Postdoc Energy Planning and Operational Optimisation of Water-Energy-Food (WEF) Infrastructures under Climate Uncertainty

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱

FACULTY/DEPARTMENT: Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

JOB TYPE: Postdoc Positions



SALARY: € 2.960,00 – € 4.670,00



EPIC develops operationally verifiable water-energy-food models for long-term energy infrastructure planning, considering climate impacts and multi-sectoral transition management with stakeholders.

Job description

You will work with a world-leading team of researchers, to develop energy systems planning and operational assessment approaches to tackle the fundamental challenges facing countries in Africa. A 3.5 year Postdoc position (financed  by the Horizon Europe call topic AU-EU water energy food nexus) is available within the recently awarded research project EPIC Africa ( The project task for this postdoc aims to generate and apply spatially explicit and temporally detailed energy and water models for verification and operational optimisation of WEF (infrastructure) systems. With national and transboundary energy planning cases in Africa (Volta and Tana basins), we will assess multiple reference years for given infrastructure investment plans from the long-term investment planning models (Osemosys).

In particular, the objectives of this position are to:

  • Test the resilience of planned WEF development pathways under different climate and market uncertainties and so inform constraints for CLEWs based investment planning
  • Test different operational and intervention strategies, in consultation with stakeholders in the energy and water sectors, to alleviate water and energy deficits and so minimise lost economic and social benefits;
  • Derive appropriate operational rules and water allocations to synergize WEF resource use and increase resilience to climate and market uncertainties;
  • Assess trade-offs in water and land use between energy and agricultural sectors under different levels of self-sufficiency targets and operational settings; and
  • Develop and test levels of transboundary cooperation in operational management of water infrastructure in WEF context that can utilise seasonal forecasts and near real time observations.

You will be supervised by Dr. Edo Abraham and Prof. Nick van de Giesen. Various EPIC Africa supervisors and collaborators will provide additional specific expertise and feedback to your research including at the Energy Systems Unit of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, and the University of Energy and Natural resources in Ghana, TAHMO Kenya, as well as the Energy group at VITO Belgium. There will be multiple PhD projects and 1 post-doc project at 2 EU and 3 African universities. Furthermore many MSc students from different background will perform research within the project.


  • You have a PhD degree in a relevant area. This could be in water resources management, control systems engineering, energy planning or operational research.
  • You have good programming skills (eg. with Matlab, Python or Julia), familiarity with Geospatial data, and can work both independently and with collaborators.
  • You can communicate your research to scientists, as demonstrated by publications, and  have the competencies to effectively communicate with industrial partners and non-expert stakeholders within the project.
  • Experience using tools for modelling water land systems (eg. WEAP, GAEZ), or tools for energy planning or integrated assessment (OSEMOSYS, MESSAGE ix, GCAM, etc.) would be useful. You can demonstrate.  

Conditions of employment

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Edo Abraham at [email protected].

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 11 December 2022 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.