PhD Position Comparison of Different XR Technologies for Pedestrian Behaviour Study

PhD Position Comparison of Different XR Technologies for Pedestrian Behaviour Study

Published Deadline Location
14 Mar 7 May Delft

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Job description

Extended Reality (XR) technologies, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, and Mixed Reality, provide new possibilities for studying pedestrian behavior. An increasing number of studies have shown that XR can be a valuable addition to the current experimental methods to study pedestrian behavior. Different XR technologies have distinct features regarding immersion, presence, and interaction capabilities. Research shows that the differences among XR technologies might cause people to perceive the virtual environment and behave differently, which ultimately has an impact on the collected behavioral data via XR. Thus, it is crucial to investigate these differences and understand the suitability of different XR technologies for pedestrian behavior study.

In this PhD project, you will be working on understanding the suitability of applying different XR technologies (i.e., VR, AR, and MR) to study pedestrian behavior. You will create novel metrics from the perspective of pedestrian behavior and human-computer interaction to evaluate the usage of different XR technologies for pedestrian behavior study. It will be done via quantitative and qualitative comparison of different XR technologies from different perspectives, in particular concerning validity, effectiveness, applicability, and level of presence. You will investigate this by developing different XR applications, setting up experiments, as well as collecting and analyzing behavior and physiological data. You will be collaborating with other members of the MXR Lab that work on related projects (e.g., wayfinding behavior, evacuation behavior).


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are looking for an enthusiastic and ambitious candidate with the following qualifications, knowledge, and skills:

  • A master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, human-computer interaction, or related fields.
  • A solid background and strong interest in XR technologies and skills in developing XR applications using Unity/Unreal game engine.
  • Strong and demonstrable experimental skills including experiment design, experiment setup, conducting experiments, and data collection.
  • Experience in serious game development is appreciated.
  • Strong analytic and programming skills (e.g., Python, C#) with proficiency in statistics
  • An open-minded personality with a curiosity-driven mindset, positive attitude towards methodological and interdisciplinary research, and willingness to learn from different fields, including transportation, human-computer interaction, and urban planning.
  • Prior research and work experience that is relevant to this PhD position is a bonus.
  • Good communication and writing skills in English

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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 as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

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 availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science 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
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD03600


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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