reactietermijn vacature verstreken - PhD Development of a micro grid strategy for PCRL
Technische Universiteit Eindhoven

By using multi-agent technology in combination with traditional Building Management Systems, new possibilities occur, which enables a real time interaction between outside environment and indoor conditions, process control on room level (PCRL) as well as a micro grid strategy which aims for optimal interaction with the Smart Grid.




Faculteit Bouwkunde







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The Department offers a BSc in Building Science (Bouwkunde) and MSc programs in Architecture, Building and Planning and Construction Management and Engineering. Education and research in the Department focus on the development and use of technology for the design and construction of a comfortable, healthy and sustainable built environment. The Department’s philosophy is “Beyond Building”, which reflects our multidisciplinary, integral and innovative approach in the construction, evaluation and improvement of buildings and urban areas. Our research is based on fundamental scientific insights and methods and their application for the built environment.

The research will be embedded in the group “Building Services (BS)” of the unit Building Physics & Services (BPS). Research and teaching at this unit aim at creating and maintaining a sustainable, healthy, comfortable and productive indoor and outdoor environment. The focus lies on physical aspects and processes including heat and mass transfer in the indoor and outdoor built environment, indoor and outdoor air quality, lighting, heating, ventilation and airconditioning. A holistic and integrated approach is considered essential. The unit has about 40 scientific staff (including 20 PhD researchers) and ample physical laboratory facilities (supported by 5 technicians). The multidisciplinary staffing of the unit enables the aforementioned approach and makes the unit rather unique.

The research proposal is part of the research program Building Physics and Services. On the level of the University the unit BPS participates in the Eindhoven Energy Institute KIC Sustainable Energy: InnoEnergy.  Within this research program the focus is on sustainable buildings and energy efficiency in the built environment. Within the Smart Energy Regions Brabant project there is cooperation between the group Electrical Engineering of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the group Building Services of the Faculty of the Built Environment.  On the European level, a network of scientific excellence is built in The European University Alliance of Science and Engineering through cooperation with Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU), School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (ENAC) at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and Technische Universität München (TUM) on the fields of Computational Building & Systems Performance Prediction (TU/e), Human Comfort and Productivity Research (DTU), and Integrated Building & Systems Design and Applications (TUM, DTU, TU/e).  Each theme will meet regularly in smaller groups whenever the projects require; beyond that there will be meetings every year either in Summer or Winter Schools. The Summer and Winter Schools function as the primary platform for meetings and knowledge exchange between researchers and students. Furthermore, lecture programs, guest courses and the serving as opponents in PhD committees by participating professors will be important elements, along with exchange of MSc, PhD students and postdoc’s. Besides the academically cooperation there is cooperation with two companies within the project: Kropman Building Services contracting and Almende.

Job Description:

The goal and intended result is to design, build and test an intelligent energy micro grid within buildings with the actual individual human needs as leading principle for the process control. A hierarchical functional decomposition approach is used to structure the energy infrastructure of a building [Zeiler & Savanovic 2009]. This method approach makes it possible to study the energy flows connected to heating, cooling, ventilation, lighting, and power demand, within a building on the different levels of hierarchical functional abstraction. In this case the main focus will be on the room level. The room level is connected to the micro grid on building level and to the occupant on workplace level. In a rapid prototyping approach, process representations of some of the different levels will be built in the Kropman office in Breda. This will system approach on room level forms the basis of defining different agents within a multi agent process control system. Using data from the existing building and its users will make it possible to fit the process control strategy immediately with a real live situation.  By making a coupling with the BMS of the building all the necessary data will be made available to investigate the behavior of the process control strategy compared to real historical data of before the intervention. This enables to look more closely on the energy demands of individuals and to build a more detailed process representation of the energy demands. The individual user behavior has become leading in the whole process control strategy to optimize the necessary use of energy to supply the occupants with their own preferred comfort indoor environment and energy for their activated appliances. This project consists of the following steps: 

  1. Literature study on different layers

  2. Analysis of human comfort behavior and interactions with the outside environment

  3. Selection of relevant control strategies to implement

  4. Design of supportive control methods to stimulate personized comfort control

  5. Analysis of the applicability of candidate methods

  6. Development of suggestions for improvement of method

  7. Experiments to test proposals

  8. Reflection on the results of the 1st series tests

  9. Further refinement of control method through analysis 2nd  series of tests

  10. 2nd  series of tests

  11. Project in ‘practise’

  12. Wrap-up of method for stimulate the creation of  new concepts for application of smart energy for building comfort


We are looking for a highly motivated candidate with a MSc degree in Building Services, Building Physics, Electrical, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent. Experience and interest in applications of intelligent agent technology as well as interest in the information processing in the built environment is essential. Experience in Building Services, Building Management Systems, Building Envelope Heat-Air transfer modelling, Thermal comfort Research is a plus.

We offer a stimulating and ambitious research environment. To complement this environment and for the specific project mentioned above, we are looking for an outstanding candidate that meets the following requirements:

×    You are highly motivated, talented and enthusiastic
×    You received a MSc degree in Building Services  or Mechanical Engineering, Building Physics or a related field.
×    You have an independent and well-structured working style
×    You are interested in guiding master students
×    You have strong communication skills and the attitude to participate successfully in a multidisciplinary team
×    You have  excellent  knowledge of the English language, both in speaking and writing.

Appointment and Salary:

We offer a stimulating and ambitious research environment. The gross monthly salary increases from € 2042,- in the first year to € 2612,- in the fourth year, plus 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end of the year allowance. Besides this, the TU/e has an excellent package of attractive benefits for employees, a child-care facility, and a modern sports complex. Assistance for finding accommodation can be given.
The duration of the project is four years.
The project is expected to start in January 2013.


More information may be obtained by Wim Zeiler, email, (URL =
For information about conditions of employment, you could contact Ms. C.N.A. van Iperen, HR officer, email


The application deadline is 20 November 2012. Please upload a detailed curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation and a Statement of Research Interests by the button "apply now" at the top of this page.
Don't send your application by email!

vacature geplaatst op 12 Nov 2012 door Technische Universiteit Eindhoven



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