Job Properties
  • Job Type
    Full-time Position
  • Background
    Other Science and Tech
  • Languages
  • Experience Required
  • Degree Required
    • Province
      37 reviews
    • Date Posted
      March 04,2021
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    PhD position on optimization of urban mobility and logistics concepts

    Job description

    Short Description:

    We are looking for a Ph.D. candidate with a background in industrial engineering, operations research, mathematics, econometrics, operations management, or computer science. Candidates with an affinity for AI are also encouraged to apply. The candidate should be interested in fundamental research with practical and societal relevance in the area of Urban Mobility and Logistics, and transportation and logistics in general.

    Project Description

    Today, roughly 54% of the world’s population lives in cities. The UN estimates that urbanization will continue, resulting in 68% of the world’s population living in urban areas by 2050. Optimization of urban mobility and logistics services is key to counteract increased congestion and pollution. These urban mobility and logistics solutions include last-mile delivery (e.g., autonomous vehicles, parcel lockers, cargo bikes) and shared mobility and logistics concepts (e.g. Uber, Lyft, crowdsourced deliveries, meal deliveries).

    This project investigates how future city logistics networks should be shaped. It should allow for sustainable and fruitful collaboration of existing stakeholders, accommodate technological developments, and place the customer at the center of attention. We stimulate developing your own research line, but example sub-projects might cover:

    • The impact of technology choice (electric vehicles, bike couriers) on hub location and design.
    • Dynamic routing of multi-purpose (freight, parcels, humans) same-day delivery services, and its impact on city hub network design.
    • Network design at the interface of static and dynamic decision making
    • Collaborative vehicle routing and driver coordination

    These challenges will be addressed from a transportation science and operations management vantage point. The goal of this project is to develop mathematical models, methods, and algorithms to address these challenges. To bridge the gap between operational and strategic aspects, this project potentially employs mixed-integer optimization, approximate dynamic programming, novel approximations, heuristics, and decomposition techniques. In extensions, this project may also leverage quadratic programming, game theory, and data science.

    You, as a successful applicant, will perform the Ph.D. project outlined above. The research will be concluded with a Ph.D. thesis. You will be supervised by dr. Layla Martin, dr. Albert Schrotenboer and prof. dr. ir. Tom van Woensel. A small teaching load is part of the job.

    Academic and Research Environment

    You will be part of the Operations Planning, Accounting & Control group (OPAC). OPAC currently consists of 25 staff members, 10 postdocs and 30 PhD students. The faculty teaches and conducts research in the area of operations planning and control in manufacturing, maintenance services, logistics and supply chains. Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. The OPAC group is responsible within the university for all teaching in the areas of operations management, transportation, manufacturing operations, reliability and maintenance, and accounting and finance, both at undergraduate and graduate level. The OPAC group has close collaborations with the industry, which gives direct access to challenging operations management problems, new technologies, and empirical data.

    Job requirements

    • A Master's degree in Operations Research, Econometrics, Industrial Engineering, Operations Management, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or a related field.
    • Strong analytical and mathematical skills and demonstrated competence for quantitative modelling.
    • Workable knowledge on a fundamental programming language such as Python. Knowledge of C/C++ and CPLEX/Gurobi is appreciated, but not a prerequisite.
    • The ability to work on a challenging topic that has both fundamental and applied research aspects.
    • Proven excellent verbal and written communication skills.
    • High proficiency in English and being able to collaborate in an international setting.

    Conditions of employment

    • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
    • A full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months.
    • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
    • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
    • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
    • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
    • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility’, which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
    • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
    • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

    Information and application

    More information

    Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact dr. Layla Martin (l.martin[at] or dr. Albert Schrotenboer (a.h.schrotenboer[at]

    For information about terms of employment, please contact Susan Opgenoorth (s.g.j.opgenoorth[at]

    Please visit to find out more about working at TU/e!


    We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page. The application should include:

    • Cover letter (2 page max), which includes 1) a motivation of your interest in the vacancy, 2) an explanation of why you would fit well for the project, and 3) a brief (3-5 sentences) description of your research ideas.
    • Detailed curriculum vitae.
    • List of courses you have taken in Master's and Bachelor's programs (including grades).
    • Results of a recent English language test (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), or other evidence of your English language capabilities, if applicable.
    • Name and contact information of two references.

    Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of 2 MB each can be uploaded, so if you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them.

    The deadline for applications is 31 March 2021. However, if you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon possible. Selection will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.

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