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Project Researcher / Postdoc on the subject of Blockchains, Dynamic Contracts and Autonomous Negotiation for Smart Grids (f/m)

Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI). Amsterdam (Niederlande), 16.05.2017

Project Researcher / Postdoc (1 year), on the subject of Blockchains, Dynamic Contracts and Autonomous Negotiation for Smart Grids


Function types
Scientific fields
Job number
About employer
Science Park 123, Amsterdam
Postdoc positions, Research, Development, Innovation
Natural Sciences, Engineering
40.0 hours per week
AT Project Researcher
Centrum Wiskunde en Informatica (CWI)

Job description

Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past, energy supply was determined by demand and was supplied centrally, in the future, demand and increasingly decentralized supply will need to respond to each other. Their balancing requires a combination of adjusting conventional generation, exploiting efficient storage technologies and implementing demand response with corresponding incentives thereof. Balancing activities may take place on multiple scales, from the individual household to the European or even an envisioned global grid.

The vacant position contributes to the research, development and experimentation to tackle applied scientific research questions within the EIT Digital project Distributed Ledger Services for Online Contract Settlement (DLS OCS). The primary driver is increasing system efficiency by a fair attribution of energy planning and plan-deviation costs between multiple stakeholders. The aims of DLS-OCS are to extend the state of the art in (1) Contract definitions, specifically for trading electric flexibility (demand response), (2) Negotiation strategies, specifying how parameters of the contracts are agreed upon by autonomous agents, (3) Use-case scenarios, how a blockchain-based solution can provide services in the energy context. The research shall draw on tools and techniques from sequential multi-agent decision-making under uncertainty, (evolutionary) game theory and market mechanism design. The project is a European collaboration, and the research is closely related to other research activities within the group. The applicant will take responsibility for the implementation of algorithms and contracts for planning and intelligent local control in face of uncertainty, and will closely collaborate with other project team members. Overall, the work is aimed at developing reusable software algorithms, simulation and control modules that can be employed in scientific experiments related to the research in the group.

The research to be performed within the vacant position will contribute to the research group’s ambition to make practical intelligent systems that are founded on fundamental principles. The position is embedded in a research group with experience and ongoing complementary projects on topics such as smart energy systems, demand response, electricity trading strategies, etc., and the successful applicant will join a diverse team of motivated junior and senior researchers.

Depending on the experience of the candidate, the position will either be one for a (junior) project researcher or a postdoc.


Applicants are required to have at least a Master’s degree in computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics, or in comparable areas. In case of a postdoc position, we require a PhD in the mentioned areas. Candidates must be excellent and creative in their programming, should have a clear interest in applied research, should have interest in blockchains, negotiation and multi-agent systems. They should be intrigued by the application area of electricity networks, and should be able to cooperate with experts from different disciplines. Candidates are expected to have an excellent command of English, and experience in academic writing and presentation.

Conditions of employment

The terms of employment are in accordance with the Dutch Collective Labour Agreement for Research Centres ("CAO-onderzoeksinstellingen"). The gross monthly salary for an employee on a full time basis, depending on relevant work experience, ranges from €2620,- to €4848,-. The appointment will be for a period of one year, with a preferred starting date of July 1, 2017.

Employees are also entitled to a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.33%. CWI offers attractive working conditions, including flexible scheduling.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:


Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica
Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and linked to the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses.

CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam that is presently developing into a major location of research in the natural sciences in The Netherlands, housing the the sciences of the University of Amsterdam and of the Vrije Universiteit as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.

Intelligent Systems research group

Additional information
For residents outside the EER-area, a Toefl English language test might be required.

For more information about the vacancies, please contact
dr. Michael Kaisers
Tel. +31 (0)20 592 4035
Website of research group "Intelligent and Autonomous Systems (IAS)":

For more information about CWI, please visit or watch our video "A Fundamental Difference" about working at CWI.