Scientist High Tech Greenhouses



Education type

university (wo)



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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What will you be doing?

In your role as researcher greenhouse structure modelling you will help develop a design platform that can be used to dimension the structural elements of greenhouse systems. The location of the greenhouse is taken into account, including environmental aspects such as wind, snow and seismic loads that can be expected at any desired building location in the world. The latter is done by linking local standardization, satellite data and meteorological data to our models. In addition to your excellent knowledge of structural design, you also know how to process large amounts of data and how to program in, for example, Matlab, C and Python. Furthermore, you not only like to develop a model, but also to validate and improve it based on (real time) data.

You will work in the High Tech Greenhouses team of the Building Physics & Systems department. For more than 25 years, this team has been working on structural calculation tools such as Casta/Kassenbouw and the international standards for (greenhouse) constructions. External tools such as MatrixFrame, Ansys, and Mathcad are used to develop calculation models and perform verifications.
Other developments this team is working on are decision support models for the design of greenhouses all over the world, interlinking all kinds of design, climate, plant and financial models. Another important focus of the team is the development of the e-Growing platform, a data exchange platform that allows data from the greenhouse to be translated into concrete actions to control cultivation in the greenhouse.

With these activities, we contribute to the global issue of fresh food supply for all, directly following global trends such as urbanisation and local-for-local, with people increasingly producing and consuming food at the source (e.g. the city).

What do we require of you?

  • You are a university graduate (MSc), preferably in Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering.
  • You have experience in modelling, programming and calculating constructions.
  • You have an affinity with the horticultural sector.
  • You have put your expertise into practice in the preparation and/or implementation of innovative (horticultural) projects.
  • You have the ability to make sense of complex technical and organizational issues.
  • You have the ability to translate wants and needs into a technical solution. In this respect you use your own theoretical knowledge and experience of TNO colleagues.
  • You are accustomed to working in a multidisciplinary manner. You have or are able to quickly master a broad knowledge base that enables you to brainstorm with different relevant experts and make the most appropriate decisions in order to arrive at the desired solution.
  • You are able to not only technically validate solutions, but also to test them against the wants and needs of the client.
  • You are used to working on projects in teams.
  • You have a good command of Dutch and English, both verbally and in writing (at least B1 level).
  • You like to discuss the results of research or the progress of projects and to present them to the client.

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 and greenhouse farming. 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, building information modelling (BIM), structural safety, (mechanical) sensor development and artificial intelligence. 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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