PhD Position Optimal Real-Time Traffic Management of Train-Centric Railway Operations

PhD Position Optimal Real-Time Traffic Management of Train-Centric Railway Operations

Published Deadline Location
3 Nov 1 Dec Delft

You cannot apply for this job anymore.

Browse the current job offers or choose an item in the top navigation above.

Job description

The Digital Rail Traffic Lab at the Department of Transport and Planning, Delft University of Technology (the Netherlands), is glad to announce a PhD vacancy within the EU H2020 Shift2Rail project PERFORMINGRAIL. The PhD position has a total duration of four years and will be investigating advanced models and algorithms to reschedule railway traffic under next generation signalling systems such as Moving Block and Virtual Coupling. PhD activities will be performed in close cooperation with Universitè Gustave Eiffel (Lille, France) where the candidate will be spending a research visit of one year.

The ever-increasing demand for railway capacity asks for a paradigm shift from traditional railway signalling towards train-centric railway operations where trains can follow each other closely at a braking distance using moving-block principles or even closer using train-to-train communication. Such train-centric railway operations require new models and methods to maintain stable and safe train traffic.

The EU H2020 Shift2Rail project PERFORMINGRAIL will be delivering breakthroughs for the deployment of safe and effective train-centric railway operations. The project will be defining system specifications, innovative formal methods for safety verification, reliable train positioning algorithms and an integrated traffic management system for train-centric rail operations. Defined specifications and algorithms will be finally tested and validated by means of a simulation-based proof of concept.

The PhD candidate will be mainly involved in:

  • Translating safety and train positioning specifications defined for train-centric rail operations into a set of mathematical constraints for the traffic management system.
  • Developing advanced algorithms for optimal railway traffic rescheduling and local rerouting under train-centric signalling to minimise delay impacts and provide non-vital early-warnings for avoiding hazardous moving-block traffic conditions.
  • Contributing to the design of a future traffic management architecture for train-centric railway operations.
  • Deriving guidelines and recommendations towards the implementation of safe, reliable, and effective train-centric railway operations.

These activities will be performed in cooperation with Universitè Gustave Eiffel and other prominent European universities and transport companies within the EU project PERFORMINGRAIL.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


The candidate has preferably an MSc in Engineering, Computer Science, Mathematics, Physics or similar scientific domain. Necessary requirements are:

  • Acquaintance with railway operations.
  • Background in operations research and/or mathematical modelling with experience in optimisation models and/or algorithm development.
  • Knowledge of optimisation software such as Gurobi, CPLEX or Matlab optimisation toolbox.
  • Good programming skills in .NET languages (preferably C++), Matlab, and/or other programming languages.

Knowledge of data management, statistical techniques, and traffic simulation tools (e.g. RailSys, VISSIM, OpenTrack) are an advantage.

In general, the candidate shall have a very good command of the English language, shall be open to work in a team within an interactive and stimulating environment. Advanced problem-solving skills and a prominent interest in contributing to scientific research are essential elements to the position.

Proactiveness, independence and reliability in effectively and timely delivering tasks are a fundamental prerequisite for this position. Enthusiasm and passion for the railways are very valuable factors for the candidate given that the PhD will be performed in the railway sector.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.


Delft University of Technology

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact! 


Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & 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. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource depletion, urbanisation and the availability of clean water, conducted  in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced that Open Science helps to achieve our 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.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2395—€3061 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD00587


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Learn more about this employer


Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you