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PDEng trainee - Linked Data Engineering for Smart Neighborhood

PDEng trainee - Linked Data Engineering for Smart Neighborhood

Fulltime, two-year trainee position at PDEng program Smart Buildings & Cities of the Eindhoven University of Technology. Looking for candidates with knowledge of linked data engineering. Experience in Building Information Modelling, GIS, and City information modeling are beneficial.
Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng trainee)
Built Environment
Date off
Reference number

Job description

Today Linked Open Data (LOD) is researched in many different domains as a methodology that support interoperability between partners in a building project. To disclose collected data for the public, internationally LOD is promoted by the BuildingSmart ( community striving to standardize protocols, exchange formats, data structures, etc. One of the most important standards relevant for this project is IFC4 (Industry Foundation Classes), ISO 16739, which includes a comprehensive schema and file format for Building Information (BIM) data. Initially, this format was developed to support interoperability within building projects, but lately, it is also used to develop building models as part of (smart) city models. The smart buildings/cities are developing rapidly with streaming data sets from other sources such as (CO2, temperature, etc.) sensor data, telecom network data, GPS data, camera recordings data, etc. Unfortunately, the provision of these data sets is significantly fragmented due to a lack of coordination, standardization, privacy issues, harmonization issues, consolidation issues, etc.  

In this PDEng project, you are going to develop a decision support system (interlink with other PDEng projects and PhD projects) based on linked data:  

  • Recognize the functional and non-functional requirements of stakeholders using a top down approach; 
  • Monitor real-time insight into the performance (such as IEQ, Energy consumption, GHG) of buildings and infrastructures in a neighbourhood taking into account of users; 
  • Support decisions by applying existing well-developed Machine Learning (ML)/Artificial Intelligent (AI) algorithms;

Recognize the functional and non-functional requirements 
Derive functional and non-functional requirements from a desired future vision dealing with the society. Take social system as the departure point to capture the future vision. The designed linked data network should encompass all related consequences, the emergent properties of the network in an integral systemic way. It will serve as important inputs for the monitoring tool and decision support system development. 

Monitoring tool based on linked building data 
Develop a tool (web application, smartphone app) that gives real-time insight into a building or a neighborhood's performance. Various KPI’s could be used, such as: 

  • Energy consumption
  • Thermal comfort
  • Air quality
  • Acoustic comfort
  • Visual comfort
  • Operational costs 

The tool should be easy to use and monitor a building/neighborhood without any in-depth knowledge from linked data. Already existing tools (such as the IFC-to-RDF converter) and existing ontologies (such as BOT and BOP) could be integrated to ease the process of uploading a project. The latest developed CityGML could also be used for the development.  

A decision support system based on linked data  
Develop a tool supporting decision-making processes during the operational phase of a building/neighborhood, using semantic web technologies. A real-time connection between a graph database, a time-series database, and a building's control system should be made. Algorithms will be developed to control buildings' processes using the linked building data, sensor data, and other available information. Processes that could be automated will, for example, HVAC, Lighting system and Appliances. 

PDEng program general description 
The Department of the Built Environment of the Eindhoven University of Technology offers you a trainee position to follow a two-year post-master technological designer program, which leads to the degree of ‘Professional Doctorate in Engineering’ (PDEng). The SBC program consists of two main parts: 

  1. Workshops. You will follow technical workshops in which you acquire knowledge concerning important concepts of disciplines other than your own (master) specialism. You will follow these workshops with other SBC trainees (all with different master specialisms). The workshops increase your ability to effectively and efficiently communicate with these other disciplines in multidisciplinary design teams. Furthermore, you will follow workshops on design methods, entrepreneurship and professional skills.
  2. Design projects. You will work on a design project with a group of SBC trainees and you will work an individual in-company assignment (see description above). The assignment is a design project in collaboration with a company (KPN in this case) and the university. You work within the company structure (facilities, office desk, computer, and other required equipment are provided by the company). It is your main responsibility to manage and execute the project. You are supported by advisors from the company (KPN in this case) and advisors from the university. A business plan for implementation or marketing of the project or product is part of the final deliverables.

A significant part of the first year of the program is dedicated to the workshops, while the second year is mostly dedicated to the in-company assignment. Nonetheless, you will start working on the in-company assignment from the start of the program.  

Smart Buildings & Cities PDEng program 
The Smart Buildings & Cities PDEng program wants to contribute to the transition towards smart, intelligent, and sustainable cities where quality of life is high. This transition requires new solutions that can only be created through multiscale and transdisciplinary (design) approaches. The transition is a relevant theme for society (as reflected by the Horizon 2020 Societal Challenges formulated by the European Commission), building industry and university (consider the TU/e’s Strategic Areas: Energy, Health and Smart Mobility and the TU/e’s Smart Cities Program). 
This requires technical designers who are able to work in a multidisciplinary environment and know how to communicate with different disciplines and stakeholders. This PDEng program educates trainees to become those technical designers! Please note that this program is about technological design, i.e., the process of solving problems by means of technological design, this in contrast to (PhD) research, which is the process of understanding problems. 

After the two year program, our trainees become technical designers with a broad technical understanding of  smart cities and related disciplines in the built environment (mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, building physics and services and ICT), who excel in their own discipline and who are able to work in multidisciplinary design teams, contribute to designing issues outside their own core disciplines, integrate different technologies into new products and concepts, and who understand the commercial aspects of these innovative products and concepts. 

Job requirements

We are looking for

  • A highly motivated candidate with an MSc degree in Data, Computer Science, Electrical, Building Science, Building, Civil, Mechanical or Environmental Engineering, or equivalent.
  • Knowledge and experience in BIM, GIS, and linked data engineering are beneficial.
  • An interest in data integration, data modeling, IoT, and applications for smart cities.
  • An academic attitude in order to develop linked data model in smart neighborhood is needed for the future built environment.

Conditions of employment

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with a close relationship to industry.
  • A full-time employment for two years.
  • To support you during your PDEng and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PDEng trainees.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits 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.
  • 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. D. Yang, d.yang[at]

For information about terms of employment, click here or contact[at]

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

How to apply? 
We would like to receive the following five documents (in Pdf format):

  1. Maximum two page letter of motivation
  2. Maximum three page curriculum vitae
  3. Copies of relevant BSc and MSc diplomas with transcripts + copies of English proficiency tests scores such as IELTS or TOEFL
  4. Copy (or a most recent draft version) of your MSc thesis
  5. At least two names with contact details (preferably e-mail) of people whom we may contact for more information about you and your thesis, or last professional work.

Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary please combine files.

The application deadline for this position is May 30, 2021. After this deadline, the high potential candidates will be shortlisted. These candidates will be invited for a second selection round. In this second round the candidates are requested to send a small assignment (max. 2-3 pages). After this round, the most promising candidates are invited for an interview with a selection committee. The invited candidates will be asked to prepare a short presentation motivating their interest in the program. After all interviews are conducted the selection committee will decide who will be offered the trainee position. 

Our aim is to inform the candidate of our final decision no later than 15 July 2021. 

For more information on the program and our contact information, please check our website