We are offering a

PhD Position - Integrating Large-Scale Energy System Models into High Performance Computers


The transformation of the energy sector is a major challenge of the 21st century. The techno-economic systems analysis (IEK-3) uses large models to investigate the question, of which technologies energy systems need to be composed in order to become both, cost-efficient and environmnetally friendly. Become part of our international research group and gain insights into the future of the energy sector. Not only you can use your expertise to create prognoses on the future capacity expansion, but also get an overview of different technologies and their synergies.

Institute issuing the offer
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Your Job:

Large energy system models optimize the size, allocation and operation of components based on simplified assumptions and finite time steps. Currently, their maximum size and level of detail is limited by the capabilities of commercial solvers such as Gurobi and the computational resources. Therefore, the integration of energy system models into high performance computers is a crucial step to optimize Europe`s future energy system to a high level of detail.
Be part of our international team and optimize one of the world`s largest energy system models on one of the world`s largest supercomputers at the Jülich Research Center by:

  • Reviewing methods and algorithm to decompose mixed-integer linear programs and adapting them to typical applications in energy system modeling
  • Implementing an approach into our energy systems modeling framework FINE to decompose large models into many smaller ones
  • Running a decomposed large-scale instance of our institute`s European energy system model on one of Jülich`s supercomputers using solvers specialized on decomposed optimization
  • Quantifying the speed-up compared to state-of-the-art commercial solvers for desktop PCs
  • Using the new computer power to optimize Europe`s future energy system to an unknown level of detail and quantifying its impact on a cost-optimal technology selection and allocation

Your Profile:

  • A master`s or comparable degree in computer science, mathematics, engineering, natural sciences, economics or a related field of studies.
  • An interest for computer clusters and parallelized solving algorithms
  • Basic knowledge in computer-aided optimization and simulation
  • Fluent speaking and writing skills in English
  • A high degree of autonomy and commitment
  • A thorough and reliable working style

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 energy supply of tomorrow! We support you in your fast-track PhD program in less than three years 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 working group as well as an international and interdisciplinary working environment at one of Europe’s largest research institutions
  • Outstanding scientific and technical infrastructure
  • The opportunity to complete a doctoral thesis within 3 years through professional supervision and internal support services; time taken to submit the final thesis for the last 16 doctoral students at IEK-3: 2.7-3.4 years
  • Opportunity to participate in (international) conferences and project meetings
  • Continuous mentoring from your scientific supervisor
  • 30 days of annual leave and provision for days off between public holidays and weekends (e.g. between Christmas and New Year)
  • The ability to access all computing resources via VPN and work flexibly from home
  • Opportunity to develop your strengths, e.g. through a comprehensive training programme; a structured programme including continuing professional development and networking opportunities specifically designed for Jülich’s doctoral researchers by the Jülich Center for Doctoral Researchers and Supervisors (JuDocS): https://go.fzj.de/JuDocs
  • Working for one of the best employers in Germany - 6th place in the Glassdoor award for employee satisfaction: https://www.glassdoor.de/Award/Beste-Arbeitgeber-Deutschland-LST_KQ0,29.htm

In addition to exciting tasks and the collaborative working atmosphere at Jülich, we have a lot more to offer: https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/careers/julich-as-an-employer/benefits

The position is for a fixed term of 3 years. The salary is in line with pay group 13 (75%) of the Collective Agreement for the Public Service (TVöD-Bund). In addition, an annual special payment is granted (“Christmas payment”), which amounts to 60 % of the monthly salary. Further information on doctoral degrees at Forschungszentrum Jülich (including its various branch offices) is available at https://www.fz-juelich.de/en/careers/phd

We particularly welcome applications from people from a diverse range of backgrounds (e.g. regardless of age, gender, disabilities, sexual orientation/identity, as well as social, ethnic, and religious background). We strive to offer a diverse and inclusive working environment in which people enjoy equal opportunities and are able to fulfill their potential.

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: 22.09.2023