Project Manager Solar Energy | Petten

Contributing to the world of tomorrow. Envision it. Become a Project Manager at TNO in Petten.



Education type

university (wo)



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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Would you like to contribute to the R&D needed to make large-scale, solar-power applications viable by reducing costs, increasing yields, and developing innovative applications, while at the same time maintaining societal support and integral sustainability? As a project leader of the Solar Energy (SE) department, you’ll be responsible for the professional management of our department’s complex research projects.

What will be your role?

Think, for example, of the development of the next generation of land-based solar parks, in which societal values such as aesthetics, biodiversity, and developing multiple land use are central themes. All this is to accelerate the energy transition and to make onshore solar the best proposition it can be. Now and in the future. But also projects aimed at demonstrating the technical feasibility of offshore solar, working with partners in various consortia, mainly solving technical challenges. As a project leader, you’ll manage project teams of, on average, three to eight subject-matter experts After accepting an assignment, you’ll assemble your team and execute the project. The projects you’ll be working on often contain demonstration elements. As such, managing expectations and the work of machine builders, installers, and contractors will belong to your tasks. Substantively, your involvement will be mostly from the sidelines. Fuelled by an intrinsic passion for technology, you’re able to challenge the experts in your team. Your task will be to steer projects in the right direction and to stimulate and unburden your team. 

Projects are successfully delivered under your leadership. You’ll make sure that we adhere to contractual agreements and budgets, and that the client is satisfied – even when a project’s outcome deviates from the initially envisioned solution. In addition, you’ll focus on good publicity and encourage a maximum learning effect among project staff. How you approach all this is up to you. You’ll have a lot of freedom to work in the way that suits you. In addition, there will be room to spar and exchange experiences with other project managers.

Project leaders in the Solar Energy department run an average of between three to six projects at a time. This entails a great deal of variety in a fascinating, expanding field. The complexity of the projects you’ll manage will depend on your experience level. In this field of work, you could be quickly leading prominent projects, even in European consortia. There’s plenty of space for project managers with a good sense of stakeholder management to develop.

The Solar Energy group focuses on the technological development of solar cells and panels with a long lifecycle, optimum performance, low costs, and new properties, as well as on wide-ranging applications for solar panels. Projects focus on the creation and testing of advanced designs and materials for solar cells, semi-finished products, panels, and systems, and on new, often unexpected applications. Examples include the integration of the solar-energy function in buildings and vehicles, coloured modules that blend in with their surroundings, and combinations of solar energy with agriculture and nature management. We install prototypes in pilot projects and conduct field tests to investigate and demonstrate their functionality under real-life circumstances. The group is international, meaning English is also often the language of choice in social interactions. We collaborate closely with the Solar Technology and Applications (ST&A) group in Eindhoven. Regular travel is part of the job.

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

To be able to manage projects well, you need to be a good conversational partner, both for your customers/clients and your project teams. You’re good at managing and connecting people and maintaining an overview. In short, you know how to get things done and motivate a team! Presenting research results, for example, is something we can safely leave to you. You’re a networker and team player with excellent communication skills. When necessary, you know how to take the lead and get people excited about your ideas. And of course, you don’t shy away from rolling up your sleeves when a situation calls for it.
In addition to your ability to lead research projects, you’re also able to lead projects in which materials, devices, or pilot installations are purchased or manufactured, delivered fully operational, and monitored. Doing so calls on your aptitude to commit both internal and external suppliers to delivery dates and enforce them strictly. You’re able to deal with the complication of overlapping professional relationships; one project’s supplier could be another’s client. You display exemplary adaptability and environmental awareness, and are able to stimulate other employees to also develop these qualities. You preferably have IPMA certification or are willing and motivated to become IPMA-certified. In addition, we expect you to actively contribute to the professionalisation of project management within the research group, and to offer input on the performance management of your teams.

Other knowledge and skills you bring to TNO:
  • A PhD or university master’s degree in a relevant field.
  • Experience leading projects in public-private partnerships.
  • Experience managing multiple projects simultaneously in an international context.
  • Experience with complex relationship and stakeholder management.
  • Good oral and written language skills in both Dutch and English.
  • Familiarity with tools like business case and cashflow models.
  • Experience researching or developing energy projects within the realm of sustainable solar energy is an advantage.

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 € 3.700,- and € 5.800,- (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:
  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
  • 33 days annual leave on a full-time basis.
  • An employer that values and encourages diverse talent, with initiatives like the Female Leadership Program, our Rainbow Community and round tables on inclusion topics.
  • Travel allowance.
  • 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.
  • Access to TNO’s project managers guild: a network of some three hundred equals. The guild organizes workshops, conferences, intervision sessions and other activities for project managers.
  • Extensive relocation package for international candidates.
  • A good pension scheme.
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.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

Please apply before May 31. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. 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.

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: Anouk Bos
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6-413 74015

Hiring manager: Henny Welleman
Phone number: +31 (0)88-86 62969

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


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Henny Welleman

  • Research manager

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