PdEng Position in Developing Resilient Public Transport Services
University of Twente Faculty of Engineering Technology

Job description

Are you passionate about technology and the fast pacing technological advances in the field of resilient mobility and public transport? Do you want to continue developing your skills with a combination of education and work? Are you interested in improving public transport services?

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out in collaboration with Keolis Nederland, the public transport operator in the Twente region. The educational programme will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development. The design project will focus on developing resilient public transport services that will combine and integrate state-of-the-art techniques in data processing and resilient scheduling for applications within the public transport domain.


In this project you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues. You will examine how Keolis can plan for more resilient public transport services. Resilience engineering offers a socio-technical framework to cope with infrastructure threats and disruptions, including preparedness, response, recovery and adaptation. For example, adverse weather (such as heavy rain, unpredicted snow, higher temperatures) is becoming more common in the Netherlands, but it is still largely unknown how public transport users change and adapt their travel patterns in future climate conditions. Given the fact that future weather will become more extreme, understanding how weather influences travel behavior is vital for planners and public transport operators.

This project will investigate how bus operations in the Twente area are affected by adverse weather conditions and potential other disruptions and how Keolis can prepare and respond to for example adverse weather conditions. This requires the scheduling of systems that have the intrinsic ability to adjust their functioning prior to, during, or following changes and disturbances, so that they can sustain required operations under both expected and unexpected conditions.

Improving the operations of existing public transport services taking into consideration potential disturbances poses a specific technical challenge that will be addressed in this PDEng project. It is expected that the outcome of this PDEng project will lead to a more robust public transport system with fewer negative experiences for travelers, and lower costs for society.

Specific design challenges that will be addressed in this PDEng are:

  • Examining the effect of disruptions on public transport use and services
  • Developing a decision support tool to device robust public transport schedules that considers short term forecasts of travel demand
  • Analyzing the impact of disruption scenarios on public transport operations
  • Examining the impacts of small case intervention measures on public transport operations and user satisfaction

The aim of this design project is to:

“Develop resilient public transport services that take into consideration potential demand disturbances due to weather or other unexpected events”

The expected outcome of the approach is:

  • The development of a decision support tool for scheduling resilient timetables for bus operators
  • The assessment of the impacts of small scale intervention measures on public transport operations

In the course program you get a customized education package consisting of, among others, courses in decision-support system design, computer science, systems engineering & design, machine learning, operations research, statistics, data ethics, and asset management.

Your profile

We are searching for the best MSc graduate with a strong affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments. Besides, you have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions / crafting designs for complex technological problems with a multidisciplinary character. Important professional skills are

  • English language skills;
  • Communication and interpersonal skills, teamwork, initiative and self-reflection;
  • Prior knowledge in transport planning, operations research and scheduling are useful for you to successfully complete the project.

If you have any further questions about this vacancy of the PDEng programme, please contact Prof. Dr. Karst T. Geurs at k.t.geurs@utwente.nl or Dr. Konstantinos Gkiotsalitis at k.gkiotsalitis@utwente.nl. General information about PDEng programmes you can find at http://www.utwente.nl/pdeng/en/ 

Please send your application, with a curriculum vitae, a list with grades of courses attended, references and, if applicable, a list of publications you may have, through the button below, before September 1st, 2020. You can upload a maximum of 3 documents.

Our offer

We offer a contract for 24 months. During these two years you follow a tailor-made post-master design programme with a combination of education (50%) and working on a design project (50%) for which you will be partly located at the premises of Keolis Nederland in Deventer.

  • A salary of € 1.970 gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified and recognised degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVINIRIA).

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

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