Civil Engineering

PDEng Positions at ZoARG -
Reduction of Excavation Damages

“zoarg” is the Dutch acronym for... a programme to promote careful approaches in construction and maintenance of the underground infrastructure, by investing in the development of new methods and technologies that prevent excavation damages.

The context

Sewer, gas, water and electricity mains, cable TV and telephone lines, fibre optic cables, water tubes, traffic control systems, street lighting, culverts, heating networks, transport systems, data cables, drainage, etcetera... Developments of the past century have turned the public subsurface into a maze of widespread, dense utility networks. Without us being constantly aware of it, webs of utilities are spun beneath us. The total value of these assets is estimated at hundreds of billions of euros in the Netherlands alone. Globally, billions are spent annually on the construction, maintenance and upgrading of these networks. In addition, we expect a growing variety of decentralized energy networks, smart grids, local grids and wastewater systems. One current major development is the installation of Fibre to the Home (FttH) networks, supplying residents and companies with high-speed data connectivity.

In residential and populated areas the reconstruction, realignment and installation of such assets need to be executed carefully to prevent damage to existing networks. Such damages are often labelled as "excavation damages”. Irrespective of its size and cause, all stakeholders involved are convinced that each excavation damage is one too many. This is why Reggefiber and the University of Twente started a programme to address these damages. Reggefiber is a Dutch company that focuses on the construction and maintenance of the glass fibre network in the Netherlands and is convinced that excavation damages can and should be avoided. Reggefiber has the ambition to reduce the number of dig-in incidents and to promote constructing with care.

The ZoARG PDEng projects at the University of Twente

Reggefiber and the University of Twente agreed to cooperate on a programme that stimulates Careful approaches for Fibre to the Home installation and the Reduction of Excavation Damages (Dutch acronym: ZoARG). See also This programme intends to boost innovation in methods, techniques and processes. Other stakeholders from the sector are actively approached and invited to participate in this ZoARG programme. It funds ten PDEng candidates who will work on challenging design projects focussing on the prevention of excavation damages.

The PDEng (= Professional Doctorate in Engineering) programme is a 2 year post-Master’s designer programme at the University of Twente. During these two years you follow a tailor made design programme with a combination of education (50%) and working on a design project (50%) that will be carried out at Reggefiber or one the other ZoARG partners. In consultation with ZoARG, this tailor made programme will be designed to educate you to be able to design high level, creative and renewing designs for complex issues with a multidisciplinary character.

For the upcoming period, ZoARG needs for several of her projects technological designers with a MSc in Educational Science and Technology,  Civil Engineering or a related discipline. Examples of projects are:

Please click on the examples for more information, or contact Prof. A.G. Dorée at or telephone +31 53 489 4058.

Job specification

The PDEng programme is a 2-year post-Master technological programme with a focus on technological design. The educational programme will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with the external organisation, high level, creative and new designs for complex issues will be aimed at.

Our offer

We offer a full-time contract for 24 months. During these two years you receive a salary of € 1.715 gross per month while you follow a tailor made post-master design programme with a combination of education and working on a design project. Also, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus. On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI). 

Candidate profile

We are searching for the best MSc graduated in the field of Civil Engineering or related discipline,  with a demonstrable affinity with design, construction management and multidisciplinary assignments. Besides, you must have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions / creating designs for complex civil technological issues with a multidisciplinary character.


For this project, you can send an open application by clicking “PDEng Positions at ZoARG - Reduction of Excavation Damages” at Please send your open application with a curriculum vitae, a letter of motivation, a list with grades of courses attended, references and, if applicable, a list of publications you may have.

More information: