Postdoc on Climate-Neutral and Adaptive Sponge Cities

University of Twente
Enschede, Netherlands
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
University/Academia/Research/Think tank
Experience Level: 
Not Specified
Degree Required: 


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Job description

Urban resilience and water-energy-climate are relatively new focus areas of the Civil Engineering Department of the University of Twente. To strengthen research in this field, we have a vacancy for a postdoc with an initial two-years appointment. In this position, you will develop research that takes an integrative approach to urban water and energy challenges. You will collaborate closely with colleagues of different groups to integrate and expand our existing knowledge, networks and experience and to explore opportunities for funding. Writing research grant applications will be an important element of your position, since we intend to expand the work in this field in the future. Contract extension is possible if the grant applications turn out successful.

The focus
The aim will be to combine ideas of climate neutrality, adaptation, resilience and the “sponge city” concept. A sponge city involves water-sensitive urban design; basically it means a greener, more liveable city with more water retention and storage capacity, more green roofs and green spaces, fewer paved areas, room for urban farming, rainwater harvesting, water recycling, less impact from heavy rain showers, and reduced heat stress through the cooling effect of water and vegetation. Ideas around water-sensitive, water-wise or sponge cities are now gaining popularity worldwide. At the same time, cities struggle with the challenge to become climate neutral in the long run to meet climate change mitigation targets and to adapt to the changes in climate that are already inevitable. Climate neutrality involves different design of infrastructure, like climate neutral buildings with integrated solar panels, and a shift to electric mobility with accompanying infrastructure. The challenge of climate mitigation and adaptation combined with the sponge city concept requires a fundamental rethinking of urban infrastructure design. The postdoc will address the question how the different aims and concepts can be reconciled into integrated solutions. The approach is particularly innovative in bringing together important urban challenges that are often treated separately. In collaboration with early career and established researchers, you will have the opportunity to develop an exciting, innovative research line.

Your profile

You are an ambitious researcher with a PhD in (civil) engineering, natural sciences or environmental sciences. You are enthusiastic about strengthening the collaborations between researchers of different groups, both inside and outside the University of Twente. You have experience working at the crossroads of disciplines and a strong publication record in reputed international journals. You have experience in writing project grant applications, strong system analytical skills and excellent communication and language competences (English). You preferably have experience with student supervision.


For additional information regarding this position, you can contact prof. Arjen Hoekstra (phone +31 53 4893880, email , or prof. Andre Doree (phone +31 53 4894058, email ). You can submit your application, including a motivation letter and recent CV (including a list of Web of Science-rated publications) until 15 January 2019 using the link below. In the motivation letter please include your view on giving content to the research field and how you would build on your past experience. Video conference interviews are planned for 28 January 2019.

Our offer

We offer a fulltime position for two years. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) for Dutch Universities the gross monthly salary for a postdoc will range from € 3.173,- to € 4.166,- depending on experience and qualifications. In addition, the University of Twente offers attractive employment conditions (for example 8% holiday allowance and 8,3% end-of-year bonus), excellent support for research and facilities for professional and personal development.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

Postdoc on Climate-Neutral and Adaptive Sponge Cities