Internship in optimization/machine learning on energy flexibility trading

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) has open positions in the “Intelligent and Autonomous Systems” research group for talented candidates. Internship in optimization/ machine learning on energy flexibility trading Project Energy Loan Exchange (ELE) in cooperation with Seita Energy Flexibility B.V.


Energy systems are currently in a revolutionary transition, due to the increasing inclusion of sustainable energy sources. Whereas in the past, energy supply was determined by demand and was supplied centrally, in the future, demand and increasingly decentralized supply will need to respond to each other. Their balancing requires a combination of adjusting conventional generation, exploiting efficient storage technologies and implementing demand response with corresponding incentives thereof. Balancing activities may take place on multiple scales, from the individual household to the European or even an envisioned global grid. The transition to smart energy systems is changing business processes, markets and exchange traded products for balancing flexibility.

Task description

This project is exploring a new business idea in this space, both technologically and as a business case. We want to offer a streamlined trade product, “energy loans”, to relevant market actors such as wind farm operators, which captures—by design—much of the aforementioned complexity of balancing flexibility. The aim of this project is to perform a feasibility study, evaluating the potential of energy loans in the future energy system. The project is a collaboration with the CWI spin-off Seita Energy Flexibility B.V. in Amsterdam.

The technical part of the project investigates automated contract negotiation of energy loans, and might be applicable as content for a Master’s thesis. The intern will closely collaborate with members of the research group and Seita.

The internship will work towards an optimisation algorithm, which translates the flexibility of a given (set of) assets into bids (energy loans) that maximize profits in markets or against negotiating opponents. In particular, this requires efficiently exploring the complex space of possible offers, while balancing marginal profit and probability of acceptance under highly dynamic conditions. Machine learning may be applied to construct meaningful forecasts. The software architecture for the simulation is available in Python.

The candidate’s work will provide input to develop processes and interactions for supportive services around trading energy loans, by structuring results (together with Seita) using an economic perspective suitable for a business plan. To this end, the intern will actively consult with Seita to gather necessary input for simulation scenarios.

The research will contribute to the research group's ambition to valorize fundamental principles that find applications in practical intelligent systems. The project is embedded in a research group with experience and ongoing complementary projects on topics such as multi-agent learning, anytime online planning and control, smart energy systems, etc., and successful applicants will join a diverse team of motivated junior and senior researchers. Group’s alumni have moved on to excellent positions in academia and industry, making it a cornerstone in their career path.


Applicants are required to be currently enrolled as Master’s students in economics, sustainability, computer science, artificial intelligence, mathematics or in comparable areas. Candidates should have a clear interest in applied research in collaboration with a startup, should be creative and independent in their work, should have interest in the application area, and should be able to cooperate with experts from different disciplines. Candidates are expected to have an excellent command of English, and experience in academic writing and presentation.

Terms and conditions

Traineeships are usually supported with the standard compensation to which organisations within NWO-I are bound, covering € 400 per month plus commuting expenses, subject to several conditions (such as being a citizen of the EER-area). In case of extraordinary costs for the candidate (such as travel costs), additional funds may be available. The appointment will be for a period of up to 6 months. The starting date can be flexibly negotiated from asap to the end of November.

Please visit our website for more information about our terms of employment:


Applications can be sent to Selection will start as soon as possible until the position is filled.
All applications should include:

  • a motivation letter, explaining the interest in the proposed research fields,
  • a detailed CV,
  • names and contact details of at least two referees, and
  • a list of publications, and a link to their thesis, if available.

For more information about the vacancies, please contact
Michael Kaisers
Tel. +31 (0)20 592 4035

Website of research group “Intelligent and Autonomous Systems (IAS)”:

For more information about CWI, please visit or watch our video “Working at CWI”.

About Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica

Centrum Wiskunde & Informatica (CWI) is the Dutch national research institute for mathematics and computer science and is part of the Institutes Organisation of NWO. The mission of CWI is to conduct pioneering research in mathematics and computer science, generating new knowledge in these fields and conveying it to trade, industry, and society at large.

CWI is an internationally oriented institute, with 160 scientists from approximately 27 countries. The facilities are first-rate and include excellent IT support, career planning, training, and courses. CWI is located at Science Park Amsterdam that is presently developing into a major location of research in the natural sciences in The Netherlands, housing the sciences of the University of Amsterdam and of the Vrije Universiteit as well as several other national research institutes next to CWI.

About Seita

Seita Energy Flexibility B.V. is the 24th spin-off company of CWI, creating digital automation and intelligence for sustainability projects such as in the area of energy flexibility. In this area, Seita is developing new forms of power pricing and demand response mechanisms. Seita supports assessments and applications with sound scientific analyses based on top-level mathematics and computer science.