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PhD in location theory and game theory with applications to counter-terrorism

PhD in location theory and game theory with applications to counter-terrorism

We are looking for a PhD candidate with a background in Industrial Engineering, (Applied) Mathematics, Operations Research, Econometrics, or Operations Management, interested in rigorous research with practical relevance in the area of counter-terrorism.
Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences



Over the past five years, terrorism has claimed hundreds of innocent lives in Europe, and also affected the economy (e.g., by destruction of property, increased market uncertainty, and loss of tourism) resulting in monetary losses in the order of millions. Improving the protectability against terrorism is therefore an important societal concern.

To address this concern, several governmental agencies introduced, amongst others, the concept of rapid-response teams. These heavily-armed and highly-trained teams are located at high potential attack regions being capable to respond to attacks within minutes. The aim is to select their position carefully and to identify whether these locations should be kept secret or not. This is a very challenging task, especially since terrorists may behave strategically.

The goal of this project is to build new mathematical models that (i) optimize the position of protective resources (e.g., rapid-response teams) in a network, given a strategically behaving opponent and (ii) identify whether these locations should be kept secret or not. The idea is to achieve this by combining game theory –a theory for analyzing and modelling strategic behavior of decision makers– and location theory –a theory for positioning of resources.

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. ir. Loe Schlicher and prof. dr. ir. Geert-Jan van Houtum. 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.


  • A Master's degree in Operations Research, Econometrics, Industrial Engineering, Operations Management, Applied Mathematics, or a related field.
  • Strong analytical and mathematical skills and demonstrated competence for quantitative modelling.
  • The ability to work on a challenging topic that has both fundamental and applied research aspects.
  • Proven excellent verbal and written communication skills, as is your proficiency in English and your ability to collaborate in an international setting.


  • 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.

Informatie en sollicitatie

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Loe Schlicher, l.p.j.schlicher[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 a:

• Cover letter (2 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancy and an explanation of why you would fit well for the project.
• 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, or other evidence of your English languagecapabilities (TOEFL, IELTS, etc.), if applicable.
•Name and contact information of two references.

If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon possible. Selection will begin immediately and continue until the position has been filled.