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Two PhD projects on Smart, Connected and Safe Cycling in the Netherlands

Job description

The Netherlands is well-known for cycling. All together the Dutch own over 22 million bicycles with a population of 17 million people. Electric bikes (e-bikes) are rapidly growing in popularity in the Netherlands since its introduction in the late 1990's. Currently, over 400,000 e-bikes are sold annually in the Netherlands. The growing popularity (of powerful) e-bikes has many advantages but at the same time the number of traffic accidents with (mainly elderly) e-bike users has grown rapidly.

The University of Twente is collaborating with Accell Group to make cycling smarter and safer. Accell group is a large European bicycle manufacturer and produces and distributes bicycles through several brands, including the electric-bike pioneer-brands Haibike and Sparta. The research collaboration aims to explore, develop and test a connected bicycle ecosystem combining the capabilities of sensing, wireless technology and data science to make bicycle use more safe, reliable, and comfortable. A key ingredient for a bicycle centric eco-system is the vision of an Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem in which data is collected, shared, combined with other sources of data, and made available to establish new services and provide information and feedback to the cyclist.

We are seeking candidates for two fully-funded PhD projects on two strongly related projects.

  1. Connected Intelligent Bicycle platform. This (4 year PhD) project aims to explore and test a next generation cycling platform - a connected bicycle ecosystem combining the capabilities of sensing, wireless technology and data science to make bicycle use more safe, reliable, and comfortable. In this project we will address the convergence between IoT and Artificial Intelligence, in which we focus on bicycles and its environment and infrastructure. In this phase we will perform extensive experiments to gather data of the various sensors, identify the relevant features, and develop and evaluate the performance and effectiveness of the algorithms. This PhD project will be conducted at the Pervasive Systems Research group, Department of Computer Science, Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS), University of Twente.
  2. Cyclist User Experience. This (4 year PhD) project will develop a user experience community and comprise large-scale field tests of applications of the Connected Intelligent Bicycle platform. Applications can provide safety information such as collision avoidance warnings, communication with traffic signals to provide improved bicycle detection as well as to convey traffic information to bicyclists. An important part of the user experience research is the development of a user community (commuters, elderly people) for testing the developed cycling innovations, in collaboration with local and regional governments. This PhD project will be conducted at the Transport Engineering and Management Research Group, Department of Civil Engineering, Faculty of Engineering Technology, University of Twente.

Your profile

  • You are a MSc-level graduate in civil engineering, transport engineering and management, geo-information science, computer science, electrical engineering or related fields
  • You have good communication skills and you have a strong interest in operating at the crossroads of different disciplines
  • You have an excellent command of English (C1; above IELTS 7 or equivalent)
  • A good command of Dutch (B2 to C1) and interest in the organization of field tests is required for the Cycling User Experience Project.
  • You have experience in (big) data analysis, statistical analysis and/or machine learning
  • You are able to do independent research and have publication skills


As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the Twente Graduate School (TGS). Your work location is Enschede, but you will spend a part of your time at the Accell offices (Apeldoorn, Heerenveen or Ede).

Additional information about this position can be obtained from prof. dr. Karst T. Geurs, Transport Engineering and Management Research group, Department of Civil Engineering, University of Twente (e-mail: ) or prof. dr. Paul Havinga, Pervasive Systems Research group, Department of Computer Science, University of Twente (e-mail: )

Please submit your application before March 1, 2020 (choose “apply now” below). Your application must include:

  • A cover letter (maximum 2 page A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, motivations to apply for this position and research ideas for the PhD project.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, references and, if applicable, a list of publications.
  • A short description (maximum 1 page A4) of your MSc research.

Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

Our offer

  • A fulltime 4 year PhD-position
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • You are offered a professional and personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A starting salary of € 2.325 gross per month in the first year and a salary of € 2.972 in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment;

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

Two PhD projects on Smart, Connected and Safe Cycling in the Netherlands
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