Vacancies University of Twente

PhD position: Integration of Human knowledge with Machine data for Safety of Transportation

Job description

Transport is a key to sustainable development directly linked to growth. It supports the well-functioning transport supports regional economies and connect them to world market. EU aims to develop an efficient transportation system with less congestion and fewer emission to keep its competitor advantages. The main goals for Europe are sustainable fuel systems with optimized performances across the whole life-cycle which is flexible to act based on market-incentives. The aim is to achieve a single European rail area operating openly across the Europe under agreed (non) technical demands.

European Commission aims for a competitive transport system in which the rail transport plays a key role. One of the goals is that “thirty percent of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or water-borne transport by 2030, and more than 50 % by 2050, facilitated by efficient and green freight corridors.” Among these goals, safety targets are ambitious. EU targets to halve the number of casualties by 2020 and achieve almost no fatalities by 2050. This project provides you a position to contribute to these visionary aims.

The main goal of this research is to develop and use models for integration of human and sensorial data in order to improve safety for the rail transportation. The researcher will use the generated data from the work floor, operators or experts, channel this information stream, identify the needs for sensory data through scenarios or serious gaming for architecting a framework for supporting safety-related decisions. This demands looking into safety considerations across the full life-cycle, setting proper requirements, and design to improve safety, clarify implementation consequences and explain about the expected outcome from your results.

This project is a collaboration between University of Twente (UT) and Dutch Railways (NS). You will report on your research during bi-weekly meetings of your research group and regular meetings of the project. You receive support to present your results at international scientific conferences and publish them in academic literature.

In the course of your research you will have the possibility to tutor MSc students who do their final assignment on sub projects pertaining to your research.

Your profile

You have obtained a MSc in Systems Engineering or another filed relevant to the position with special interest in safety and culture. Prior knowledge in system safety is a plus. As the project requires interaction with experts in NS, your fluency at Dutch is preferred.

We welcome candidates with strong communication skills who like to present their work at conferences and (project) meetings. Fluency in English is required, both spoken and written. Teaching experience is beneficial.

The PhD project will be executed at the faculty of Engineering Technology under the Design, Production and Management (DPM) department, a team of approximately 65 academics and PhD’s which deal with the topics including but not limited to Human-Centered Design, Integrated Life Cycle Management, Multidisciplinary System Design and Maintenance. Prof. Leo van Dongen holds the chair of maintenance and the research will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Rajabali Nejad. For more information on the research at the DPM department, please visit

For additional information regarding this position, you can contact Mohammad Rajabali Nejad: You can submit your application, including a recent CV and your vision statement (max 3 documents), before March 30, 2018 using the button below

Our offer

We offer a 4-year full-time position as a PhD candidate at the University of Twente. The project will be conducted at the facilities of NS and UT and collaboration with parallel running projects will be emphasized in order to ensure the alignment through the process.

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, a PhD salary starts at € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year.

In addition, the University of Twente offers attractive fringe benefits.

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: MIRA, CTIT, SBE and IGS.

PhD position: Integration of Human knowledge with Machine data for Safety of Transportation
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