R&D Professional (Advanced Design Tools for DHC-Systems)

Job description

You will be involved in several research and knowledge-intensive projects as expert on advanced design of future-proof DHC-systems based on pre-existent PathOpt - research. You will use your modelling and simulation skills to use/apply and further develop relevant models/concepts/solutions using and enhancing the existent software tools. You will bring research code to the standards required for productizing and commercialization.

You will be based in VITO/EnergyVille in Thor Park Genk, Belgium.

Your responsibilities

  • In the ‘Thermal energy systems’ group you will be one of the experts on PathOpt research, thus on design of future-proof DHC – systems.
  • You utilize your research expertise in the field of advanced optimization techniques (adjoint-based optimization techniques) to provide and contribute to novel and/or improved data-based design of DHC-systems.
  • You work in teams with multi-disciplinary expertise and are able to communicate and work beyond your core expertise domain.
  • You are involved in several research and knowledge-intensive projects as an expert team member in PathOpt with both theoretical and practical responsibilities.
  • You can pinpoint the challenges related to the application of advanced integrated design of DHC-systems and devise creative concepts to solve them accounting for the given constraints.
  • You propose and discuss realistic designs of DHC-systems with relevant stakeholders (municipalities, policy makers, DHC- network operators, energy communities, ...)
  • You communicate research and project results in clear and high-quality reports, scientific papers and presentations.
  • You actively extend your network to improve scientific excellence and to expand the team’s portfolio of knowledge-intensive consultancy projects within your area of expertise.

Job requirements

• You hold a master degree in Data science, Science, Engineering or Applied Mathematics. Holding a PhD-degree is a bonus.

• You have at least 3 years of experience within the (thermal) energy sector and want to further extend and apply your knowledge into heating and cooling systems.

• You have good knowledge of optimization techniques, in particular with adjoint-based optimization techniques

• You have factual knowledge about today's energy systems (especially heating and cooling systems).

• You can pinpoint the technical challenges in district heating and cooling systems

• You have affinity with practical/realistic design starting from theoretical choices/models/results

• You have very good knowledge of Matlab/SciLab and Python.

• You have experience with software engineering: co-creation, versions management, testing of software...

• You easily grasp different ideas and know how to detect relevant research questions, even in multidisciplinary teams.

• You like to act on an international platform and connect easily with other researchers.

• You have good communication and networking skills.

• Having experience in project management and in writing tenders or research project proposals is a bonus.

• Linguistic requirements for this job: English. Knowledge of Dutch is a bonus.


  • If you're tired of the frequent commute, you've come to the right place. We work 'activity based', our activities bring us to our location. Our EnergyVille office is in Genk. Part-time work from home, our headquarter in Mol, or working from a satellite office in Antwerp-Berchem, Ghent or Ostend is possible.
  • A competitive salary with a range of benefits including allowances, insurances, and a modular vacation package.
  • Innovation is our asset, so it goes without saying that we offer our employees the opportunity to follow additional training courses and stay up to date in their field of expertise. You always get the opportunity to broaden your knowledge on BMS applications and their components towards innovative and robust designs and solutions.
  • You will be part of an organization with an international reputation, known for its advanced technological research and scientific consultancy.
  • With us, you will contribute directly to sustainable developments at local, national, and global level through your innovative applications. You provide an answer to today’s societal challenges.
  • Moreover, at VITO we attach great importance to work-life balance! We do this by being flexible, depending on your specific needs.