PhD Position in Coordination of Inland Waterway Transport Infrastructure Systems and Vessels

PhD Position in Coordination of Inland Waterway Transport Infrastructure Systems and Vessels

Published Deadline Location
28 Feb 30 Mar Delft

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Job description

You as a PhD candidate will participate in the 21-partner H2020 project “NOVIMOVE: Novel inland waterway transport concepts for moving freight effectively”. Within the framework of this project, you will be able to work on state of the art methods in a dynamic context with logistics operators, ports, system-developers and research organisations from 4 EU member states.

Inland Waterborne Transport (IWT) advantages as low-energy and low CO2 emitting transport mode are not fully exploited today due to gaps in the logistics system. Inland container vessels pay 6-8 calls at seaport terminals with long waiting times. More time is lost by sub-optimal navigation on rivers and waiting at bridges and locks. In addition, low load factors of containers and vessels impact the logistics systems with unnecessary high numbers of containers being transported and trips being made. NOVIMOVE strategy is to “condense” the logistics system by improving container load factors and by reducing waiting times in seaports, by improved river voyage planning and execution, and by facilitating smooth passages through bridges and locks. Close cooperation with logistic stakeholders, ports and water authorities along the Rhine-Alps route: Antwerp, Rotterdam, Duisburg, Basel is part of this project. NOVIMOVE technology developments will be demonstrated by virtual simulation, scaled model tests and full-scale demonstrations.

In this project, you as a PhD candidate will specifically investigate how to design smart river navigation agents for inland waterway (IW) transport vessels and dynamic scheduling agents for bridges and locks. The smart river navigation agents optimize in real time the voyage plan and speed of the vessels with respect to maximum cargo capacity allowed by the river water depth, fuel consumption and emissions, desired time of arrival at bridges and locks, etc. The optimal voyage plan and speed will be proposed to the vessel captain to decide the voyage plan. The dynamic scheduling agents estimate the traffic density of the selected IW (R-A route) in a distributed manner, and optimize the opening/closing time periods of the IW bridges and locks taking into account among other vessel arrival times, water depth, road traffic through the bridges. The computed opening/closing time periods support the decision-making of the authorities of the bridges and locks.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are seeking an enthusiastic researcher who has expertise and/or interest in one or more of the following areas:

  • Systems and automatic control, distributed control, model predictive control;
  • Traffic monitoring and control; transportation systems; transmission models;
  • Multi-agent systems; coordination; multi-sensory systems.

You have obtained a MSc or an equivalent degree or expect to obtain a MSc very soon in the fields of Systems and Automatic Control, Transportation Systems, Electrical/Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics or related fields. A good command of the English language and the ability to work in a team are mandatory.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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.
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.


Technische Universiteit Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.


Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty 3mE at Delft University of Technology trains committed engineering students, PhD candidates and post-doctoral researchers in groundbreaking scientific research in the fields of mechanical, maritime and materials engineering. 3mE is the epitome of a dynamic, innovative faculty, with a European scope that contributes demonstrable economic and social benefits.

The Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (M&TT) studies how to develop, design, build and operate marine, dredging and transport systems and their equipment. New generation transport and marine systems require the further development of the knowledge of the dynamics and the physical processes involved in transport, dredging and marine systems, the logistics of the systems and the interaction between the equipment and control systems.

The Transport Engineering and Logistics (TEL) section is part of the Department of Maritime and Transport Technology (M&TT) in the 3mE Faculty. The focus is on the development, design, construction and operation of (waterborne and land-based) transport systems and equipment. Education and research deals with transport-related topics that involve both technological and logistic issues. The combination of transport technology and logistics is considered one of the strong points within the department.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2325—€2972 per month
  • University graduate
  • 3mE20-16


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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