Phd On Human Drivers’ Behaviour And Modelling In Mixed Traffic
Delft University of Technology Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences

Phd On Human Drivers’ Behaviour And Modelling In Mixed Traffic


Department/faculty: Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences


Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly

Contract: <empty>

Salary: 2325 - 2972 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Closing date

    May 31, 2019


Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences



The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology and delta technology. The research covers global social issues and is closely connected to education as well as the work of a wide range of knowledge institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to realise these goals and supports its scientists in integrating Open Science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.


TU Delft was ranked the first in the Shanghai ranking on Transportation science & Technology in 2017. The Transport and Planning Department (T&P) at the faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences (CiTG) has been awarded the maximum score for all research assessments for the last 15 years. The faculty was ranked 4th place in the latest QS world university ranking. T&P (with about 120 members) has a strong track record in traffic flow theory, traffic simulation, dynamic traffic management and intelligent transport systems of all transport modes, including railway, pedestrians and urban public transport. A trademark of the department is the use of empirical data, incorporating human factors and advanced modelling tools.          


Job description


This PhD studentship is part of the SAMEN project funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO). The project ‘Safe and efficient operation of AutoMated and human drivEN vehicles in mixed traffic (SAMEN)’ is open for 2 PhD candidate positions and 1 postdoc.  


The gradual deployment of Automated Vehicles (AV) in traffic will result in a transition period, in which vehicles with various levels of automation and Human Driven Vehicles (HDV) co-exist. As a consequence, new types of interactions will emerge between vehicles at different levels of automation. Proper understanding of how human drivers will respond to AVs, and how AVs could interact with HDVs rather than responding to them is urgent but lacking. This lack of understanding may result in unsafe and inefficient traffic situations. The unique aspect and aim of this project is its focus on understanding and modelling the interactions between human-driven and automated vehicles based on empirical data. In this project behavioural theories and models will be developed and validated for the interactions between AVs and HDVs using a hybrid approach for data collection. We will underpin the behavioural theory using empirical data that we will collect from field tests using AVs. We will use advanced interactive driving simulators to study the interactions between AVs and HDVs. We will scale up the resulting interaction models in a dedicated traffic flow simulation platform to evaluate the implications of mixed traffic on traffic flow and safety.


In this project several industrial partners, vehicle manufacturer, road authorities, and knowledge institutes are involved.


PhD position: Human drivers’ behaviour and modelling in mixed traffic


The main objectives of this PhD position are to understand human drivers’ behavioural adaptations when interacting with AVs and to develop a behavioural theory and mathematical models for these interactions. In addition, to investigate the implications of Connected and Automated Vehicles (CAVs) penetration rate on drivers’ behavioural adaptation.


In this part of the project you will investigate human drivers’ behavioural adaptation when driving in mixed traffic, and develop mathematical models that will be incorporated in microscopic simulation program. You will collect and use data from driving simulators and from field tests.


The duration of the PhD position will be for four years (48 months). As a PhD you will enrol in the CEG Graduate School ( and have as well the opportunity to join the TRAIL Research School ( Both platforms provide a stimulating research environment and an ample support during your PhD.


The project will commence in the Autumn of 2019.




Requirements for the PhD position:


Educational background: MSc degree in traffic engineering and/or behavioural sciences.


Skills required: good analytical skills, mathematical modelling, programming (Matlab, python, C++), working with data, good communication skills, open minded, team player, and excellent English level (speaking, reading, and writing).


Conditions of employment


TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


The minimum salary is your salary in your first year. The salary mentioned as the maximum will be your salary in your fourth year.


As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.


Information and application


For more information about this vacancy you can contact Haneen Farah, assistant professor and project leader, e-mail:, tel: +31 15 2784301.


Please e-mail all your application information in one single PDF entitled Lastname_CITG19.08.pdf by 30th May to


When applying to this position, please include in one single pdf:


1. Covering/motivation letter explaining your interest, qualification for this position, and approach to this research;


2. Curriculum Vitae;


3. Proof of English language proficiency (TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge)


4. Your MSc degree and grades;


5. Your MSc thesis (if in English), otherwise the abstract in English


6. Contact details of two academic referees.



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