Postdoc in Modelling and Optimization of District Heating Systems with Solar and Storage Resources

onsdag 30 jun 21

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Frist 10. august 2021
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The Dynamical Systems section at DTU Compute invites applications for a postdoc in modelling and optimization of district heating systems, with a focus on integration of solar heating plants and large-scale storage. Models of district heating components must be developed and coupled with optimization methodologies in order assess the potential of improved operational strategies.

You could be our new colleague if you are a talented researcher with a passion for research centred around modelling based on physics in order to simulate different energy system scenarios. For example, a district heating system with a typical boiler, large heat pump and solar heating plant, coupled with storage in different sizes (hot water tank, pit storage, etc.) and heat demand in buildings. For the operational optimization of such kind of systems, advanced forecasting and optimization must be applied. In particular, stochastic programming methods are of interest and must be implemented e.g. using programming languages like R, Python or Julia and the relevant software packages.

As such this position offers a unique opportunity to join a team of scientists working at the very forefront of the field of modelling and optimization of energy systems. The university itself is located in the greater Copenhagen area, which is acknowledged for its excellent standards of living, childcare and welfare system.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will be responsible for research activities related to modelling and optimization of district heating, at the Dynamical Systems Section. Specific responsibilities and tasks will include the following:

  • You will set up models of district heating system components like: boilers, solar thermal plants, hot water storage tanks, pit storage, as well as models of the heating demand in buildings;
  • You will use weather forecasts and already available implementations for forecasting of the most important energy vectors, e.g. solar heat generation and heating demand;
  • You will design price-based control schemes for optimization, especially related to integration of solar heating, storage and energy flexible buildings;
  • Based on the above models, you will combine them with mathematical optimization to develop an optimization methodology for reducing costs and emissions for a district heating system;
  • You will analyse the cost of different scenarios. For example, what is the potential of integrating large-scale heat pumps with and without optimal predictive control? What is the potential of energy flexibility in buildings?;
  • You will engage in exploiting novel combinations and synergy effects with other methodologies researched and used at the section;
  • In collaboration with your colleagues, you will engage in project management activities and funding applications related to your field of research;
  • You will work in close collaboration with academic and industry partners, as well as with municipalities;
  • You will support education and innovation activities;
  • You will contribute to supervision of bachelor, master and PhD students;

As a formal qualification, you must hold a PhD degree (or equivalent). Furthermore, good command of the English language is essential.

More specifically, you should have the following qualifications:

  • Experience with modelling complex, multi-domain systems, preferably in the field of thermodynamics of district heating systems, like: thermal plants, solar plants, storage systems, and buildings’ heating and ventilation;
  • Experience with mathematical and stochastic modelling (e.g., grey-box modelling, black-box modelling, control algorithms), preferably in the field of energy systems;
  • Experience with model predictive control and mathematical optimization (mixed-integer linear programming, preferably also stochastic programming)
  • Preferably, experience in the field of demand side management;
  • Preferably,experience with statistics, grey-box modelling, stochastic differential equations and Kalman filtering;
  • Preferably, experience with teaching activities related to the field of energy, energy grids

In addition:

  • You are motivated by both individual and team accomplishments
  • You believe in dialogue and feedback as the best foundation for sound decision-making

Flexibility and self-motivation are desired skills at DTU. In addition, we expect you to be interested in collaboration and to take personal responsibility for your work.

In the assessment of the candidates, consideration will be given to

  • Research experience
  • International experience
  • Internal and external collaboration
  • Societal impact
  • Innovation activities, including commercialization and collaboration with industry
  • Communication skills

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and terms of employment
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. 

The period of employment is 2 years. Starting date is 1 October 2021 (or according to mutual agreement).

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Peder Bacher, email:, tel.: +45 6077 4725. 

You can read more about DTU Compute at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.   

Application procedure
Please submit your online application no later than 10 August 2021 (local time)Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • Application (cover letter)
  • CV
  • List of publications
  • H-index, and ORCID (see e.g.
  • Diploma (MSc/PhD)

Applications and enclosures received after the deadline will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

Section for Dynamical Systems
The Dynamical Systems section conducts fundamental, advanced, strategic and applied research in the area of dynamical systems. This involves both deterministic and stochastic systems, discrete and continuous systems, deductive and inductive model building, forecasting and descriptions, as well as control and optimization.We do research in both deterministic and stochastic systems within a range of applications. The main themes are energy, smart cities, medicine, and biology.

DTU Compute
DTU Compute is a unique and internationally recognized academic environment spanning the science disciplines mathematics, statistics, computer science, and engineering. We conduct research, teaching and innovation of high international standard—producing new knowledge and technology-based solutions to societal challenges. We have a long-term involvement in applied and interdisciplinary research, big data and data science, artificial intelligence (AI), internet of things (IoT), smart and secure societies, smart manufacturing, and life science. 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.