Vacancy No. 31-2018

PhD in Energy System Modelling (m/w/d)


Job description

Are you concerned about the impacts of global warming? Do you want to put your strong analytic skills in the service of the energy transition?

In this project you will help to understand the most cost-effective pathways to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the energy system. You will work on energy system models that seek to maintain sufficient model detail and interdependencies, while not losing sight of the broader characteristics that determine efficient invesment strategies in low-emission systems. You will develop new methods and algorithms to tackle the extreme the extreme computational complexity of optimising models that combine the international scope of European energy markets, the local detail of network bottlenecks and the couplings between multiple energy sectors. In particular, you will investigate the role of spatial granularity in energy system optimisations, and how greater spatial resolution affects the assessment of renewable resources and the way transmission grids are represented.

The existing modelling tool Python for Power System Analysis (PyPSA) will be further developed to support the modelling aims of the project. To ensure full transparency, all software, data and publications generated in the project will be made publicly available under open licences.

Further information about the group and our projects can be found here:

Personal qualification
  • A master’s or equivalent degree in computer science, mathematics, physics, engineering, economics or related numerate disciplines.
  • Excellent analytical skills and interest in theoretical and applied modelling.
  • Good mathematical knowledge, ideally including optimisation.
  • Knowledge of energy system engineering and/or economics.
  • Experience with grid modelling is advantageous.
  • Programming experience (any language, but the project will mostly be in Python and Julia).
  • Commitment to full transparency in research methods, data and publications.

Please apply with a letter of motivation, a CV and the contact detailsof two referees using the application form linked below.

Organizational unit

Institute for Automation and Applied Informatics (IAI)

Starting date


Contract duration

limited to 3 years

Application up to


Contact person in line-management

For further information, please contact Dr. Tom Brown,, phone 0721 608-25737.


Please apply online using the button below for this vacancy number 31-2018.
Personnel support is provided by 

Ms Joos
phone: +49 721 608-25006,

Hermann-von-Helmholtz-Platz 1, 76344 Eggenstein-Leopoldshafen, Germany

If qualified, handicapped applicants (m/f/d) will be preferred.