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R&D Professional - Power Systems / Data Engineer

EnergyVille (Genk), Vlaams Gewest, BelgiumR&D & Engineering

Job description

In the research group for Algorithms, Models, and Optimization (AMO) in VITO’s Energy Technology Unit at EnergyVille we focus on discovering, harvesting, and valorizing flexibility in energy production, distribution, and consumption as a key factor in the drive towards a sustainable future energy system. In cooperation with EnergyVille’s thermal, electrical, and market centric research groups we investigate, design, and implement pragmatic, data-driven, solutions and build high performance power flow, control, scheduling, orchestration, bidding, and decision support algorithms.

One of the research topics within the AMO team is to support the European distribution system operators with the challenges of electrification in transport and heating, and of distributed generation: low voltage grid decision support. We design and build data driven tools that improve the visibility on the low voltage grid and that allow optimal investments in and operation of the LV grid assets. We also formulate advice for system operators and energy regulators within the changing energy market landscape. This research is at the crossing of power systems engineering, artificial intelligence, data science, and energy markets, which is reflected in the multi-disciplinary team. We specifically focus on and excel in enhancing the more traditional (MV/HV) power system methods with big data and artificial intelligence methods to build solutions that facilitate and reduce the cost of the energy transition for the European low voltage grids. 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, grid hosting capacity calculations, grid impact analysis of long-term scenarios, grid traffic light design and implementation, etc.


Assignment:


  • 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 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;
  • You either:
    • have three or more years of experience working with a DSO (or TSO) and/or executing projects for DSO’s and regulators. You have a thorough background in the challenges posed by electrification and intermittent energy production to the (low voltage) grid;
      • 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;
      • For a power systems engineer you have a keen interest in and affinity with data science and artificial intelligence;
      • You have an above average affinity and hands on experience with coding (preferably Python);
    • have three or more years of experience working as a data scientist, preferably in an industrial environment:
      • You have hands on experience with implementing solutions that merge knowhow from an application domain and the data science field (artificial intelligence techniques, optimization techniques, and/or data science approaches);
      • You are an experienced coder. Python experience is a plus;
      • You are willing to and have shown that you can quickly gain insight into an application domain;
      • Despite your data science background, you are fascinated by the energy transition and strongly motivated to work specifically in this domain;
  • You are fluent in English and either Dutch or French. You are willing to talk to customers and understand their needs. You have excellent written and oral communication skills;
  • You have a general interest in the energy transition, particularly green energy, electrification, and sustainability. Contributing to the energy transition is a strong personal motivator.
  • 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;


Offer:


  • The opportunity to work activity-related: your activities determine your workplace. You are expected to work at least 2 days per week at our office in EnergyVille, Genk. Besides this, VITO offers you also to work hybrid / part-time 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.

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