Saturday, January 26, 2008

PhD Modelling Hydrogen Infrastructure Investment Utrecht, Netherland

Within the project ‘Socio-Economic Modelling and Simulation of
Hydrogen Infrastructure Development Strategies’, Utrecht University
offers two PhD positions.

This project is part of the NWO/ACTS sustainable hydrogen program.
This is a joint project between the Innovation Studies Group and the
Utrecht School of Economics.

The Innovation Studies Group is young and ambitious and involved in
teaching and research in innovation. The group is part of the
Department of Innovation and Environmental Sciences of the Faculty of
Geosciences and consists of 14 faculty members, 5 postdocs and 13 PhD
students. Innovation Studies starts from a multi-disciplinary
perspective and links insights from science with social sciences in
order to effectively capture the many folded character of innovation
processes and systems. In its research and teaching, the Innovation
Studies Group distinguishes three focal points: energy and materials,
mobility and infrastructure and medical biotechnology. The group
participates in the Copernicus Institute for Sustainable Development
and Innovation and in a number of national and international networks.

Utrecht School of Economics (USE) is part of the Faculty of Law,
Economics and Governance of Utrecht University, one of the most
reputable research universities in the Netherlands and Europe. USE
presently has approximately 900 bachelor’s and master’s students and
about 100 faculty employees. USE aims at world-standard economic
teaching and research while encouraging multidisciplinary approaches
and giving special attention to institutional, historical and spatial
dimensions. In its activities, USE crosses disciplinary borders by
collaborating actively with the faculties of Law, Geosciences, Social
Science and History. USE maintains active international relationships
and teaches its curricula in both Dutch and English. USE has two
teaching institutes, the Undergraduate School and the Graduate School.
Scientific research at USE falls under its third institute, the
Tjalling C. Koopmans Institute (TKI).

For one of the two available PhD positions, the Innovation Studies
Group and the Utrecht School of Economics invites applications for a
position of PhD-researcher Modelling Hydrogen Infrastructure
Investment Decisions Using Real Options Theory (1,0 fte)

Job description
This project aims to apply real options theory to model uncertainties
connected with the transition process towards a hydrogen
infrastructure. Since the transition process is characterized by many
interrelated phases, the project models the staged development process
of a hydrogen infrastructure by using a real options framework. We
will explicitly disentangle and model three different sources of
uncertainty (technological, economic and institutional uncertainties),
in contrast with a standard real options approach that mostly lumps
together different sources of uncertainty into one parameter. We
furthermore extend the basic real option theory by including network
effects, which are not present in standard business projects. Finally,
we develop the optimal timing for the introduction and the development
speed of hydrogen infrastructure in the Netherlands.

The ideal candidate for this position has good analytical skills, a
strong quantitative background (e.g. in financial modelling or
financial econometrics) and a good knowledge of option theory.
Experience with programming and/or mathematical software (such as
Matlab) is a plus. The PhD student combines an interest in applied
research with an interest to work in an interdisciplinary group of
researchers and can communicate with a non-technical audience. Highly
qualified students that will shortly obtain a Master’s degree are also
encouraged to apply.

Terms of employment
We offer a temporary fulltime position of a year with - at good
performance - the prospect of an extension with a maximum of three
years (in total 4 years fulltime). The extent of this position is 38
hours a week (1,0 fte). The gross monthly salary increases from €
2,000.- in year 1 to € 2,558.- in year 4. In addition, we offer good
fringe benefits. Conditions are based on the Collective Employment
Agreement of the Dutch Universities.

Further details
For more information about this position, please contact:
Dr. mr. P.J. Engelen (
Dr. T. Poot (

How to apply
Applications, including a motivation for this position and a
curriculum vitae should be submitted to the Faculty of Geosciences,
Personnel Departement, P.O. Box 80.115, 3508 TC Utrecht, the
Netherlands, or submitted by e-mail to: Please mention
vacancy number: 72093.

Application deadline: February 15, 2008

JEL Classification(s): C, D, G, L, M, Q, Z

Application has to be received by 15. February 2008.