects. These include major (Flemish) media companies and upcoming big data oriented companies. Further, you will publish your research results at major international conferences and in journal papers, as part of meeting the requirements for your PhD. The exact scope of the PhD will be defined together with the supervisors.

What we do for you

  • Research position to work on projects, with the option to pursue a Ph.D. degree (4 years)
  • Focus on data science (analytics, modeling, time series prediction, machine learning) for smart grid related applications, as well as scalable/distributed algorithms to coordinate energy consumption and production (demand response, DR)
  • Challenging, creative and constructive environment
  • Unique opportunity to participate in European research projects and to cooperate with important ICT-oriented companies
  • Competitive salary

Who you are

  • You have strong analytical skills, you are well organized, you are an excellent communicator, a team player.
  • You have a strong sense of responsibility and are also able to autonomously plan and perform research tasks. You respect the predetermined milestones in research projects.
  • Your English is fluent, both in speaking and writing
  • Both young graduates and candidates with (industrial) experience are welcome
  • Master in electrical engineering, ICT, computer science or similar disciplines.
  • Knowledge of data analysis, machine learning, optimization techniques (e.g., ILP, heuristics), basic distributed software concepts. 
  • A proven experience in software development (e.g., student projects or master thesis successfully completed, with an important software development component), knowledge of Python, Java and/or C/C++. Experience with R and/or Matlab is a plus

Interested?

Send application to chris.develder@ugent.be, indicating “Application: Smart Grid Researcher – PhD Candidate” in the subject. Applications should include (1) an academic/professional resume, (2) a personal motivation letter, and (3) transcripts of study results, and (4) at least two reference contacts. After a first screening, selected candidates will be invited for an interview (also possible via Skype) as a first contact in a multi-stage selection process. 

Application deadline: August 30, 2018 or until position has been filled
Type of contract: Full-time
Employment: Temporary, with yearly evaluation
Starting date: Fall/Winter 2018/2019

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