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R&D Power Systems / Data Engineer

  • Genk, Vlaams Gewest, Belgium
R&D & Engineering

Job description

In the research group for Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO) in VITO’s Unit for Water and Energy Transition (WE-T) at EnergyVille we focus on discovering, harvesting, and valorizing flexibility in energy production, storage, distribution, and consumption as a key factor in the drive towards a sustainable future energy system. We design and implement pragmatic, data-driven, solutions and build high performance power flow, control, scheduling, forecasting, bidding, and decision support algorithms.

One of the major research topics within the AMO team is to support the European distribution system operators (DSO) with the challenges of electrification of transport and heating, and of distributed generation. Our grid decision support group designs and builds data driven tools that improve the visibility on the low voltage (LV) grid and that allow optimal investments in and optimal operation of the LV grid assets. We also formulate advice for system operators within a changing energy market landscape. This research is at the crossing of power systems engineering and AI, which is reflected in our multi-disciplinary team. Concrete examples of our work are the use of smart metering data to discover the layout and state of LV grids, to optimize the layout of LV grids, hosting capacity calculations, grid impact analysis of future scenarios, grid congestion forecasters, and more.


  • You focus on the development of practicable solutions for the electricity grid that apply these algorithms and models. You will do this together with a team of highly skilled colleagues/specialists;
  • You apply and conduct research and development of techniques such as statistical power flow, optimal power flow, mathematical optimization, pragmatic mathematical modeling of physical systems, with a specific focus on the challenges of the European low voltage grids. You can count on the support of specialists in the different techniques and areas;
  • You actively take part in and sometimes lead national and European research projects, as well as commercial contract research with (distribution) system operators and energy regulators. You responsibly contribute to the deliverables and manage the project team at VITO. You communicate produced results with industry and/or with international partners. You are willing to manage commercial contacts and research project consortia;
  • You publish research results in international, peer-reviewed journals in collaboration with PhD students and you present your research results in international forums. You support the IP production and valorization within VITO;
  • Together with the team, you are responsible for acquiring new research contracts and projects and writing research proposals.

Job requirements

  • You have a master’s degree in electrical engineering, power engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, physics or a relevant similar education. A PhD in a related field is a strong plus;
  • Ideally, you have expertise in power systems engineering, i.e., hands-on experience in planning and operating electrical grids. Experience with (optimal) power flow is a strong plus. Alternatively, you have an in-depth background in data-science and AI technologies;
  • You have a thorough background in the challenges posed by electrification and intermittent energy production to the (low voltage) grid. Three or more years of experience working with a DSO (or TSO) and/or executing projects for DSO’s and/or regulators are a strong plus;
  • You have substantial project management experience;
  • You are fluent in English, Dutch and/or French are a plus. You are willing to talk to customers and understand their needs. You have excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • You can implement your solutions together with the team. You have an affinity to programming, artificial intelligence techniques, optimization techniques, and/or data science approaches. Python experience is a plus;
  • You have a general interest in the energy transition, particularly green energy, electrification, and sustainability.
  • You are self-motivated and ready to take ownership. You work well in a team and enjoy contributing and growing in close collaboration with highly skilled peers;
  • You are excited about growing into related areas and extending your expertise


  • The opportunity to work activity-related: your activities determine your workplace. On average, you are expected at our office in Energyville Genk but VITO offers you also to work from home or from other VITO locations (Mol, Berchem, Ghent, Ostend), depending on the needs of the activities and your team.
  • An attractive salary package supplemented with extra-legal benefits such as allowances, insurances and a modular holiday package.
  • A great deal of freedom and flexibility in your job, allowing you to achieve an attractive work-life balance.
  • Innovation is our core value, we give our employees the opportunity to train themselves and stay up-to-date within their field of expertise, and we expect them to.