Junior researcher of sustainable building concepts

Contribute to the sustainability of buildings and construction processes. Envision it. Become a junior researcher of sustainable building concepts at TNO in Delft.



Education type

university (wo)



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


Making buildings and building processes sustainable involves a lot more than just technology. As a researcher, you will work with a team of specialists on feasible, affordable, and scalable sustainable concepts that will give the energy transition a boost. By 2050, all buildings in the Netherlands must be gasless, energy-producing, and circular; in short, energy- and climate-neutral. But we’re not there yet. There’s still a lot of work to be done. There are many innovative ways to make buildings more sustainable (e.g. by using solar cells or heat pumps). But how do you deploy the technology of tomorrow, and when? What is the ideal combination of installations? Which options inconvenience residents the least? How does this affect the working methods of construction companies? And how do you make this affordable for housing corporations and homeowners? We develop sustainable concepts based on tomorrow’s technology.

What will be your role?

As a researcher of sustainable building concepts, you will cooperate with public authorities, construction companies, suppliers, and technical experts on one of the biggest challenges of our time: the colossal task of making construction more sustainable. As a researcher, you will answer these kinds of questions and, together with your colleagues, come up with sustainable concepts with broad applications in the construction world. You will work in the projects as a systems engineer. Together with partners, you will identify innovation requirements and preconditions from the perspective of various stakeholders, products, systems, and processes. Together with the project team, you will develop these innovations and optimisations into visualisations, prototypes, and demonstration models. These will be used to prepare and execute testing, validation, and optimisation, including their scale-up and applicability in practice. Prefabrication, industrialisation, and digitalisation possibilities for acceleration and cost reduction play a major role in upscaling.

Your working days will be varied; you will usually be working on several projects at the same time. You will conduct research, carry out calculations and analyses, test concepts against the wishes and requirements of clients, and regularly consult with your team, clients, and other stakeholders. In short, this is a job in which you will intellectually challenge yourself every day, build a network, and contribute to social innovation!

Within TNO, you will work in the Sustainable Building Systems team, which is part of the Building Physics & Systems department. This fast-growing department is currently made up of five teams. In total, you will work with around 45 committed colleagues conducting applied research on social issues in the field of construction sustainability,for example experimental research into new technologies, simulation and feasibility studies, conducting and analysing measurement campaigns, and building prototypes and end products with industrial partners. There’s a nice atmosphere in the department; we regularly meet to have fun or for drinks. For Sinterklaas, Christmas, and in summer, we always do something special, such as a pub quiz with colleagues or a shared celebration.

Read more about Building Physics & Systems at TNO Expertise Group Building Physics & Systems

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You’re aware of the need for sustainability in the construction and real-estate sectors. And you enjoy transforming complex technical challenges into widely supported innovations with tremendous future potential. Of course, doing so is only possible by working together. You regularly leave your workplace to interact with your colleagues and spar about your ideas with subject matter experts, thereby continuously broadening your network and knowledge base. Other knowledge and skills you bring to TNO:
  • A university master's degree or PhD in a relevant technical direction, such as structural engineering, industrial design, building technology, systems engineering, or similar.
  • Preferably, experience with innovative construction projects, BIM, and sustainable installation technology.
  • Good language and writing skills (minimum B1 level) in Dutch and English.

What you’ll get in return

Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary between € 2,818,- and € 5,143,- (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). In addition, you will be given every opportunity to develop yourself.

TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect:
  • A good pension scheme.
  • Travel allowance or a bike.
  • Prospect of a permanent contract
  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
  • 28 days annual leave and 5 compensation days under the reduction in working hours scheme (ATV, arbeidstijdverkorting) on a full-time basis.
  • Great social events with your team and other TNO colleagues. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly.
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home.
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
  • Access to our Talent Development Programme.
  • Networking opportunities and great activities organized by Jong TNO.

Read more about tailoring your benefits package.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

The selection process

Please apply before the 31th of January. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. The preliminary interview takes place on February 11th. The second interview round has been scheduled for February 16th. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.

The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check.

In view of the current Corona restrictions, the selection and onboarding processes have been modified. Your invitation for a job interview will detail the relevant information.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Recruiter: Frank Bax
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6 113 20080

Hiring manager: Nancy Westerlaken
Phone number: 08886 63422

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now


Nancy Westerlaken MSc

  • Building Physics & Systems
  • Sustainability
  • Building Performance Modelling
  • Product And Concept Development

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