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PhD scholarship in Operations Research for Energy Systems

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)

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Frist 25. maj 2021

If you are looking to develop cutting-edge ideas at the interface between Operations Research and Energy applications, then this 3-year PhD position is the right one for you.

At DTU Management, you will break ground in developing and applying novel approaches involving optimization, game-theory, analytics and data science for the management of energy systems.

As a PhD student, you will focus on multi-scale decision-making theory in energy system management, to reconcile management and operational objectives at various scales, e.g., short-term flexibility and longer-term adequacy. Within the frame of the energy transition, increased emphasis is placed on storage and flexibility management, and more generally on smart energy systems, to support the integration of renewable energy into existing energy systems and markets. However, nearly all approaches to their operation place emphasis on short-term gains only – even though these may then jeopardize long-term objectives. This happens in the management of various types of flexibility sources e.g. demand response, storage and integrated energy systems.

Maybe surprisingly, multi-scale decision-making has been barely considered in energy system management, except for a few examples. In the case of energy systems, multi-scale decision-making approaches have to be thought of within a stochastic framework in view of all uncertainties involved, e.g., in electricity consumption and renewable energy generation. An additional complexity is that the various agents involved may have conflicting interests over the set of time scales considered. Hence, multi-scale decision-making is additionally to be thought of in a (cooperative) game-theoretical framework, to find the right equilibrium for all agents and time scales considered.

The PhD position is partly supported by a DTU Alliance Scholarship in collaboration with École Polytechnique (l´X) in France. You will be part of the Operations Research section in the Management Science division at DTU Management.

Responsibilities and tasks
You will develop generic approaches to multi-scale decision-making under uncertainty, also in a rigorous game-theoretical framework. Potential use cases cover storage and demand response, as well as multi-energy systems (e.g., considering district heating and P2X), in relation with the activities and demonstration site at l’X. This will necessarily also involve forecasting at various time scales. You will have relative freedom in the way the project may develop, depending on your interest and qualifications.

Some example tasks may include:

  • Reviewing and replicating the state of the art in multi-scale decision-making
  • Defining and setting up stylized versions of alternative use cases, e.g., storage, demand response, etc.
  • Explore alternative approaches to multi-scale decision-making, e.g., bending stochastic optimization and control, stochastic dynamic programming, etc.
  • Explore connections to forecasting and forecast uncertainty
  • Assess the benefits of multi-scale decision-making in energy system management

You will ideally spend a period of 6-12 months at l’X and engage in joint research work in applied mathematics for energy systems. This will be an opportunity to interact with mathematicians, meteorologists and climate scientists, as well as with the implementation and operation of their energy system demonstrator.

The applicants should fulfil the following requirements:


  • An MSc degree (120 ECTS points) in Computer Science, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Energy Engineering or similar.
  • Good programming capabilities in at least one language such as Python, Julia, R, Matlab. Knowledge of optimization solvers is a plus.
  • Good understanding of operations research methods such as stochastic programming, dynamic programming and chance-constrained optimization. Knowledge of game theory
  • Knowledge of, or willingness to learn, methods within data science, e.g., involving machine learning, reinforcement learning, predictive and prescriptive analytics.


  • A healthy interest for operations research and application to energy systems.
  • Knowledge of game theory
  • Ability to present results in technical reports, and prepare scientific papers for publication in international journals
  • Good communication skills in English, both orally and written.
  • Willingness to engage in group-work with a multi-national team.

Approval and Enrolment

The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.


The assessment of the applicants will be made by Professor Pierre Pinson, by 15 June 2021.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms

The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Professor Pierre Pinson (ppin@dtu.dk, tel: +45 2398 3221).

You can read more about DTU Management at www.man.dtu.dk, as well as the Management Science division at www.ms.man.dtu.dk.

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at

DTU – Moving to Denmark


Application procedure

Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 25 May 2021 (Danish time)


Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system
  • (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Management

DTU Management contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models, and methods. Through our research and teaching, we ensure an innovative, competitive, and sustainable organization and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 350 employees, including around 70 PhD students. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and a total of 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) - hurtigt overblik

Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU)
DTU er et teknisk eliteuniversitet med international rækkevidde og standard. Vores mission er at udvikle og nyttiggøre naturvidenskab og teknisk videnskab til gavn for samfundet. 11.200 studerende uddanner sig her til fremtiden, og 6.000 medarbejdere har hver dag fokus på uddannelse, forskning, myndighedsrådgivning og innovation, som bidrager til øget vækst og velfærd.

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