We are looking to recruit a

PostDoc – Quantum Optimization in Energy Systems Engineering


At the Institute of Energy and Climate Research – Energy Systems Engineering (IEK-10) we focus on the optimal design and operation of integrated energy systems with a high share of renewable energy. Computer simulation and optimization are our essential tools to arrive at sustainable, reliable, and cost-effective solutions. The Optimization and Machine Learning department at IEK-10 applies and develops optimization methods in energy systems engineering. Our expertise covers (deterministic) global optimization, stochastic programming, bilevel optimization, and dynamic optimization. A particular focus of our work is the combination of numerical optimization and machine learning (ML). We develop ML-based surrogate models and algorithms for parallel and heterogenous computing architectures.

Institute issuing the offer
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Your Job:

Quantum optimization (QO) is a promising, potentially disruptive technology for solving difficult optimization problems which is at the heart of energy system design and operation. While illustrative, energy-related examples (e.g., unit commitment) have been ported onto quantum computers, the potential of QO for energy systems engineering, especially with respect to the design and operation of multi-carrier energy networks, remains largely unknown. Our goal is to identify design and operational problems for which efficient quantum formulations and hybrid quantum-classical algorithms can be derived and to analyze scalability and relative performance of quantum-(assisted) optimization compared to state-of-the-art classical optimization. To this end, we will perform extensive computational experiments on the Jülich D-Wave quantum annealer and on a gate-based quantum computer over the cloud. We are supported by our project partners and quantum computing experts at the Jülich Supercomputing Centre (JSC) and the Peter Grünberg Institute – Institute for Quantum Computing Analytics (PGI-12). Your Tasks in Detail:

  • Develop QO formulations for energy system design and operation
  • Perform and analyze computational experiments on quantum computing hardware
  • Analyze performance and scalability of QO and compare to classical optimization
  • Develop hybrid quantum-classical algorithms for mixed-integer and constrained problems
  • Closely work together with our project partners and become part of an interdisciplinary team
  • Disseminate your results in renowned journals and at international conferences

Your Profile:

  • Very good Master’s and subsequent PhD degree in computational engineering, simulation science, physics, applied mathematics or a relevant discipline
  • Expert knowledge in optimization; experience in quantum optimization is desired
  • Experience in process/energy systems engineering is an advantage
  • Strong programming skills (e.g., Python, Matlab, C/C++)
  • Excellent skills in spoken and written English
  • Excellent organizational and time-management skills
  • Strong ability to work independently
  • Excellent cooperation and communication skills and commitment to work as part of a team

Our Offer:

We work on the very latest issues that impact our society and are offering you the chance to actively help in shaping the change! We support you in your work with:

  • A large research campus with green spaces, offering the best possible means for networking with colleagues and pursuing sports alongside work
  • A highly motivated, interdisciplinary research group in one of the biggest research centers in Europe
  • Supervision by Prof. Alexander Mitsos, Director at IEK-10 and Head of the Institute of Process Systems Engineering (AVT.SVT) at RWTH Aachen University
  • An excellent scientific and technical infrastructure (e.g., the Jülich D-Wave Quantum Annealer)
  • Further development of your personal strengths, e.g., through an extensive range of training courses
  • Flexible work (location) arrangements, e.g., remote work
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g., between Christmas and New Year)
  • A full-time position with the option of slightly reduced working hours
  • Targeted services for international employees, e.g., through our International Advisory Service

In addition to exciting tasks and a collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://go.fzj.de/benefits

This is a 2-year appointment, with the possibility of a 1-year extension based upon satisfactory performance and availability of funding. Salary and social benefits will conform to the provisions of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund) depending on the applicant’s qualifications and the precise nature of the tasks assigned to them.

The advertised position is one of multiple positions in IEK-10 to be filled related to quantum-based energy grids. You are free to apply for more than one position.

We welcome applications from people with diverse backgrounds, e.g. in terms of age, gender, disability, sexual orientation / identity, and social, ethnic and religious origin. A diverse and inclusive working environment with equal opportunities in which everyone can realize their potential is important to us.

We look forward to receiving your application. The job will be advertised until the position has been successfully filled. You should therefore submit your application as soon as possible.

Apply now

Questions about the offer?

Please feel free to contact us via our contact form.
Please note that for technical reasons we cannot accept applications by e-mail.

Last Modified: 24.08.2023