PostDoc Position on Knowledge-Based Diagnostic Reasoning

PostDoc Position on Knowledge-Based Diagnostic Reasoning

Published Deadline Location
6 May 9 Jun Amsterdam
PostDoc position on Knowledge-Based Diagnostic Reasoning

Job description

A 3-year full-time PostDoc student position is available at the Knowledge in Artificial Intelligence (KAI) group of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, in close collaboration with ASML Veldhoven. The successful candidate will investigate Knowledge Representation and Engineering challenges as part of a close collaboration with ASML on the usage of knowledge intensive methods for Diagnostic Reasoning.

Diagnostics of large Cyber-physical systems is a highly complex process involving both (sensor and other quantitative) data about the machines, as well as rich sources of highly diverse knowledge, that comes in form of tribal knowledge, expert knowledge, design knowledge, documentation and formal specification, and present in numerous different modalities, such as texts, table, diagrams and very often simply in the heads and folklore of the experts. In order to reason about system failures, we need to model this knowledge formally to make it suitable for (diagnostic) reasoning.

In this project, which is a collaboration between the VU Amsterdam, the Universiteit van Amsterdam and ASML, the main challenges will be:
  • to design an ecosystem of knowledge bases that model the respective information in the most suitable formalism, while providing maximal interoperability
  • the construction of (consensus) vocabularies
  • to combine the modelled and extracted formalised knowledge and to apply diagnostic reasoning to identify likely causes of a systems failure

While Knowledge Graphs and Ontologies will be good starting points from a modelling perspective we expect the reasoning methods that will be developed to require mixed and modular reasoning, possibly combining knowledge graphs with probabilistic or approximate reasoning given the diverse nature of the knowledge sources.

To maximally benefit from the collaboration between the academic and industrial partners, the successful candidate will spend about 50% of their time at ASML and 50% at the VU.


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)


We are looking for a PostDOC candidate passionate about Artificial Intelligence, in particular knowledge representation & reasoning (KR&R). Knowledge of semantic technologies, formal methods, and applied (possibly probabilistic) logics is a plus, as is experience with diagnostics and the modelling of cyber-physical systems. Candidates are expected to have completed a PhD in Computer Science or Artificial Intelligence or a closely related field.

The project is led by dr. Stefan Schlobach (Knowledge in AI group at VU Amsterdam)

As a university, we strive for equal opportunities for all, recognising that diversity takes many forms. We believe that diversity in all its complexity is invaluable for the quality of our teaching, research and service. We are always looking for talent with diverse backgrounds and experiences. This also means that we are committed to creating an inclusive community so that we can use diversity as an asset.

We realise that each individual brings a unique set of skills, expertise and mindset. Therefore we are happy to invite anyone who recognises themselves in the profile to apply, even if you do not meet all the requirements.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

A challenging position in a socially engaged organisation. At VU Amsterdam, you contribute to education, research and service for a better world. And that is valuable. So in return for your efforts, we offer you:
  • a salary of minimum € 3.226,00 (Scale 10) and maximum € 5.090,00 (Scale 10) gross per month, on a full-time basis. This is based on UFO profile Researcher 4. The exact salary depends on your education and experience.
  • a position for at least 1.0 FTE. Your employment contract will initially last 1 year including a two month probation period. After a satisfactory end evaluation of the initial appointment, the contract will be extended for a total duration of 3 years.

We also offer you attractive fringe benefits and regulations. Some examples:
  • A full-time 38-hour working week comes with a holiday leave entitlement of 232 hours per year. If you choose to work 40 hours, you have 96 extra holiday leave hours on an annual basis. For part-timers, this is calculated pro rata.
  • 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus
  • solid pension scheme (ABP)
  • contribution to commuting expenses
  • optional model for designing a personalized benefits package


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam

About the department
The VUA Department of Computer Science has approximately 170 members, including 35 tenured staff members and 90 PhD students. The tenured staff members form the essential basis for the functioning of the department. A tenured staff member is required to make significant contributions to the research and education programmes, and to spend effort on specific tasks at the department level.

Faculty of Science
Researchers and students at VU Amsterdam’s Faculty of Science tackle fundamental and complex scientific problems to help pave the way for a sustainable and healthy future. From forest fires to big data, from obesity to malnutrition, and from molecules to the moon: we cover the full spectrum of the natural sciences. Our teaching and research have a strong experimentally technical, computational and interdisciplinary nature.

We work on new solutions guided by value-driven, interdisciplinary methodologies. We are committed to research, valorisation and training socially engaged citizens of the world who will make valuable contributions to a sustainable, healthy future.

Are you interested in joining the Faculty of Science? You will join undergraduate students, PhD candidates and researchers at the biggest sciences faculty in the Netherlands. You will combine a professional focus with a broad view of the world. We are proud of our collegial working climate, characterised by committed staff, a pragmatic attitude and engagement in the larger whole. The faculty is home to over 11,000 students enrolled in 40 study programmes. It employs over 1,600 professionals spread across 10 academic departments.

Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam
Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam stands for values-driven education and research. We are open-minded experts with the ability to think freely. - a broader mind. Maintaining an entrepreneurial perspective and concentrating on diversity, significance and humanity, we work on sustainable solutions with social impact. By joining forces, across the boundaries of disciplines, we work towards a better world for people and planet. Together we create a safe and respectful working and study climate, and an inspiring environment for education and research. Learn more about our codes of conduct

We are located on one physical campus, in the heart of Amsterdam's Zuidas business district, with excellent location and accessibility. Over 5,500 staff work at the VU and over 30,000 students attend academic education.

Diversity is the driving force of the VU. The VU wants to be accessible and receptive to diversity in disciplines, cultures, ideas, nationalities, beliefs, preferences and worldviews. We believe that trust, respect, interest and differences lead to new insights and innovation, to sharpness and clarity, to excellence and a broader understanding.

We stand for an inclusive community and believe that diversity and internationalisation contribute to the quality of education, research and our services.

Therefore, we are always searching for people whose backgrounds and experience contribute to the diversity of the VU community.

Additional information

Are you interested in this position? Please apply via the application button before May 30, 2024. Please include in your application a short motivation letter, your CV, and a 1 page statement about your previous research.

We strongly encourage women and people to apply who contribute with their personal identity to the diversity of the VU and the KAI group.

If you have any questions regarding moving to Amsterdam, and working at VU Amsterdam, you may contact:


Applications received by e-mail will not be considered.

Acquisition in response to this advertisement is not appreciated.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • €3226—€5090 per month
  • Doctorate
  • 3993


Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU)

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De Boelelaan 1111, 1081HV, Amsterdam

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Application procedure

Application procedure

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