At the division of Applied Mechanics and Energy Conversion (TME) of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at KU Leuven, and embedded in EnergyVille, a dynamic research group led by prof. Erik Delarue is working on the modeling of energy systems and markets (unit commitment, system planning, equilibrium modeling, renewables integration, energy policy and energy market design). In this Energy Systems Integration and Modeling (ESIM) research group, PhD students and post-docs are working on modeling and on applications towards energy and climate policies.
Our energy system is undergoing drastic changes in an aim towards decarbonization. On the generation side, we face rapidly increasing shares of intermittent renewable energy sources (RES) like wind and solar photovoltaics. On the demand side, increased levels of electrification offer a means to increase efficiency and moving away from fossil sources, while energy system integration (also considering carriers like heat and hydrogen) could offer needed flexibility. In a liberalized setting, markets need to provide incentives both on the short-term for efficient operation and on the long-term for proper investment. 

Energy system models are often used to gain insight in these challenges (technical, economic, policy) and explore possible options/designs/pathways. We currently have a PhD position available, with a focus on the modeling of integrated multi-energy systems and corresponding markets. This position is part of a larger project (with various other partners both from academia and industry) focusing on sector-coupling.

If you are interested/motivated for starting a PhD in this domain, we encourage to you to notify us/apply via the procedure explained below. 


We are looking for highly motivated, enthusiastic and communicative researchers with a Master of Science degree in Engineering or a related field, from a reputable institute. You should have obtained excellent study results.

Candidates should have a strong interest in energy, and especially in energy system operation and planning, as well as energy markets, policy and modeling. Experience with Matlab/Python/GAMS/Julia is a plus. Candidates with a background in a.o. economics, operations research are also encouraged to apply. Applicants should also have good English communication skills.

The PhD candidate can start from existing energy systems models and dedicated expertise available in the research group, and will collaborate with other research group members.

KU Leuven is among the top European universities. It is a key player in the field of energy research, also through the collaboration within EnergyVille.
We offer:
  • A doctoral scholarship  for four years (net monthly salary of about ~€2,500) and a PhD degree in Engineering, if successful
  • A highly specialized doctoral training, making the candidate expert in energy systems modeling
  • The opportunity to participate in research collaborations and international conferences
  • Multiple benefits (health insurance, access to university infrastructure and sports facilities, etc.)

A targeted start date is to be agreed upon. This research is to be performed within the framework of EnergyVille, a research collaboration on sustainable energy between KU Leuven, VITO, imec and UHasselt.