Medior scientist physical building modelling

Do you want to use your expertise in physical building models to work in a challenging environment and be part of a team specialists making the building industry smarter, better, more efficient and more sustainable? Then this is the job for you!



Education type




Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

Within the unit Buildings, Infrastructure & Maritime, you work in the Building Physics and Systems research department, with the energy transition of the built environment as the main challenge. Our aim is to create buildings and areas that are genuinely more energy-efficient, more comfortable and healthier. Your role will be to develop physical models of buildings and linking these to (real-time) monitoring data to analyse the actual performance of buildings and installations, and translate this analysis into useful information for the client (e.g. construction companies, project developers, housing associations). You will facilitate innovations like digital twins to improve the energy consumption and the indoor environmental quality (e.g. the European Sphere project ( and to develop model-based control, self-learning installations and predictive maintenance or intelligent buildings with guaranteed performance levels. You will also work together with Dutch and international stakeholders on developing innovative products that will accelerate the energy transition. The insights from these projects also will lead to new stimuli for national and international standards, like the Dutch Energy Performance of Buildings standard NTA 8800.

For further information on the department and its projects, please visit our website.

What do we require of you?

For this role, it is important that you can understand complex technical and organisational issues and that you recognise the interests of the client and the most important stakeholders (or can identify these). You can translate the demands of the client into a technical solution, using your own knowledge base and that of your fellow colleagues. As such, you are accustomed to working in a multidisciplinary manner. You always bear in mind the client’s domain within which the solution is to be implemented successfully. You are able to not only technically validate solutions, but also to test them against the demands of the client.
The ideal candidate for this role should recognise him/herself in the following profile:
  • You have a degree (preferably a PhD) in the field of physics or mechanical engineering.
  • You have at least five years work experience in developing physical building models in the field of heat and mass transport.
  • You are passionate about the energy transition and in particular about making the built environment energy neutral.
  • You see linking physical models to (real-time monitoring) data as a challenge, as a result of which you go a step further than data analysis based on machine learning and black box modelling. You also adjust the complexity of the models you develop to the client’s question and the nature of the data.
  • You have a close network of connections in this field.
  • You are experienced in coaching junior staff.
  • You are fluent in Dutch and English (minimum level B1).
  • You are up to speed on the challenges the building and engineering sector faces, as well as the opportunities these challenges present.

What can you expect of your work situation?

You will be working as part of a driven team whose innovative solutions contribute to social issues concerning sustainability and safety in the building industry. In addition to our own extensive knowledge of innovation processes, we draw on the expertise of our colleagues from other departments within TNO, e.g. when it comes to sustainable energy systems, sensor development, building information modelling (BIM), soundproofing, artificial intelligence, thermophysiology and perception and behaviour. Moreover, we have considerable experience with machine learning and white box modelling. We also make sure to use the necessary knowledge available in the specific domain of our clients.

What can TNO offer you?

Work enjoyment means something different for each employee. This is why we offer a-la-carte terms and conditions of employment that you can switch around on a monthly basis. Flexible working hours (like 4 days x 9 hours) and different leave schemes mean that you can create a package attuned to your specific wishes.
TNO attaches great value to both your personal and your professional development. Many opportunities exist for you to develop: conferences, courses, workshops, coaching, intervision, mentoring and job rotation. At TNO you can orchestrate your own career.

Application process

The process comprises at least two (selection) rounds. After a positive selection, we will finish off the process by discussing terms and conditions of employment. We try to complete the interviews and assessment within 4 weeks.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

Recruiter: Lara Hagendoorn
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-507 40690

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

  • Innovation Centre Building
  • Product and Concept Development
  • Strategic Asset Modelling
  • Building Performance Modelling

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