PhD Student

Last application date
Feb 10, 2024 00:00
TW01 - Department of Architecture and Urban Planning
Limited duration
Master of Science in engineering
Occupancy rate
Vacancy type
Research staff

Job description

You will conduct research, working towards a PhD, in residential ventilation system engineering.
The basis for your research will at least include the following work packages:

WP.1. Definition of a statistically representative set of dwelling geometries
Delghust et al. (2015) has proposed using parametric geometries to represent the variation of geometric features in dwellings without losing the consistency of the floor plan. This concept has already been successfully applied to study energy performance assessment of dwellings and the potential
of hybridGEOTABS to reduce CO2 emissions in non-residential buildings. This approach will be used to generate a statistically representative set of at least 5 common dwelling geometry models for the simulation of the performance of the NudgeFlow concept.
To be able to benchmark the performance of the NudgeFlow system, a consistent set of implementations for the traditional ventilation systems described in the Belgian standard NBN D 50 001, other proposals for alternative designs of the flow path such as extended cascade ventilation (Rojas, 2015) as well as optimized designs for these concepts will be created for each of the dwelling geometries.

WP.2. Definition of a statistically representative set of boundary conditions and occupancy
Numerous approaches to generate statistically representative weather files have been reported in literature (e.g. Meteonorm), but typically yield results on an hourly basis. Since the relevant time scale for wind, buoyancy and occupancy conditions in a NudgeFlow system, as will be studied in WP 1, is likely on the order of a few minutes, this task will use wind gust analysis to produce high frequency stochastic weather files. The external disturbances for the controller will be estimated using short-term weather forecast models such as bin predictor and nonlinear models such as ANN which can provide near-perfect
forecasting (see Oldewurtel et al., 2013, Florita & Henze, 2009). For the internal loads, the stochastic occupancy schedule and occupant activity generator defined by Verbruggen et al. (2020) will be extended to include pollutant sources.

WP.3. Stochastic multi-zone calculation method and associated method to check the performances
This task will use the new coupled airflow and energy simulation libraries within IBPSA project 1 (De Jonge et al. 2021) as the basis for a stochastic multi-zone calculation method. This model is then run with the boundary conditions defined in WP.2 until the means of each of the output variables have converged, similar to what has been proposed for the sensitivity analysis of building stock simulation by Van Hove et al. (2021).

WP.4. Simulation and evaluation NudgeFlow system
Using insights, knowledge and outcomes from all other tasks and work packages, a 'NudgeFlow system' for each of the benchmark cases will be simulated in a virtual testbed. The performance of the system will be evaluated in comparison with that of the benchmark cases and extensively documented.

Job profile

You hold a masters degree in engineering.

We offer a PhD scholarship within the 'Nudgeflow' project, in collaboration with KU Leuven, UAntwerpen, BBRI and TU Eindhoven.
You will as part of the Building Physics research group ( and in close collaboration with the other partners in the project.


  • We offer a full-time position as a doctoral fellow, consisting of an initial period of 12 months, which - after a positive evaluation, will be extended to a total maximum of 48 months.
  • Your contract will start on 01/03/2024 at the earliest.
  • The fellowship amount is 100% of the net salary of an AAP member in equal family circumstances. The individual fellowship amount is determined by the Department of Personnel and Organization based on family status and seniority. A grant that meets the conditions and criteria of the regulations for doctoral fellowships is considered free of personal income tax. The salary information is available on the UGent webpage (
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 36 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. (information in dutch:

How to apply

Apply by sending a motivation letter, a full academic CV, transcripts and a sample of relevant research work (masters thesis, paper, project) before February 10th to

We do not accept late applications.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof. Laverge (, +32(0)9/264 37 49)