Postdoc on Autonomous Intra-Terminal Barges for Automated Cargo Transhipment

Postdoc on Autonomous Intra-Terminal Barges for Automated Cargo Transhipment

Published Deadline Location
13 Nov 7 Jan Delft

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Job description

In 2019 the European Commission launched the European Green Deal strategy to overcome climate change challenges. Aiming at reducing the GHG emissions of transport by 90% by 2050, seaports will play a major role in boosting the use of cleaner technologies, green energy carriers and logistics concepts in maritime transport, port operations and hinterland transport. The Horizon 2020 project MAGPIE accelerates the introduction of green energy carriers combined with realisation and logistic optimisation in ports through automated and autonomous operations. MAGPIE will create demonstrations and pilot projects in living laboratory environments to advance technological, operational, digital and organisational aspects of energy supply for use in ports and reduce emissions. One of the objectives of the MAGPIE project is to improve the maritime and inland waterway transport by developing and demonstrating autonomous intra-terminal barges and automated cargo transhipment.

As an MAGPIE postdoc researcher, you will develop a kiss-and-ride concept allowing autonomous barge mooring and unmooring for intra-terminal container transhipment. The autonomous operations will be demonstrated at model scale while integrating the concept into actual terminal operations. This postdoc position will focus on algorithmic and experimental research:

  • Developing algorithms for autonomous docking, collision avoidance and risk prediction, with respect to situational awareness and vessel-to vessel and vessel-to-infrastructure communication, allowing mooring/unmooring under realistic conditions such as unforeseen events, weather conditions, presence of other waterway traffic, etc.
  • Demonstrating autonomous barge performance and barge fleet operations, with respect to assessment of the developed algorithms using model scale vessels in controlled lab environment.

By this work you will contribute to increase the performance, efficiency and reliability of a fleet of autonomous ships and in particular to prove the feasibility and safety of intra-terminal cargo transhipment using autonomous barges.

You will have the opportunity to investigate the high-level automated operations of multiple autonomous vessels whilst simulating diverse operational scenarios, at the Researchlab Autonomous Shipping (RAS), Section Transport Engineering and Logistics, Dept. of Maritime & Transport Technology of TU Delft. 


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • You have a PhD degree or expect to obtain a PhD degree soon in mechanical engineering, maritime technology, systems and control or related areas.
  • Experience with computer vision, data communication, predictive model, and/or experimental design is a plus.
  • Good communication and writing skills in English and the ability to collaborate with companies and research institutes are important.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 18 months.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, 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.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • Doctorate
  • TUD04641


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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