Openings at ME

Power management for plant-microbial fuel cell energy harvester

Opening for: PhD student

Status details

Announced:19 Dec 2022
Closing date:17 Feb 2023

Collecting energy from the environment to power IoT devices has been a hot topic for decades and continues to develop. In this project, we are working with Plant-e on a plant-powered energy harvester, which can provide energy from the plants day and night. Very different from the solid-state energy harvesters such as solar cells, plant-based energy harvester is a “living” energy harvester that responses to electrical conditions slowly, and  the traditional maximum power point track (MPPT) techniques cannot be applied. The goal of this project is to develop a novel MPPT technique to quickly and accurately find and track the MPP condition of the plant energy harvester. A DC-DC converter will also be designed to demonstrate the system.


The candidate should have very good analog integrated circuit design background. Background knowledge in energy harvester and MPPT is not a must, but highly appreciated.

The candidate should be highly  self-motivated.

The candidate should be a team player.


Please send your CV to and a short text why you are applying for this position and why you are the right candidate for this position.

Contact Qinwen Fan

Assistant Professor

Electronic Components, Technology and Materials Group

Department of Microelectronics

Additional information

In The Netherlands, almost all PhD positions are linked to funded research projects. This has several implications:
  • PhD students are employed: they receive a salary rather than a grant. Most projects have a duration of 4 years.
  • Positions become available once a project is funded. This can happen at any time during the year.
  • It typically takes 6 to 9 months for a project proposal to receive funding. In this period, a position may be anticipated but the outcome remains insecure. Once a project is funded, the open position needs to be filled as soon as possible.

If you are interested in our research, it merits to inquire whether openings will be available. We collect resumes of prospective PhD students throughout the year, for each of our research tracks.

General requirements

We make our selection based on the following general requirements:
  • Formal requirements regarding prior education: you should have earned an MSc degree at a recognized institute for higher education.
  • Background: you should have a background that fits the requirements of the project
  • Excellence: your Grade-Point-Average should be above 8 (10). Also your MSc thesis should have received a grade above 8 (10).
  • English: you should be able to communicate well in english (written and oral). Provide TOEFL/IELTS scores if available.
  • Originality: your MSc thesis or later work (publications) should reflect some original ideas. Critical and independent thinking is very important.
  • Team player: you should be able to work well in a team of other project members.
Your resume should contain contact information of prior advisors/supervisors who can provide feedback.