Tenure Track Group Leader F/M

DIFFER (Dutch Institute for Fundamental Energy Research) is one of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO) institutes and focuses on a multidisciplinary approach to energy research, combining physics, chemistry, engineering and materials science. The institute is based on two main strands, solar fuels for the conversion and storage of renewable energy and fusion-energy as clean and unlimited source of energy. DIFFER is developing and supporting a national network on fundamental energy research and is closely collaborating with academic institutions, research institutes and industry. As of 2015 the institute is located in a new building at the campus of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e).

Tenure Track Group Leader (F/M)

DIFFER is searching for a Tenure Track Group leader that can lead a newly to be formed group on the cross-section between systems and control engineering and energy research specifically between the departments of fusion energy and solar fuels. Hence, the candidate requires a firm background in control engineering

In a broad range of energy application domains including nuclear fusion, renewable (solar) fuels and so on, there is a strong need for new multi-disciplinary model-based controller design methodologies. This calls for innovative modelling, identification and control technologies being capable of dealing with the multi-physics character (thermal, particle, electromagnetic, chemical) and multi-scale (both in space and time) nature of the underlying processes. Techniques integrating (multi-)physics white-box modelling and data-based system identification are needed to obtain models, often in the form of partial differential equations, to design estimation and (feedback and feedforward) control algorithms to understand and validate fundamental properties of such systems for enhancing performance and the overall safety of the systems for the future energy transition.

Scientific aim: 

The aim of this work is to develop new methods for the identification of partial differential equations and to apply these in energy systems. The main applications are in nuclear fusion, microwave induced chemistry and electrochemistry, but applications could be wider than that, e.g. blue energy, clean combustion.

Responsibilities and tasks: 
  • Perform fundamental and applied research at the forefront of the systems and control domain with applications to multi-physics systems
  • Publish in renowned scientific journals and conferences;
  • Realize technological projects at the forefront of process control and system identification for multi-physics systems;
  • Supervise PhD and MSc students as well as BSc student projects;
  • Maintain and expand an effective network of cooperation partners in academia, institutes and industry
  • Contribute to acquiring funding for research projects from (inter)national research funding agencies.

We seek enthusiastic and highly talented candidates that are willing to work in an international and interdisciplinary team of theoretical and experimental physicists and control scientists. The candidate should fulfill the following qualifications

  • University education in Mechanical Engineering, Physics, Mathematics or Electrical Engineering with strong background in identification and control and/or one of the mentioned application domains;
  • Academic doctorate;
  • Relevant research experience in the field of study;
  • Scientific creativity and production;
  • Good communicative and didactic skills.
  • Management qualities (at level suitable to start as group leader) for the capacity to contribute to  initiating second and third flow of funds and to provide leadership in this;
  • The candidate has to be a strong networker linking to relevant partners in the Brainport area and physics and control groups at the Eindhoven University of Technology regarding control challenges in energy systems
  • Excellent network in either nuclear fusion, plasmas control or renewable (solar) fuels.
Employment conditions: 

We offer a top-level research environment with excellent opportunities to expand and develop your own research programme and personal development plan. At the start of your contract, you will develop a strategy to ensure the successful completion of your tenure track. This strategy will also detail arrangements to guarantee a strong starting position for you (such as a PhD position or a consumables budget) and provide you with personal development guidance (such as courses and the assignment of a mentor). Employees from abroad will receive support settling in the Netherlands, for example with housing or finding partners a suitable job.

The tenure track position is for a maximum of five years depending on experience and accomplishments. The terms of employment comply with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ('CAO-onderzoekinstellingen'). Depending on your background and experience, the gross monthly salary of a tenure track position on a full-time basis will range between €3,682.00 and €5,757.00 gross per month. Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. It is possible to work part-time with a minimum of 0.8 FTE. If the employment is less than 1 FTE, the term of the employment will be extended proportionally, with a maximum of six years. A positive end-term evaluation will result in the tenure tracker receiving a tenured position and a promotion to salary scale 13 and will be finally appointed as Scientific Groupleader in salary scale 14.

Further information: 

The NWO Recruitment code applies to this position. At DIFFER we believe that a workforce diverse in gender, age and cultural background is key to performing excellent research. We therefore strongly encourage applications from women and minorities. In our institute physicists, chemists, engineers and other specialists work together in multidisciplinary teams to accelerate the transition to a sustainable society. DIFFER's workforce is currently composed of 150 scientists (of which 60 guests and interns), supported by 40 technicians and 30 support staff members. The global nature of the energy challenge is apparent from the international representation of our employees, who originate from over 30 different countries. To strengthen our commitment to diversity, in January 2018 we formed a taskforce with the aim to design, implement, and monitor diversity and gender equality initiatives. Further information on the vacancy is available through the leader of the fusion energy department, Prof. Dr. M. R. de Baar (+31 (0)40 3334 952), e-mail: m [368] r [368] debaar [28] differ [368] nl


Application procedure: 

In case you are interested you can apply by submitting an application letter and full resume. Please refer to vacancy 19.008. The letter of application and other documents may be sent electronically as single PDF-files (in the following format lastname_appl.letter_19.008, lastname_CV_19.008, etc), to vacancies [28] differ [368] nl

Closing date: June 30th, 2019

Closing date: 
Sunday, June 30, 2019
Vacacany number: 

Go to the Vacancies page.