PhD Position Discovering the Mechanisms that Cause Bicycle Crashes Through The Merger of Video and Computational Modeling

PhD Position Discovering the Mechanisms that Cause Bicycle Crashes Through The Merger of Video and Computational Modeling

Published Deadline Location
5 Sep 20 Oct Delft

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Challenge: Quality bicycle crash data is essentially non-existent so we have to use low quality videos from chance encounters to create accurate reconstructions of the physics of these crashes.
Change: We want to study how these crashes occur through the lens of physical simulation.
Impact: Once we understand how crashes occur we want to use the knowledge to make bicycling safer and reduce crashes.

Job description

We are seeking a PhD researcher for a 4-year contract to develop simulation and data analysis tools that lead us to understanding the mechanisms at play in bicycle and other two-wheeler crashes. You will work primarily with video data and computational neuromuscular models to develop the next generation of predictive algorithms that connect human control to bicycle crash dynamics.

Your project is partially supported by the OpenSim Creator: Empowering Biomedical Research with Biomechanical Models grant funded by the Chan-Zuckerberg Foundation’s “Essential Open Source Software for Science" program. The software developed during the research will be contributed to OpenSim as open source software and the research results will be submitted to appropriate scientific journals and conferences.

You will simultaneously work as a member of the Computational Biomechanics Lab and the Bicycle Lab both part of the BioMechanical Engineering Department. You will be supervised by Dr. Jason K. Moore and Dr. Ajay Seth. You will work BSc, MSc, and PhD candidates in the involved research groups from the BioMechanical Engineering Department and other departments in the university.

Opportunities for growing your academic career will be available, such as mentoring BSc/MSc Students, conference presentations, networking, and teaching.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


You should have:

  • MSc in engineering or similar discipline by the start date of the position
  • Experience with simulation
  • Experience with a programming language (e.g., C++, Python, Java, Matlab, etc.)
  • Experience with collecting experimental data (vehicle, biomechanic, video, or similar)
  • Good written and oral communication skills in English

The following aspects will help you stand out:

  • Thriving in multidisciplinary environments
  • Self-motivation
  • Curiosity-driven working attitude
  • Knowledge of biomechanical modeling, vision based motion capture, machine learning, control systems

Keep in mind that this describes the background we imagine would best fit the role. Even if you do not meet all the requirements and feel that you are up for the task, we absolutely want to see your application! The PhD process is a learning experience.

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 year.

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 € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.


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 Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • University graduate
  • TUD04370


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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