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DOCTORAL RESEARCHER in Digital Twinning of Multi-Energy System of Building Complex for Adaptive Virtual Power Plant

The research group of Energy Efficiency and Systems, division of Energy Systems of Buildings and Communities at the Aalto University, School of Engineering, is looking for a doctoral researcher for the sub-project “Digital twin and physical building” in the consortium project “Adaptive Multi-Energy Virtual Power Plant for a Complex of Buildings”, funded by the Academy of Finland.

Objective of the research

The main objective of the research is to develop a digital twin for a multi-purpose building combined with a ground thermal storage and district heat and to investigate how the digital twin can be utilized in training an artificial intelligence (AI) agent in the context of a virtual power plant (VPP) with an aim to optimize the physical system’s energy performance and flexibility, particularly in the conditions of sudden and unpredictable disturbances. The digital twin is developed using the whole-building simulation tool IDA-ICE, a historical database containing a large set of long-term measurements, and model calibration based on optimization. The work also includes training an AI-agent based on deep reinforcement learning (DRL) and co-simulation over a data interface.

Qualification requirements for the applicants

The candidate is expected to have the following qualifications:

  • M.Sc. (Tech.) (or equivalent), good grades (mean>3)

  • Familiarity with the energy systems of buildings and some whole-building simulation tool (preferably: IDA-ICE)

  • Language skills: Finnish and/or English

Additional merits are experience in digital twinning, machine learning and/or optimization, a record of scientific publishing (peer-reviewed conference and journal papers), and excellent writing skills.

We offer

The position is filled for the 4-year period from September 1, 2022, to August 31, 2026. The candidate will work as a member of the research team of heating, ventilation and air-conditioning under the supervision of Docent, D.Sc. Kari Alanne and Prof. Risto Kosonen and collaborate with a research team from the Department of Electrical Engineering and Automation. The candidate will be also given the opportunity to work with undergraduates and M.Sc. students. The position is mainly located at the Aalto University campus (Otaniemi, Espoo), but it includes a three-month mobility period to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (Trondheim, Norway).

The initial gross salary for doctoral researchers is around 2500€ per month. The contracts include occupational health services, and Finland has a comprehensive social security system.

How to apply?

The applications are to be submitted to the Aalto on-line recruitment system using the link “Apply now!” not later than August 21, 2022. The applications should contain the following documents in one PDF file following the order below.

  • A motivation letter (max. 1 A4 page) that includes at least:

    • contact information of the applicant,

    • description of your research interests and how your research fits to the position

  • Names and contact information of two senior academics available for reference per e-mail,

  • A complete curriculum vitae (CV) describing education and employment history,

  • Degree certificate of the Master’s degree, including a transcript of studies,

  • A list of publications (if available)

Aalto University’s employees and visitors should apply for the position via the internal HR system Workday (keyword Find Jobs) by using their existing Workday user account (not via the external webpage for open positions).

The Department reserves the right to end the call and make an offer as soon as a potential candidate is found.

Additional information

For further information of the position, please contact the project leader, Dr. Kari Alanne ([email protected]). For information of the recruitment process, please contact our HR department ([email protected]).

About Aalto University

Aalto University is a community of six schools with nearly 20 000 talented people, committed to identifying and solving societal challenges and building a sustainable and innovative future. Our cosy campus is located in Espoo, in the neighbourhood of the Finnish capital Helsinki. Among European cities, Helsinki is special in being safe, clean, and close to nature, with a high quality of life. English is spoken everywhere. (For more information: https://www.aalto.fi/en/careers-at-aalto/for-international-staff.)

The research group of Energy Efficiency and Systems at the School of Engineering, Department of Mechanical Engineering, focuses on energy generation and energy consumption systems ranging from single buildings to continental energy networks. In the Division of Energy Systems of Buildings and Communities, we pursue renewable and sustainable solutions for ensuring the best possible building energy performance and flexibility together with comfortable and healthy indoor environment.

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