PostDoc Position Optimizing Port Logistics by Autonomous Ships to Contribute to Sustainable Transport

PostDoc Position Optimizing Port Logistics by Autonomous Ships to Contribute to Sustainable Transport

Published Deadline Location
10 Feb 31 Mar Delft

Job description

As a PostDoc in the Research lab Autonomous Shipping (RAS) you will develop a kiss-and-ride concept allowing autonomous barge mooring and unmooring for intra-terminal container transhipment. The position offers a lot of freedom to, depending on your interest, focus more on the modelling or engineering aspects of increasing the performance, efficiency and reliability of a fleet of autonomous ships. The project is part of the MAGPIE project, a collaboration between 45 organizations including The Port of Rotterdam, Erasmus University and TU Delft. The overall project aim is to boost the green and digital revolution by improving the sustainability of ports in the European Union.

You will have the opportunity to investigate the high-level automated operations of multiple autonomous vessels whilst simulating diverse operational scenarios. And you get the chance to demonstrate your findings at model scale while contributing to the integration of concepts into actual terminal operations. This postdoc position combines algorithmic and experimental research; in short you will be:

  • 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.


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.
  • You get energy from multidisciplinary collaborations and the combination of modelling, engineering and experimental research.
  • 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: 1,5 years.

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.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. ir. Yusong Pang,, +31(0)15 278 8685, or Prof. dr. ir. Dingena Schott,, +31(0)15 278 3130.

Are you interested in this vacancy? To apply, please submit an application letter, a detailed CV including list of publications, and names and contacts of at least 2 references via the application button. The position is available from February 10, 2024 and will remain open until filled.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Anita van Vianen, HR-advisor, at


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD04641


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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Mekelweg 2, 2628 CD, Delft

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Application procedure

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

Application procedure

Application procedure

A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.

Make sure to apply no later than 31 Mar 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).