23 Feb 2021

Join the UNEP-DTU Partnership as an Advisor on District Energy Systems!

UNEP DTU Partnership (UDP) is a leading international research and advisory institution on energy, climate and sustainable development. It is an independent Centre within the Department of Technology, Management and Economics at the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). As a collaborating centre of UN Environment (UNEP), UDP works with a large range of international institutions, national governments, and research institutions, to assist countries in their efforts to move towards low carbon climate resilient development. UDP has a staff of approximately 70 professionals from 20 different countries with backgrounds covering economics, science, engineering, energy and environment planning. UDP currently implements project activities in more than 60 developing countries.

The position will be in the section of Business Models & Finance, which supports developing countries and emerging economies by pursuing work in key areas, such as early stage and mid-stage project/investment preparation, and conducting technical and financial pre-feasibility and feasibility studies. The Section also develops financial architecture concepts and models for scale and replication, in order to bridge the existing gaps preventing or slowing down green investment. The section represents a consolidation and an expansion of UDP's engagement working more directly with business models, the private sector and financial institutions.

The team is developing and implementing DES projects in over 55 cities in 16 developing countries and emerging economics. Through a platform of cross-sector partnership, the team is working with diverse international and national partners and stakeholders from government authorities, municipalities, utilities, private sectors, universities and financial institutes. The team conduct comprehensive analysis of the main relevant policy frameworks, identify state-of-the art and cutting-edge technologies, business models and finance mechanism for adoption of DES at both country and city levels in different climatic zones. The purpose is to assist the countries in meeting their targets and ambitions on carbon neutrality, GHG emission and air pollution (e.g. PM2.5, PM10) reduction and refrigerant phase out etc.. 

Key tasks and responsibilities
The successful candidate must have experience with project implementation and a strong methodological background and proven experience within district energy systems (DES) in a context of developing countries and emerging economies.

The successful candidate is expected to work on following tasks:

  • Project development: Conduct technical, environmental and economic analysis of potential for DES projects (e.g. rapid assessment, pre feasibility study), and analyse barriers and challenges for project development and implementation, and identify potential options for implementation. This includes:
    • Data collection: Collect data to prepare rapid assessment, pre- feasibility or feasibility studies for DES projects in targeted regions or cities. Prepare 'Request for Data' to guide local partners or consultancy for data collection
    • Energy mapping and planning: conduct and facilitate energy mapping and planning (preferable with GIS) and identify short/long-term technical and financial potential of DES investments, make recommendations on policies, regional development plans and investment plans.
    • Prepare project development documents and guidelines, e.g. metering strategy, MRV guideline, procurement plan guideline etc. Conduct quantitative analysis, including calculation/simulation of heating/cooling demand, pipeline parameters, capacity of DES systems with different technologies, economic and environmental benefits etc.
    • Procurement or tendering: prepare documents for tendering DES-related projects.
    • DES tools and methodologies development: develop, update and adapt UDP tools and methodologies of DES rapid assessment and pre-feasibility study
  • Research: facilitate research on state-of-the-art DES technologies (e.g. 4th generation of district heating, nature-based solutions in DES), relevant business models and financial mechanisms to assist DES market development in developing countries. Assist in developing research proposals and/or reports. Contribute to development of peer-reviewed academic articles to journals and conferences.
  • Capacity building materials: prepare e-training modular and other training materials, document experiences and evidence of DES projects with case studies and best practices, prepare required materials for the Knowledge Management System.
  • Supervision: Supervise research and student assistants, and/or master students together with other senior advisors.
  • Outreach: Organize and participate conferences, webinars, training workshops and other types of outreach. Prepare meeting minutes for important meetings
  • Section activities: Contribute to strengthening the section and UDP's work with qualitative and quantitative research methods, processes, tools and software

We are looking for a highly motivated and experienced team player who possess strong knowledge and expertise in DES and who meet the following criteria:

  • Academic qualifications: academic degree in an energy engineering relevant discipline such as Architectural Engineering, Energy Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Civil Engineering. Master degree is required. Ph.D. degree is an advantage.
  • DES implementation and international project experience: at least 3 years of relevant practical work experience in the formulation, technical design, business model development and/or operation of DES projects. Experience of on-ground data collection and evaluation of data quality and quantity for DES rapid assessment and/or pre-feasibility study is preferred. 
  • Technical and analytical research track record: in-depth knowledge and experience with research within DES technologies. Experience with preparing technical and policy-relevant analysis, reports and papers for both academic and non-academic audiences. Experience with publications of peer-reviewed journal papers is an advantage.
  • Professional certification: Knowledge and practice with accreditations such as LEED AP, BREEAM AP, ASHRAE Certification (BEMP, BCxP, BEAP and OPMP), Certified Measurement and Verification Professional (CMVP) will be highly valued. Experience in energy mapping and planning (e.g. through GIS and/or DHAT or other tools) and building energy simulation (e.g. through Energy Plus, eQUEST) will also be appreciated.
  • Communication: Experience with and knowledge of key communications media, branding and development of promotional materials, experience with presenting, speaking and training. A good team spirit of working and collaborating with multi-cultural team members is required. Strong written and verbal communications skills in English is a requirement. Proficiency in other languages relevant to countries of activities (e.g. Spanish, French) is desirable.
  • International exposure and established networks: familiarity with international cooperation and institutional processes, including UN and other multilateral institutions. International working experience is desirable, experience in developing countries (e.g. south and east Asia, Africa, Latin America) is preferred. 

The working language at UDP is English, but in addition proficiency in languages relevant to South/east Asia, Africa and Latin America (e.g. Spanish, French) is desirable.

We offer
UDP offers an international setting with room for professional and personal development. We employ senior researchers and advisors, researchers, PhD students and research assistants, with a possibility to work across institutional sections. Staff members have a high degree of freedom and responsibility in organising their work, they play different roles in different projects, and project teams vary from one project to another. The employee will benefit from working in Denmark Technical University and Danish Taxation system.

We apply a dialogue-based Scandinavian management style and we offer a family friendly work place with a documented positive work environment where there is room for a good work-life balance for our staff.

Terms of employment
UDP is part of the Department of Management at the Technical University of Denmark and employees are university staff. The successful candidate will be employed working in Denmark Technical University in a full-time position according to the collective agreement with the Confederation of Professional Associations. The position is for 2 years.

The place of work is the UN City based in Copenhagen, Denmark.

How to Apply
Please submit your online application no later than 23 March 2021 (Danish time). To submit, please open the link “Apply online”, fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include: 

  • Application letter;
  • CV with full personal data and contact details (e.g. name, email, phone etc.), a list of DES-related project experience (e.g. project names, your role in the projects etc.);
  • Indication of three references;
  • A copy of your diploma(s)

For further information please contact:
Merete Villum Pedersen, Section Head of Business Models & Finance, Phone: +45 4533 5258, Email: or Zhuolun Chen, Senior Advisor, Phone: +45 4533 5316, Email:

Further information is also available at the UDP website

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, disability, race, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

DTU Management conducts high-level research and teaching with a focus on sustainability, transport, innovation, and management science. Our goal is to create knowledge on the societal aspects of technology—including the interaction between technology and sustainability, business growth, infrastructure, and prosperity. Therefore, we explore and create value in the areas of management science, innovation and design thinking, business analytics, systems and risk analyses, human behavior, regulation, and policy analysis. The department offers teaching from introductory to advanced courses/projects at BSc, MSc, and PhD level. The Department has a staff of approximately 350. Read more here.

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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