PhD positions on Real-time data-driven maintenance logistics (V39.3028)

PhD positions on Real-time data-driven maintenance logistics

Faculteit Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences


The Departments of Industrial Engineering (IE) of the Eindhoven University of Technology invite applications for two four-year Ph.D. positions in the area of data-driven maintenance logistics. The intended starting date for these positions is Nov 1, 2017 and can be further negotiated with interested applicants.  

The positions are embedded in the NWO-funded project “Real-time data-driven maintenance logistics”, which includes several industrial partners such as NS, Philips and Fokker. PhD candidates will be involved in research with these companies, as well as with the Mathematics & Computer Science department at TU/e, and the Computer Science department at Delft University of Technology.

Research topic
Companies in maintenance logistics aspire to transition from traditional static maintenance logistics plansbased on rigid task intervals to dynamic maintenance logistics policies fuelled by real-time data. This project aims at developing efficient algorithms and analytical tools that enable companies in the service logistic sector to better plan and control dynamic planning. The developed ICT prototype integrates real-time data from smart assets with maintenance planning, while providing support to the human operator, when dealing with complex decisions based on huge streams of heterogeneous data.

The project is divided into two key work packages (WP):

WP1 is focused on integration of machine learning models and real-time decision making.  We will use techniques from machine learning, optimization modelling, and simulation to develop new methods for learning predictive models that explicitly consider the decision making context as well as real-time decision algorithms that integrate those predictive models.  

WP2 is focusedonintegration of real-time decision support into semi-structured, data-driven processes. We will use methods from business process management and stochastic decision making to develop a maintenance logistics control system that supports human decision makers in dynamically organizing logistics based on the actions that are generated in real-time by WP1.  

The departments
The projects will be carried out at the Information Systems (PhD1) and the OPAC (PhD2) groups from the IE department of TU/e. IE is one of the longest-established IE Schools in Europe, with a strong presence in the international research and education community. Researchers in the school are member of the Beta and SIKS research schools, and participate in industrial activities with members of the European Supply Chain Forum.

The two PhD candidates will be supported and supervised by an extensive research team of experienced faculty and industrial partners. At OPAC group, Prof. Geert-Jan van Houtum (, Dr. Willem van Jaarsveld (, Dr. Alp Akçay (, and at IS group, Prof. Uzay Kaymak (, Dr. Rik Eshuis (, Dr. Yingqian Zhang (   will be involved. Further collaboration with researchers from NS, Philips, and Fokker, is expected, as well as collaboration with researchers working on this project at M&CS of TU/e and Delft University of Technology.  


The two positions, for WP1 and WP2 respectively, are related, but have different profiles. The first position will be filled preferably by a candidate in Artificial Intelligence/Computer Science, Operations Research, or Econometrics, with a strong and verifiable interest in machine learning and mathematical optimization.

For the second topic, preference will be given to candidates in Industrial Engineering, Computer Science, or any branch of applied mathematics. Candidates with a strong and verifiable interest in stochastic optimization and/or business process modelling are preferred.  Research experience will be highly valued.

All applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and transcripts. Proficiency in English is also required.


  • PhD candidates are appointed as temporary university employees for a four-year period (based on an initial one-year contract, with a three-year extension after a positive evaluation as to whether the research is expected to result in a PhD degree after four years).
  • The terms of employment are governed by the Collective Labour Agreement of Universities in The Netherlands, with a monthly salary starting at € 2222,- Euro in the first year, and increasing to € 2840,- Euro in the fourth year, and an additional 8% holiday allowance and 8% end-of-year bonus. An extensive fringe benefits package is included. Further details can be found here. Additional budget allows for extensive research visits abroad and conference attendance.
  • For information regarding the university, please visit the website of TU/e. Here you can find information about the sports facilities on campus. Information about Eindhoven can be found here. The international office provides support with administration and housing to foreign nationals and their spouses.

Informatie en sollicitatie

Questions about this position should be addressed to:
(WP1/PhD1)  Dr. Alp Akçay (
                    Dr. Yingqian Zhang (  

(WP2/PhD2)  Dr. Rik Eshuis (
                    Dr. Willem van Jaarsveld (        

Information about terms of employment can be obtained from the personnel officer, Kees Deneer MSc. (

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, a preference for one of the two projects, and an explanation of why you would fit well for the project;
  • An extensive 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.

Note that incomplete applications will not be considered. 

If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible. We will start considering applications and interviewing immediately upon receiving an application.

To apply please use the “apply now” button. 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. Please do not send us applications by e-mail.