PhD Position: AI-powered identification of anomalies and manipulation in electricity markets

July 2, 2024
Location Wageningen
End date Sun 15 September 2024
Respond Click here to respond

Your job

Have you ever wondered how electricity markets can be manipulated and how to effectively identify anomalies and market abuse from electricity markets data? Are you interested in developing novel AI approaches and big data analytics for identifying such anomalies? Would you like to participate in an interdisciplinary project aimed at enhancing the integrity of electricity markets during the energy transition? If so, this PhD position might be for you!

The Information-Technology-Group at Wageningen University is hiring a PhD candidate (4 years, fully paid/full-time) to work on identifying anomalies and manipulations in electricity markets. To achieve this, you will develop and apply AI techniques (e.g., unsupervised and self-supervised learning) and big data analytics on actual electricity market data in the Netherlands. The goal is to enhance the integrity of the Dutch electricity markets during the energy transition.

You will collaborate with a diverse group of national and international researchers in energy systems, markets, statistics, and information technology, within the HighLO project, alongside stakeholders from the Dutch and European energy regulation institutes (e.g., ACM and ACER). The HighLO project is partnership between Wageningen University & Research and the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN). Our goal is to use particle physics tools and methodologies to identify malicious trading behavior in commodity markets to better protect markets and consumers. You will have the opportunity to visit CERN regularly, collaborate with leading data scientists, and utilize advanced tools for analyzing large datasets (e.g., ROOT). HighLO is focused on making tangible impacts, with our tools already being adopted by regulators and exchanges.

Your duties and responsibilities include:

  • understanding how market manipulations can occur in electricity markets and their impact on market functionality
  • exploring existing data-driven solutions for identifying different types of electricity market manipulations
  • using big data analytics tools to analyse energy trading behaviour and price patterns in electricity markets, considering the existence of high-frequency/algorithm trading
  • developing and implementing novel AI models and solutions for identifying anomalies and specific types of market manipulations in electricity markets (e.g., spoofing and insider trading)
  • evaluating the effectiveness of these models in the Dutch electricity market context using actual data

You will work here
This PhD position is embedded in the Information-Technology-Group at Wageningen University, led by Prof.Dr.Ir. B (Bedir) Tekinerdogan. The candidate will be co-supervised by Dr. Tarek Alskaif and Dr. Kwabena Bennin.

Your qualities

You have:

  • a successfully completed MSc degree in a discipline relevant to the PhD project (e.g., computer science, electrical engineering, applied statistics, data science or artificial intelligence);
  • hands-on experience with AI algorithms and techniques (e.g., supervised/unsupervised learning) and big data analytics;
  • strong scientific programming skills and experience in languages such as Python (or R) and C++;
  • knowledge about European electricity markets and energy systems;
  • familiarity with algorithmic trading is a plus;
  • excellent communication skills in English.
For this position your command of the English language is expected to be at C1 level. Sometimes it is necessary to submit an internationally recognized Certificate of Proficiency in the English Language. More information can be found here.

You are:
  • interested in working in an interdisciplinary team covering different backgrounds;
  • open to feedback;
  • able to work independently;
  • eager to learn and to develop new skills;
  • committed to open science;
  • organized, flexible and have attention to details.

We offer you

Wageningen University & Research offers excellent terms of employment. A few highlights from our Collective Labour Agreement include:

  • partially paid parental leave;
  • working hours that can be discussed and arranged so that they allow for the best possible work-life balance;
  • the option to accrue additional compensation / holiday hours by working more, up to 40 hours per week;
  • there is a strong focus on vitality and you can make use of the sports facilities available on campus for a small fee;
  • a fixed December bonus of 8.3%;
  • excellent pension scheme.
In addition to these first-rate employee benefits, you will receive a fully funded PhD position and you will be offered a course program tailored to your needs and the research team.

The gross salary for the first year is € 2.770 - per month rising to € 3.539,-  in the fourth year in according to the Collective Labour Agreements for Dutch Universities (CAO-NU) (scale P). This is based on a full-time working week of 38 hours. We offer a temporary contract for 18 months which will be extended for the duration of the project if you perform well.

There are plenty of options for personal initiative in a learning environment, and we provide excellent training opportunities. We offer a unique position in an international environment with a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

You are going to work at the greenest and most innovative campus, and at a university that has been chosen as the “Best University” in the Netherlands for the 19th consecutive time.

Coming from abroad
Wageningen University & Research is the university and research centre for life sciences. The themes we deal with are relevant to everyone around the world and Wageningen, therefore, has a large international community and a lot to offer to international employees.

Because we expect you to work and live in the Netherlands our team of advisors on Dutch immigration procedures will help you with the visa application procedures for yourself and, if applicable, for your family.
Feeling welcome also has everything to do with being well informed. We can assist you with any additional advice and information about for example, helping your partner to find a job, housing, or schooling. Finally, certain categories of international staff may be eligible for a tax exemption on a part of their salary during the first five years in the Netherlands.

Do you want more information?

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Tarek Alskaif, by email:

For more information about the procedure, please contact Noorien Abbas, corporate recruiter,

Do you want to apply?
You can apply directly using the apply button on the vacancy page on our website which will allow us to process your personal information with your approval.

This vacancy will be listed up to and including 15 September 2024. We hope to schedule the first job interviews on October 2024.

Additional information form
For this position, you must fill in a mandatory form which will allow us to have a comprehensive view of your qualifications and better assess your fit for it.

You can access the form using the link below: 

Your prompt response will ensure that your application continues to move forward in the evaluation process. We assure you that the information provided will be kept confidential and used solely for this application process.

Equal opportunities
Wageningen University & Research (WUR) employs a large number of people with very different backgrounds and qualities, who inspire and motivate each other. We want every talent to feel at home in our organisation and be offered the same career opportunities. We therefore especially welcome applications from people who are underrepresented at WUR. A good example of how WUR deals with inclusiveness can be read on the page working at WUR with a functional impairment.

We are

The mission of Wageningen University & Research is “To explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life”. Under the banner Wageningen University & Research, Wageningen University and the specialised research institutes of the Wageningen Research Foundation have joined forces in contributing to finding solutions to important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With its roughly 30 branches, 7,600 employees (6,700 fte) and 13,100 students and over 150,000 participants to WUR’s Life Long Learning, Wageningen University & Research is one of the leading organisations in its domain. The unique Wageningen approach lies in its integrated approach to issues and the collaboration between different disciplines.

Read the 5 reasons why your future colleagues enjoy working at WUR and watch the video below to get an idea of our green campus!

We will recruit for the vacancy ourselves, so no employment agencies please. However, sharing in your network is appreciated.