PhD in Operating System for Battery-less Communication Delft University of Technology, Department of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

PhD: Operating System for Battery-less Communication

Department/faculty: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

Level: Master degree

Working hours: 38 hours per week

Contract: 4 years

Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) is known worldwide for its high academic quality and the social relevance of its research programmes. The faculty’s excellent facilities accentuate its international position in teaching and research. Within this interdisciplinary and international setting the faculty employs more than 1100 employees, including about 400 graduate students and about 2100 students. Together they work on a broad range of technical innovations in the fields of sustainable energy, telecommunications, microelectronics, embedded systems, computer and software engineering, interactive multimedia and applied mathematics.

The position is situated in the Department of Software Technology (ST), in particular in the Embedded Software Group. ST is one of the leading Dutch departments in research and academic education in computer science, employing over 100 people. The ST Department is responsible for a large part of the curriculum of the bachelor’s and master’s programmes in Computer Science as well as the master’s programme in Embedded Systems. The inspiration for its research topics is largely derived from technical ICT problems in industry and society related to large-scale distributed processing, embedded systems, programming productivity, and web-based information analysis.

The Faculty's Embedded Software group ( has the ambition to improve the software development and maintenance process for embedded systems, design new wireless networking paradigms, and make small/embedded networks less reliant on batteries. The Embedded Software group performs research on many breakthrough technologies, including energy-autonomous communications, wireless power transfer, visual light communication, and robotic systems.


Job description

Your research goal will be to develop an operating system (OS) for a battery-less Internet of Things (IoT) sensor. The sensor will be charged from ambient energy only (like solar power or radio frequency harvesting). Your challenge: the sensors should not have batteries (only small capacitors) to make them small and environmentally friendly. However, this small energy reservoir makes prolonged computation difficult. Your goal will be to utilise program structuring that divides long programs into small parts that can be stored in a non-volatile memory, from which one can continue after restart. Your operating system should consider service interrupts, schedulers (considering existing energy budget) and existing communication protocol requirements. You will be expected to develop a complete software stack, supporting communication for battery-less sensors. Other approaches for OS design, those that use specialized hardware, should be also considered in the project. Based on lessons learned from the OS design, systems related aspects should be explored in your PhD research, including underlying support software tools.


Your research will be part of a large Dutch project: TTW Perspectief ZERO on “Battery-less IoT”. As a case study you will be working on an autonomous network for roadside users (bikes and pedestrians) to increase traffic safety.



Applicants must have a Master's degree in computer science with a good knowledge of wireless communications and embedded systems. Good English language proficiency and a team player personality are prerequisites. Analytical skills, C/Embedded programming abilities (including TI MSP430, architecture, TI Code Composer Studio, NesC, TinyOS) and willingness to perform experimental work are a must. Prior knowledge of compiler design is a plus.


Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Przemyslaw Pawelczak, phone: +31 614238042, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV (with contact to two referees) along with a letter of application and detailed transcript of university grades to When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number EWI2017-31. The vacancy will be opened until filled.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.

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