PhD position (at the TU/e) in self-learning control for future engines

PhD position (at the TU/e) in self-learning control for future engines

Published Deadline Location
8 Jul 1 Sep Eindhoven
PhD position at Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in self-learning control for future engines

Job description

To accelerate the introduction of smart and green heavy-duty transport, we are investigating ultra-efficient engines that run on renewable fuels. These advanced combustion concepts are characterized by controlled auto-ignition. As a result, they lack direct control of combustion phasing and of rate of heat release and are sensitive for varying operating conditions. Therefore, closed-loop combustion control is essential to realize stable and safe operation.


In this PhD project, we aim to develop innovative control strategies that optimize the overall system efficiency by on-line shaping of the heat release process while meeting safety and emission constraints. Main objective is auto-tuning of the engine's control settings for every combustion cycle using real-time estimation of engine performance quantities. This self-learning, cycle-to-cycle control strategy shows close analogy with reinforcement learning concepts. Focus is on model-based development of observers and on systematic control analysis and synthesis for the studied nonlinear discrete-time system. The potential of the developed self-learning control strategies will be demonstrated on our state-of-the-art engine platform using FPGA control hardware in our Zero Emission Lab.  

The position is funded for four years.


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)


We are looking for a talented, outstanding PhD candidate with a M.Sc. degree in Systems and Control, Electrical or Mechanical Engineering, or a related field, with background and/or interest in automotive powertrain applications, and with good command of the English language. Furthermore, the candidate is a team player, who will work together with colleague researchers.

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.
  • A 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. 

Curious to hear more about what it's like as a PhD candidate at TU/e? Please view the video.


Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more?
Please contact the hiring manager prof. Frank Willems (

Visit our website for more information about the application process or the conditions of employment. You can also contact HR Services, email

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 references.
  • Transcript of 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
  • V35.7604


Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)

Learn more about this employer


De Rondom 70, 5612 AP, Eindhoven

View on Google Maps

Interesting for you


Apply for this job

Apply for this job

This application process is managed by the employer (Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e)). Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Thank you for applying

Please contact the employer for questions regarding your application.

Tip: save this job as favorite in your AcademicTransfer account. This gives you an immediate overview and makes it easy to find the job later on. No account yet? Create it now and take advantage of other useful functionalities too!

Application procedure

Application procedure

Make sure to apply no later than 1 Sep 2024 23:59 (Europe/Amsterdam).