Postdoc The industrial organization of offshore wind farm maintenance (1.0 fte)


Faculty of Economics and Business


University of Groningen

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
The Faculty of Economics and Business (FEB) has an inspiring study and working environment for students and employees. International accreditation enables the Faculty to assess performance against the highest international standards. It also creates an exciting environment of continuous improvement. FEB's programmes, academic staff and research do well on various excellence ranking lists.

Job description

With the increasing demand for fossil-free energy, a whole new industry has emerged: energy production with offshore wind farms. That industry has some unique characteristics.

For example, there are huge economies of scale in maintenance, which requires bulky investments in maintenance vessels too expensive to be efficiently purchased by individual operators or service providers. Manufacturers of wind turbines may offer maintenance contracts, but it is unclear what those contracts should look like. Operators of offshore wind farms may cooperate in the exploitation of maintenance vessels, but this may give rise to strategic behaviour. The industry has a unique structure in which manufacturers of wind turbines, owners of maintenance vessels, wind farm operators and energy companies all have a role. Combined with the huge economies of scale, this makes the scope for cooperation within this industry enormous but, inevitably, also the scope for collusion.

This project will study this industry from an Industrial Organization/Contract Theory perspective. Questions that could be addressed include, but are not restricted to the following. What do the optimal maintenance contracts look like? Should farm operators be allowed to jointly own maintenance vessels, and if so, under what conditions? More generally, how should the industry be organized to ensure that welfare is maximized? Of course, insights generated by this research may also be applicable to other industries.

The analyses are likely to be of an applied theoretical nature, but empirical (or lab experimental) work is also an option. Knowledge of supply chain management and logistics is definitely a plus: an understanding of such processes is essential to properly model the relevant issues in this industry.

The position will be embedded in both the Operations and the Microeconomics groups of the Faculty. It is part of the NWO/TKI Dinalog funded project, ‘Sustainable service logistics for offshore wind farms’ (, as well as the signature area Markets and Sustainability.


• PhD in Industrial Organization, Operations Research, Applied Game Theory or related fields (please note that candidates who will defend their PhD not later than 1 March 2018 are also invited to apply)
• strong academic record as evinced by curriculum vitae and list of publications
• demonstrated competences for quantitative modeling
• a background in logistics or supply chain management is appreciated
• candidates should be fluent in English
• affinity with or experience in working in business or service settings is a plus.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 24 months.

The University of Groningen offers a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience between € 2,588 (salary scale 10 Dutch Universities) and € 4,757 gross per month (salary scale 11) based on a full-time position. The full-time (1.0 fte) appointment is temporary for a period of two years (or a few months longer, depending on the starting date). In addition, the university offers a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of year bonus.

Starting date: As soon as possible.

Candidates are invited to send a motivation letter and curriculum vitae until 9 November / before 10 November 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Dr Jasper Veldman

Prof. Marco Haan

In your application, please always include the job opening ID 217373

Digital application form