EngD position: SenseHeat Plug-and-play measurement kit to facilitate crowdsourcing of urban temperature data

EngD position: SenseHeat Plug-and-play measurement kit to facilitate crowdsourcing of urban temperature data

Published Deadline Location
15 Apr 31 May Enschede

Job description

Urban areas, with their intricate infrastructure, are at the forefront of climate challenges. The unique composition of each street, from vegetation and building heights to road materials, creates a complex puzzle of temperature variations. This complexity demands high-resolution, contextualised data to understand and mitigate the impacts of temperature extremes on a micro-level, from air and road temperatures to wind speed and humidity. In response to this challenge, we have developed a bicycle-based mobile urban data-gathering, marking a significant step forward in our ability to collect urban temperature data. This initiative serves as the foundation for a broader ambition: to create a scalable, citizen-generated data ecosystem. By miniaturising our technology into an integrated, embedded, plug-and-play unit, we can expand its application to various urban infrastructures, including vehicles with regular routes like garbage collectors. This approach allows for the precise mapping of temperature data across the built environment. With this project, we do not only enhance our understanding of urban climate dynamics, but also we aim to empower stakeholders with actionable insights. Such information will facilitate targeted interventions to mitigate the adverse effects of climate variability on the built environment.

Your mission is to build on the existing mobile unit, take it a step further, develop a simple plug-and-play sensor kit that can be easily mounted on municipal vehicles to facilitate the crowdsourcing of the data needed for the assessment of urban temperatures at a high spatiotemporal resolution.

We want to strengthen the integration of infrastructure development with data-driven urban management by leveraging advancements in data acquisition technologies. Through the innovative application of plug-and-play sensor kits mounted on municipal vehicles, we seek to significantly enhance our capacity to quantify urban temperature conditions. But not only that, this approach also facilitates a more informed decision-making process in the built environment.

To this end, the successful candidate will tackle the following tasks:
  1. Conduct a comprehensive literature review to identify existing data acquisition technologies and their limitations in monitoring urban environmental patterns.
  2. Propose a new data acquisition system that can capture high-resolution spatiotemporal data.
  3. Design and prototype a scalable and cost-effective plug-and-play sensor kit tailored to the specific requirements identified during the literature review study.
  4. Implement data processing algorithms to structure and analyse the collected data, ensuring its relevance and usability for decision-makers.
  5. Pilot the plug-and-play sensor kit in selected urban areas to test its effectiveness in real-world conditions and to refine its design based on operational feedback.
  6. Envision the next step of the provided solution.


University of Twente (UT)


  • We are in search of an outstanding MSc graduate with a strong foundation in computer science, control systems, electrical engineering, or a related field.
  • The ideal candidate will possess in-depth knowledge and practical experience in data acquisition technologies, sensor network design, and urban environmental monitoring.
  • Proficiency in data analysis and visualization tools, as well as programming languages such as Python.
  • Experience with Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and remote sensing technologies will be considered an advantage.
  • The successful candidate must be highly motivated, with a proven track record of academic excellence and the ability to tackle complex, interdisciplinary challenges.
  • They should demonstrate a strong capacity for independent problem-solving, creative thinking, and the development of innovative solutions.
  • Excellent communication skills, both written and verbal, are crucial, as is the ability to collaborate effectively with a diverse team of experts, stakeholders, and policymakers.

Conditions of employment

We offer you a very challenging position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. In this time, we will provide you with a tailor-made post-master design program that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%).
  • Challenging work in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment with enthusiastic colleagues.
  • Two-year fulltime EngD position
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits
  • Tailor-made educational/development program of at least 6 months (30 EC), including visits to conferences.
  • A salary of €2.618,- gross per month.
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • Minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of fulltime employment.
  • You have to be willing to move to (the vicinity of) Enschede. A relocation allowance or temporary housing allowance may be part of the offer.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other activities.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

On successfully completing the program, you will receive a certified and recognised degree. You will be entitled to use the academic title of Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please send your application via the 'Apply now' button below before the 31st of May, 2024, and include:
  • Curriculum Vitae (including contact information for at least two academic references).
  • A transcript of your Diploma, courses taken, and grades achieved
  • Title and abstract of your Master’s project/thesis.
  • A motivation letter explaining your interest in the topic of the research, your skills toward the goals of the project, and your personal traits (maximum one page).
  • Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

For more information regarding this position, you are welcome to contact Dr. Monica Pena at m.penaacosta@utwente.nl or Dr. Farid Vahdatikhaki at f.vahdatikhaki@utwente.nl

*Interviews will take place in the second week of June.


  • Research, development, innovation
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • max. €2618 per month
  • University graduate
  • 1751


University of Twente (UT)

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Drienerlolaan 5, 7522NB, Enschede

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Application procedure

Application procedure

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