PhD in the area of Explainable Machine Learning for Preventing Machine Breakdown (V39.3863)

PhD in the area of Explainable Machine Learning for Preventing Machine Breakdown

The School of Industrial Engineering of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) has a vacancy for a PhD-student in Information Systems/Business Process Engineering/Business Process Intelligence.
Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences


Modern manufacturing employs new levels of information technology addressing domains such as big data, AI, machine learning and decision support. The amount of data that is generated during the execution of a production process is growing. For instance, manufacturing machines are equipped with sensors that gather a lot of information about the production process.  As a consequence it is increasingly hard to extract useful information from the large amount of data that is produced. Linguistic summarization helps to point business analysts in the direction of useful information, by verbalizing interesting patterns that exist in the data.

For industry, temporal anomaly detection within production processes can be useful as such temporal patterns can indicate relationships between machine breakdowns and their causes. Understanding and explaining those patterns provides industry with important information on the potential for increasing the uptime of their machines.

The main objective of this Ph.D. project is to research, design and develop concepts, techniques and prototype technologies for detecting temporal dependencies within manufacturing process data. Explainability of why machine breakdowns happen is one of the main application areas of the project. This approach is in line with cutting-edge research on Explainable AI.

Eindhoven University of Technology is one of the world’s leading research universities (as ranked by the Times Higher Education Supplement). It is in particular well‐known for its joint research with industry (ranked number one worldwide by the Centre for Science and Technology Studies). The Information Systems Group in the School of Industrial Engineering performs advanced research in the area of business process engineering, focusing on business process management (BPM) and business process intelligence (BPI). The group has a strong national and international reputation for both basic research in the academic community and applied research with industry. The successful applicant will have the opportunity to profit from the benefits that such an environment has to offer and to contribute to the ongoing research.

You, as a successful applicant, will perform the research project outlined above. You will report research findings at international conferences and workshops, and in high-quality scientific journals.  The research will be concluded with a Ph.D. thesis. A small teaching load (on average about 10%) is part of the job description. The project will be supervised by dr. Anna Wilbik, and Remco Dijkman.


You, as a successful applicant, have a Master’s degree in Business Information Systems, Computer Science, Industrial Engineering, or a similar field of study. You have a strong affinity with interdisciplinary research that involves both Computer Science and Industrial Engineering, as well as collaboration with industry. Candidates with a strong and verifiable interest in business process modeling, business process intelligence, or data science are preferred. You are able to work on a challenging topic that has both basic and applied research aspects. Your communication skills are excellent as is your proficiency in English and your ability to collaborate in an international setting.


We offer:

  • a challenging job in a dynamic and ambitious university;
  • a PhD appointment for a period of 4 years with target start date of 1 September 2019;
  • gross monthly salary is € 2325,-(gross) in the first year up to  € 2972,- (gross) in the fourth year (on a full-time basis);
  • a yearly holiday allowance of 8% and 8.3% end of year allowance;
  • a broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, savings schemes, coverage of costs of publishing the dissertation and excellent sports facilities.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):

  • cover letter (1 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancy and an explanation of why you would fit well for the project;
  • a detailed curriculum vitae;
  • a 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;
  • name and contact information of two references.

Additional Information
More information about the IS group can be found at Questions about this position can be addressed to dr. Anna Wilbik (a.m.wilbik[at] Information about terms of employment can be obtained from Susan Opgenoorth, personnel officer (pz.ieis[at] ). Further information about the Eindhoven University of Technology can be found at You can apply by pressing the ‘apply now’ button for this vacancy on the TU/e web-site. The deadline for applications is 9 June 2019. We don’t accept applications send by e-mail. You can only upload the maximum of 5 documents. If you have more than 5 documents you will need to combine them.