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PhD in Behavioral Operations Management

PhD in Behavioral Operations Management

Short description: Are you fascinated by the interactions between humans and advanced algorithms or AI? Are you curious about what we can learn from human behavior to improve the efficiency of a smart system?
Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences


Eindhoven University of Technology has a vacancy for PhD in Behavioral Operations Management (1.0 fte) within the Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control (OPAC) Group of the School of Industrial Engineering. This position is supported by the Irène Curie Fellowship and the European Supply Chain Forum (ESCF).

The School of Industrial Engineering is one of the longest-established IE Schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community, especially in the field of Operations Management and Operations Research. OM and OR are at the core of the undergraduate IE program. The graduate programs (MSc and PhD) in Operations Management & Logistics attract top-level students from all over the world. Researchers in the school are member of the Beta research school and participate in industrial activities with members of the European Supply Chain Forum.

The group Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control (OPAC) conducts research in the area of Operations Management, with specific emphasis on

Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. All research is embedded in Beta, the KNAW-recognized research school for Operations Management & Logistics.

PhD project

The project will focus on the interactions between smart systems and human decision makers. Smart systems (e.g. MRP systems, Advanced Planning and Scheduling systems) have embedded algorithms and new technologies, such as machine learning and AI, which provide information supporting human making decisions. More specifically, this project will investigate what behavioral factors (e.g. cognitive bias and superior information) can be considered when humans use smart systems to make decisions, and how these factors influence their decision-making process. A comprehensive approach (including empirical analysis, lab/online experiments, mathematical modeling, etc.) will be applied to investigate the behavioral factors that may exist among practitioners who are using smart systems in companies. This project is aimed to design a more effective system from learning about how the human decision makers interact with the smart systems with a behavioral perspective.

This project will be conducted in collaboration with innovative European companies. Therefore, it is important to have a strong understanding of how smart systems are used in practice and a capability to translate the research findings to practical applications. 

We expect you to:

  • develop the project proposal based on academic literature;
  • conduct several lab/online experiments;
  • work on data analyses;
  • build mathematical models regarding relevant decisions, and compare their predictions with experimental findings;
  • communicate the practical implications of this research to specific stakeholders and the general public;
  • and present the findings at conferences and publish papers in internationally renowned journals.

The PhD student is expected to do research, write a PhD thesis and write research papers on the research project. The research is executed under the supervision of prof. dr. A.G. de Kok and dr. L. Tan. The candidate also participates in the PhD education program. A small part of the position involves teaching in courses offered by the group.


Applicants should have completed (or be close to completion of) a Master's degree in operations management, operations research, econometrics, mathematics, industrial engineering, or a closely related discipline, with a solid background in quantitative research methods. Fluency in English is required.


We offer

  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • a PhD appointment for a period of 4 years with target start date in the spring of 2021;
  • an intermediate evaluation after one year.
  • 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.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact dr. L. Tan, e-mail:

For information about terms of employment, please contact Susan Opgenoorth, HR advisor IE&IS, (

More information about the OPAC group can be found 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 a:

  • Cover letter (1 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancies;
  • An extensive curriculum vitae;
  • Course list of your Masters and Bachelor programs (including grades);
  • Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities;
  • Results of a GRE/GMAT test if available;
  • Name and contact information of two references.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible. You can send us your application through the online job portal of the TU/e: We start interviewing as soon as possible and keep the position open until the position has been filled.