Phd on Digital product flow for circularity in modular construction

Phd on Digital product flow for circularity in modular construction

Published Deadline Location
29 Apr 9 Jun Eindhoven

Job description

You will develop a peer to peer information system for data sharing across stakeholders in the supply chain for digital product flows to accelerate the transition to a digitally integrated closed-loop supply chain for prefabricated modular construction.

Job Description

This position is one of the two PhD positions offered within the Department of Industrial Engineering and Innovation Sciences (IE&ES) and the Department of the Built Environment (BE) of Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e). This PhD position is part of the research project 'Modular prefabricated construction: a circular asset management system for closed-loop supply and logistics chains' awarded within the TKI Dinalog innovation program for Construction Logistics and Mobile Equipment - Clean and Emission-Free Construction Logistics. The research project is aimed at accelerating the transition towards a circular economy through a digitally integrated closed-loop supply chain for prefabricated modular construction and focuses on three main goals: 1) a roadmap for transitioning to a digitally integrated circular supply/value chain,
2) a prototype digital twin for scenario analysis for off-site logistics planning, and 3) a prototype information system for digital product flows in the chain.

This PhD position is associated to the third goal, the networked information system for digital product flows. In this position, you will be working on the topic: Circular Asset Management System for Construction Logistics. Your role in this project will be to work on:
  • design of a peer to peer information system that can enable data sharing across key stakeholders in the supply chain for digital product flows (Digital Product Platform - DPP)
  • a service-oriented architecture that relies on Linked Building Data (LBD) and BIM modelling principles to perform asset management in a networked manner
  • implementation of a working web-based DPP software prototype that can be brought to market
  • research on the temporal aspect of materials travelling over time through the DPP, including take-back and track-and-trace models

This part of the research requires building a Digital Product Platform or DPP. This is a peer-to-peer system that can be hosted at a large number of locations (DPP nodes), yet maintains peer-to-peer connectivity and communication. At all times, it needs to be clear for relevant stakeholders (contractors, engineers, owners, architects), which materials in the region are at their disposal, where these materials can be found, and how they can be ported both to their own building and their own asset management system or building management system (BMS). The creation of this platform needs extensive research on BIM, construction logistics, applicable business models, Linked Building Data, decentralized P2P network architectures and data management over long periods of time. For this project, you will closely collaborate in a leading role with several construction and logistics companies in the Netherlands, in particular De Meeuw (

In this project, you will become part of two research groups at TUe, namely the Information Systems in the Built Environment (ISBE) group at the BE Department and the Operations, Planning, Accounting and Control Group (OPAC) at IE&ES. Not only will you be part of a challenging and innovative project, you will also be able to learn, apply and improve diverse data handling and web development techniques in support of the creation of future-proof and circular construction logistics. You will give shape to the project through your own research, as part of these two groups, and through MSc student research projects that take place in the associated companies.

In this PhD project, you will actively collaborate with several companies in the Netherlands to reshape construction logistics and support the digitalization of construction processes thus accelerating the transition towards a digitally integrated closed-loop construction process.

The construction sector is the biggest contributor to waste production, resources consumption and CO2 emissions due to energy intensive and polluting activities for material extraction, transportation, construction and demolition. With this research you will therefore contribute to the ambitious sustainability goals of a fully circular economy by 2050 set by the EU and the Dutch government.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


Applicants are required to hold a MSc degree in engineering (civil, mechanical, electrical, computer science, or similar).

The preferred candidate will meet as many of the following requirements as possible:
  • Have a background in construction engineering, building technology, software engineering and/or computer science;
  • Experience with web development using well-known frameworks and languages, such as JavaScript and/or Python.
  • Experience with diverse data handling techniques (SQL, graphDB, Neo4J, MongoDB, …).
  • Experience in construction logistics and industrialized construction, in particular aimed at making these logistics more future-proof, sustainable, and circular.
  • Ability to function within a large and diverse project team, including industry.
  • Fluent English skills, both written and spoken (C1 level);
  • Interest in co-supervising MSc projects and motivated to develop your teaching skills.
  • Project management skills.

Conditions of employment

A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university, in an interdisciplinary setting and within an international network. You will work on a beautiful, green campus within walking distance of the central train station. In addition, we offer you:
  • Full-time employment for four years, with an intermediate evaluation (go/no-go) after nine months. You will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • Salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, paid pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, scale P (min. €2,770 max. €3,539).
  • A year-end bonus of 8.3% and annual vacation pay of 8%.
  • High-quality training programs and other support to grow into a self-aware, autonomous scientific researcher. At TU/e we challenge you to take charge of your own learning process.
  • An excellent technical infrastructure, on-campus children's day care and sports facilities.
  • An allowance for commuting, working from home and internet costs.
  • Staff Immigration Team and a tax compensation scheme (the 30% facility) for international candidates.

Additional information

About us

Eindhoven University of Technology is an internationally top-ranking university in the Netherlands that combines scientific curiosity with a hands-on attitude. Our spirit of collaboration translates into an open culture and a top-five position in collaborating with advanced industries. Fundamental knowledge enables us to design solutions for the highly complex problems of today and tomorrow.  We are a research university of international standing and strong engineering focus, where excellent research and excellent education go hand in hand. TU Eindhoven takes a balanced approach towards education, research and valorization of knowledge in the areas of engineering science and technology. TU Eindhoven is thereby known for its very close and strong connections with key industrial partners in the Eindhoven region, Brainport, which serves as a digital innovation hub. Within the Department of Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences (IE&IS), contribution to this project comes from the Operation, Planning, Accounting and Control (OPAC) group which conducts innovative research in smart logistics, supply chain management, manufacturing networks, maintenance operations and reliability engineering, sustainable operations management. The Information Systems group in the Built Environment (ISBE) as well as Architectural Design and Engineering offer expertise in: BIM, construction 4.0, building performance, applied research via Living labs, digitization in the construction industry, smart buildings, building monitoring, occupant behavior, digital twins, user-centric research and information platforms. The OPAC and ISBE research groups are additionally closely connected to the EAISI Eindhoven AI Systems Institute, which combines all AI-related research across 7 Departments in the University with a research program that encompasses Mobility, High-Tech Industry, and Health application domains. In particular, this includes an industry-supported Digital Twin Lab (DTLab) that is specialized in the use of AI techniques in the creation of smart digital twins for domains as diverse as the built environment (Edge AI and smart buildings), mechanical engineering (smart manufacturing and robotization), and biomedical engineering.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact dr. Pieter Pauwels, Associate Professor, and
dr. Claudia Fecarotti, Assistant Professor,

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact N. Loiazizi, HR advisor,
or +31 40 247 8827.

Are you inspired and would like to know more about working at TU/e? Please visit our career page.


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the apply button. The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of two references.
  • List of Master's and Bachelor's courses, including grades.

We look forward to receiving your application and will screen it as soon as possible. The vacancy will remain open until the position is filled.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • University graduate
  • V39.7447


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

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De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

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Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 9 Jun 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).