Offre d'emploi

One doctoral position in building performance simulation

The research group Sustainable Building Design (SBD Lab) of the University of Liege is seeking one doctoral candidate for conducting research on scientific projects strongly related to building performance simulation.

The Sustainable Building Design (SBD) laboratory is a research facility of the Faculty of Applied Sciences of Liege University. The SBD Lab focuses its activities on design decision support of high-performance buildings. With climate responsive design and adaptive comfort as strategic areas of expertise, research conducted at SBD range from new building technologies to simulation methods or climate-based performance metrics.  The activities of the laboratory are mainly based on a combination between computer modelling and data acquisition (quantitative).

As part of a consortium of 4 full-time professors, the SBD lab is presently involved in a major Belgian project “OCCuPANt”, dedicated to the impacts of climate change on the indoor environmental and energy performance of buildings in Belgium during summer. The proposed project will be carried out by mainly by four research groups at ULiège that are all specialised in different intersecting domains. The Laboratory of Climatology (Prof. Xavier Fettweis) is a well-known research lab that works on regional climatic models in Wallonia and Belgium. The Sustainable Building Design Lab (Prof. Shady Attia) is a recently created lab (2014) that is specialised in computational building performance simulation. The Sensing and Atmospheres and Monitoring Lab (Prof. Anne-Claude Romain) is a unique lab that is specialised in the air quality field for indoor and outdoor environments. The Thermodynamics Laboratory (Prof. Vincent Lemort) conducts numerical and experimental research activities in the field of thermal systems including air-conditions systems. Also, the thermodynamic lab has a solid and unique experience with characterising the Walloon building stock. The project requires a multi-scale/ multi-physics and trans-disciplinary approach that addresses:

•            technological solutions for energy generation, storage, distributions and demand reduction, and behavioural adaptation to heat/cold-related risks in Walloon cities,

•            and integrates and optimizes these in design, construction and operation of new and existing buildings. The project will be carried out by interacting with one Post-doc research and three PhD researchers which will all aim to investigate the above-mentioned objectives.

SBD has developed over the years a strong record in welcoming doctoral and post-doctoral researchers. The group published 30+ scientific papers in highly ranked peer-reviewed journals. These publications are available from the following page.



An inexorable increase in energy consumption for the cooling of buildings, and the increase in overheating of buildings is caused by urbanization and densification, climate change, elevated comfort expectations, and inappropriate architectural design practices. Meeting this challenge requires further characterization of climate change impacts on building users and the 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. This project focuses on the lack of guaranteed and measurable performances assessment of integrated systems. The objective of this research is to develop multi-criteria assessment methodology for integrated resilient cooling strategies (like adiabatic cooling, pre-cooling of ventilation air via bottom-air heat exchanger, night ventilation and floor cooling) in residential and school buildings.


This PhD is part of the international research collaboration Annex 80: Resilient cooling ( 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.


You are going to develop innovative adaptation measures and modeling methods to improve indoor environmental conditions and energy performance of existing buildings and to estimate the future effect of climate change.  This project aims at contributing to a better society by indicating the vulnerability of occupants in the indoor environment to the projected impacts of climate change. By the vulnerability classification of Belgian (Walloon) buildings, the research provides information on if, when and where adaptation measures are needed. The successful candidate will perform research on the development of a numerical models that combines building energy simulation models for the indoor environment (thermal comfort, air quality, energy consumption); building envelope heat-air-moisture transfer models for the building envelope (hygrothermal behaviour, durability); and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) for either the outdoor or the indoor environment (outdoor and indoor air flow, etc.). The use of innovative (automated) data collection systems through means of measurements and monitoring will be the backbone to support this development. You will be author on journal articles and conference presentations, and coordinate interactions between diverse project team members, and assure the administrative reporting of the project.


We are looking for highly motivated doctoral candidates to join our group and contribute to the on-going scientific research project dealing with indoor environment and energy performance of 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 analyzing the monitoring campaign of the operation, energy consumption of energy-efficient cooling strategies and the realized 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



Applicants for doctoral position must have completed a master degree in a field closely related to building engineering, architectural engineering, computer sciences, engineering. Excellent written and verbal English communication skills are required. French literacy is an asset. CFD knowledge is an asset (Fluent Ansys). Preference will be given to candidates with a strong interest and some level of proficiency in computer programming.

•            You obtained (with minimum distinction) a master's degree in civil engineering technology, building engineering, architectural engineering, computer sciences, engineering.

•            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.

We offer

Candidates will be fully funded (tax-free monthly allowance, approx. 2,100 € at the doctoral level) for up to 3 years. They will benefit from a dynamic working environment, with stimulating scientific support, state-of-the-art research facilities and advanced computational modelling tools. They may be requested to apply for extra funding.

The University of Liège offers a comprehensive and innovative training program, which enables early-career scientists to carry out their research in the best possible conditions, in compliance with the European Charter for Researchers.

How to apply?

Outstanding candidates should apply by email to Prof. Shady Attia with a curriculum vitae, full transcripts of Bachelor and Master studies, and two references. Short-listed candidates will have to take part in an oral interview at the University of Liege. The positions will remain open until filled; but the selection will start from August 15th, 2019. Starting date is expected in October 2019 (for international candidates January 2020).


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