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PhD Position Health-Aware Energy Management of Maritime Batteries and Fuel Cell Systems for Zero-Emission Ships
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Do you want to contribute to zero-emission shipping by investigating intelligent control and sizing of hybrid power systems with batteries and fuel cells?

Job description

To remain competitive and meet global goals for greenhouse gas reduction in response to the grand societal challenge of climate change, the maritime sector needs to develop zero-emission solutions. Electrochemical energy systems, consisting of fuel cells and batteries, are considered promising and the most viable solutions with no tank-to-wake greenhouse gas emissions.

Nevertheless, maritime battery and fuel cell systems are not yet fully utilising the potential of their components to prevent overheating, component degradation, and maintain sufficient lifetime and safety. Improving the understanding of the relationship between utilisation and component degradation, heating, safety, and lifetime of maritime batteries and fuel cells is therefore required to improve the control and design of such systems and integrate them into the next generation of maritime energy systems.

This PhD position aims to investigate energy management strategies and optimise component sizing for hybrid and full electric powertrains integrating energy storage systems. This includes the development and validation of multi-scale multi-objective energy management control strategies. In addition, the project will develop health-aware energy management strategies for the instantaneous management of the energy flows from the electrochemical and fuel-based energy providers to achieve the control objectives of effectively control the systems, minimising emissions and fuel consumption, and maximising component lifetime.

The research will be carried out in close cooperation with national academic and industrial partners working on the NWO-funded project SEANERGETIC. The industrial partners will provide excess to use cases and recordered data of state-of-the art zero-emission ships and the zero-emission laboratory of MARIN can be used for validation of the control strategies with real components. You will work at the Delft University of Technology, Department of Maritime & Transport Technology, under the supervision and guidance of experts on batteries, fuel cells, optimisation and control, and marine engineering, Dr. Andrea Coraddu, Dr. Rinze Geertsma and Prof. Dr. Rudy Negenborn.


Suitable candidates would have the following qualifications:


  • MSc in control engineering, marine engineering, mechanical engineering, systems engineering, or another relevant engineering discipline;
  • Communicative skills and motivation to work together with both (international) academic and industrial partners;
  • An experience in programming e.g., MATLAB, Python, C++, R;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills in English;
  • Ability to work in a project team and take responsibility for own research goals;
  • Inventive and independent attitude.


  • Experience with nonlinear control systems, mathematical optimization, or model predictive control;
  • Experience with modelling and simulation of marine energy systems with a focus on fuel cells and electrochemical systems;
  • A strong drive to work on zero-emission and circular shipping in the marine sector.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.

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 Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Additional information

For more information regarding the position please contact Dr. Andrea Coraddu ( or Prof. Dr. Rudy Negenborn (

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Ms Anita van Vianen, HR advisor (

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply via the application button by 31stof January 2023, and upload:

  • a cover letter stating your motivation;
  • detailed curriculum vitae (including a list of publications, if any);
  • names of up to three professional referees;
  • a summary of your MSc thesis;
  • list of courses and grades at Master and Bachelor level (in English).

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e., once a suitable candidate is found). Therefore, the selection of candidates will already start before the application deadline.

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure;
  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering








€ 2.541,00 - € 3.247,00


University graduate



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