PhD position "Development of a assessment methodology for resilient cooling strategies in nearly zero energy buildings"

    KU Leuven
    EngineeringCivil engineering
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    31/07/2019 23:59 - Europe/Brussels
    Belgium › Gent

An inexorable increase in energy consumption for the coolingof buildings, and the increase in overheating of buildings is caused by urbanisation and densification, climate change, elevated comfort expectations,and inappropriate architectural design practices. Meeting this challengerequires further development and application of low energy and low carbon cooling solutions. State-of-the-art of individual energy-efficient cooling systems,their performances and guidelines are available. However, these cooling strategies suffer from obstacles that keep them from mass application. Thisprojects focusses on the lack of guaranteed and measurable performances assessment of integrated systems. The objective of this research is to developa multi-criteria assessment methodology for integrated resilient cooling strategies (like adiabatic cooling,pre-cooling of ventilation air via bottom-air heat exchanger, nightventilation and floor cooling) in residential and school buildings.


This PhD is part of the international research collaboration Annex 80: Resilient cooling (http://annex80.iea-ebc.org/). Resilient Cooling is used to denote low energy and low carbon cooling solutions that strengthen the ability of individuals and our community as a whole to withstand, and also prevent, thermal and other impacts of changes in global and local climates; particularly with respect to increasing ambient temperatures and the increasing frequency and severity of heat waves. The overall aim of Annex 80 is to support a rapid transition to an environment where resilient low energy and low carbon cooling systems are the mainstream and preferred solutions for cooling and overheating issues in buildings.


The candidate's duties will include the following

  •     You will actively participate in sub-task A: impact assessment (in which you will help develop a method) and sub-task C: field studies (in which you will carry out and process measurements and simulations).
  •     Creation, execution and interpretation of dynamic building energy simulations (BES)
  •     Designing, carrying out and analysing the monitoring campaign of the operation, energy consumption of energy-efficient cooling strategies and the realised indoor climate in case study buildings.
  •     Publication of research results in English
  •     Presentation of research results at international conferences
  •     Defending a doctoral thesis under the supervision of the supervisors
  •     Educational support, among other things, in the form of supervising master's theses and exercises


We offer full time employment for 2 years starting on 1 September 2019. The necessary financial support for the first phase (2 years) of the PhD is provided. In order to obtain funding for the last 2 years, the candidate is expected, with the support of the supervisor, to develop an application PhD fellowship for strategic basic research at FWO, in which the candidate determines his/her own research accents.

Eligibility criteria

  • You obtained (with minimum distinction) a master's degree in civil engineering technology or a master's degree in engineering sciences with a speciality in civil engineering or architecture
  • You are interested in nearly zero energy buildings and energy efficient cooling techniques
  • Writing skills and an active knowledge of English is crucial. Oral presentations do not scare you away.
  • You are looking forward to an international project
  • You have a strong analytical ability and a sense of synthesis.
  • You can work independently, but also well in a team and show sufficient initiative.
  • You are able to successfully complete a PhD research under supervision.
  • You are prepared to apply for a grant for PhD fellowship for strategic basic research at FWO (see https://www.fwo.be/en/fellowships-funding/phd-fellowships/phd-fellowship...)

Selection process

For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Hilde Breesch, tel.: +32 9 331 65 92, mail: hilde.breesch@kuleuven.be.
You can apply for this job no later than 31/07/2019 via the online application tool

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Katholieke Universiteit te Leuven

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