PhD Candidate for Novel DC-DC Converter for Plant Energy Harvesting.

Challenge: Novel MPPT algorithm for plant energy harvester

Job description

Collecting energy from the environment to power IoT devices has been a hot topic for decades and continues to develop. In this project, we are working with Plant-e on a plant-powered energy harvester, which can provide energy from the plants day and night. Very different from the solid-state energy harvesters such as solar cells, plant-based energy harvester is a “living” energy harvester that responses to electrical conditions slowly, and  the traditional maximum power point track (MPPT) techniques cannot be applied. The goal of this project is to develop a novel MPPT technique to quickly and accurately find and track the MPP condition of the plant energy harvester. A DC-DC converter will also be designed to demonstrate the system.


The candidate should have very good analog integrated circuit design background. Background knowledge in energy harvester and MPPT is not a must, but highly appreciated.

The candidate should be highly  self-motivated.

The candidate should be a team player.

The candidate needs to have good experience with IC design software Cadence Spectre. Tape out experience is highly appreciated, although not a must.

If you feel this role would be a perfect match, but you cannot yet tick all the boxes, we’d still really like to get to know you, as you can learn and grow on the job!  

General requirements

We make our selection based on the following general requirements:

  • Formal requirements regarding prior education: you should have earned an MSc degree at a recognized institute for higher education.
  • Background: this depends on the specific project.
  • Excellence: your Grade-Point-Average should be above 8 (10). Also your MSc thesis should have received a grade above 8 (10). (3.3 on the 4.0 scale)*
  • English: you should be able to communicate well in English (written and oral). Provide TOEFL/IELTS scores if available.
  • Originality: your MSc thesis or later work (publications) should reflect some original ideas. Critical and independent thinking is very important.
  • Team player: you should be able to work well in a team of other project members.

Your resume should contain contact information of prior advisors/supervisors who can provide feedback.   

*competitive applications without an MSc might be considered upon extra review

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.

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three scientific disciplines. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we all use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make completely sustainable and future-proof. At the same time, we are developing the chips and sensors of the future, whilst also setting the foundations for the software technologies to run on this new generation of equipment – which of course includes AI. Meanwhile we are pushing the limits of applied mathematics, for example mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. In other words: there is plenty of room at the faculty for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1000 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

In The Netherlands, almost all PhD positions are linked to funded research projects. This has several implications:

  • PhD students are employed: they receive a salary rather than a grant. Most projects have a duration of 4 years.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Qinwen Fan

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before June 1, 2023, via the application button and upload  the following documents to the contact:

  1. Detailed CV
  2. Motivation letter (2 pages maximum)
  3. BSc and MSc Transcripts
  4. Names and contact information of at least two references (contacts, letters not needed)

Top candidates will be invited for interviews.

This posting will remain open until the position is filled

  • 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.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.