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2 PDEng candidates for project: Design of a digital platform and a digital information chain for modular and industrial renovation projects

Job description

Would you like to contribute to streamlining modular and industrialized construction processes? Are you passionate about high-end technological design? Then, this Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme may be for you. The PDEng is a 2-year post-Master Degree technological designers programme. This programme at the University of Twente contains an educational part and a design project. The educational programme will have an in-depth character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. Together with an external organisation, you will develop a high-level and creative solution for the given problem.


To achieve the environmental and climate objectives, every building in the Netherlands should be heated from sustainable sources by 2050. At the moment, less than a thousand buildings are made energy-neutral or positive every year. In order to realise the 2050 targets, we need to accelerate the renovation of existing buildings to a thousand houses each day.

Speeding up the renovation speed is an enormous challenge. A promising avenue to realise (parts of) the renovation challenge is the modular construction approach. In this approach, standardised modules are being used to develop a project based solution. After that prefabricated components are constructed off-site using industrial product lines and then assembled at the construction site. This shortens the construction period on-site, minimizes nuisance for environment and residents, and optimizes construction processes.

The concept of modular and industrial construction has been implemented in the construction sector for a while and proven promising. Nonetheless, effective implementation of this concept necessitates digitalisation of activities and a robust management of information throughout the building lifecycle and across the supply chain. Digital (product) platforms have been used in other industries to address this need. A digital platform aims to capture and digitize the underlying knowledge and information in the modular construction of buildings to assist stakeholder in the supply chain with decision making and information (re)use through (1) configuring modular solutions based on the specific needs in a specific building, (2) enhancing communication and data exchange, and (3) improving predictability using physics- and data-driven simulation. Such digital platforms can establish a new ecosystem within the construction sector enabling improved innovation and standardization. However, such a digital platform for modular construction and renovation is missing now. The main challenges towards the design and development of such a platform are twofold: 

  1. clear understanding of the characteristics and requirements of such a digital platform from the perspective of different stakeholders in the supply chain is missing; 
  2. assuming that such a digital platform exists, the optimum strategy for streamlining the interaction and information exchange across the supply chain is not known.


On the premise of the above challenges, this project pursues two main objectives (each assigned to a separate PDEng candidate): 

  1. design of a digital platform considering the requirements of different stakeholders in the supply chain of renovation projects. Within this objective, the following issues will be addressed:  
  • Identify relevant working practices and needs of key stakeholders in the supply chain for the digital platform;
  • Describe what is theoretically possible and feasible regarding the digital platform;
  • Define the scope and goals of the digital platform;
  • Translate the goals into functional requirements and a functional design for the digital platform;
  • Develop a first prototype of the digital platform;
  • Demonstrate and test the prototype;
  • Evaluate the impact of digital platform on the modular renovation processes.  
  1. design of an optimum process for interaction and information exchange in the supply chain of renovation projects. Within this objective, the following issues will be addressed:  
  • Identify the key stakeholders in the supply chain of renovation projects where digital platforms are being used;
  • Develop a process model to represent the activities, interaction and information exchange of the stakeholders;
  • Develop a simulation model that can represent the stakeholder interaction;
  • Develop strategies to optimize the processes focusing on information flows and production, logistics and assembly activities;
  • Test and validate these strategies together with the end-users. 

During the educational part of the programme, you will receive a customised education package (related to your design project) consisting of, among others, courses in decision-support system design, BIM, systems engineering & design, sensor development, operations research, statistics, structural equation modelling and/or supply chain management.

Your profile

We are searching for the best MSc graduated with a proven affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments. Besides, you have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions / crafting designs for complex civil/building technological issues with a multidisciplinary character. Important professional skills are Dutch and English language skills, communication and social skills, collaboration, initiative and self-reflection. Prior knowledge in information management systems, Building Information Modelling and digital solutions will be useful to successfully complete the project but can also be part of the educational program. An interview will be part of the selection procedure.


If you have any further questions about this vacancy of the PDEng programme in Civil Engineering, please contact Arjen Adriaanse ( or Farid Vahdatikhaki ( or telephone: 053 489 5886. General information about PDEng programmes you can find at or 

Please send your application, with a curriculum vitae, a list with grades of courses attended, references and, if applicable, a list of publications you may have done.


Our offer

  • A fulltime 2 year PDENG-position;
  • A salary of € 1913,- 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;

During these two years you follow a tailor-made post-master design programme with a combination of education (50%) and working on a design project (50%). Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development. On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified and recognised 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 (KIVINIRIA).

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.

2 PDEng candidates for project: Design of a digital platform and a digital information chain for modular and industrial renovation projects
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