Postdoc on Digital Twins for Green and Autonomous Shipping

Postdoc on Digital Twins for Green and Autonomous Shipping

Published Deadline Location
13 Feb 31 Mar Delft

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Job description

Digitalisation of the transport sector is seen as a primary enabler of smart solutions for sustainable transport that can deliver economic and societal benefits. The benefits of Digital Twins (DTs) are now of increasing interest in maritime sector as well as inland waterway transport. Data platforms to share acquired data and innovative applications of DTs in shipping exploit advancements in AI to increase automation of ship design and deliver increased autonomy in ships. In the future, shipping DTs can revolutionise the workings of the entire waterborne transport, from preliminary design and retrofit of ships right through to a decision support system to achieve decarbonisation. It is necessary to incentivise cross-sectoral adoption of DT innovations and provide robust validation of how and where DTs can support the transition to sustainable, low-emissions, high-efficiency ship operations.

This Postdoc position will support developing DT modelling frameworks for practical innovations in the design, retrofit and production of new green autonomous vessels and especially optimizing shipping operations and performance. The Postdoc will focus on:

  1. Creating a comprehensive methodology for DT applications in designing and control of green autonomous vessels;
  2. Developing a DT platform to assess and optimize the shipping performance by means of sensing technologies, modelling and control with respect to the new ship designs for green operations;
  3. Investigating scaling up from laboratory experiments towards operations of real-life green autonomous vessels to support shipping industry stakeholders involved in transition to zero emissions autonomous shipping.

As postdoc, you have the opportunity to investigate high-level automation and cooperative control of multiple autonomous vessels whist simulating diverse operational scenarios, at the Researchlab Autonomous Shipping (RAS), Section Transport Engineering and Logistics, Department Maritime & Transport Technology of TU Delft. You will hereby in particular focus on algorithmic and experimental research to support the design and production of the new green vessels and to optimize the shipping performance of a fleet of autonomous ships.

This Postdoc position is embedded in the Horizon Europe project "Digital Twin for Green Shipping (DT4GS)", which is with over 20 industry and university partners aimed at delivering an “Open Digital Twin Framework” for shipping companies and waterborne industry actors to tap into new opportunities made available through the use of DTs. DT4GS will enable shipping stakeholders to embrace DT innovations to support smart green shipping in the upgrade of existing ships and new vessels. DT4GS will cover the full ship lifecycle. Applications will focus on shipping companies but will also provide decarbonisation decision-support system for shipyards, equipment manufacturers, port authorities and operators, river commissions, classification societies, energy companies and transport/corridor infrastructure companies.


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


  • You have a PhD degree or expect to obtain a PhD degree soon in mechanical engineering, maritime technology, digital engineering or digital twin, systems and control or related areas.
  • Experience with data communication, computer vision, zero emission ship design, modelling autonomous shipping, and/or experimental design is a plus.
  • Good communication and writing skills in English
  • The ability to collaborate with companies and research institutes are important.

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 1 year.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.


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.


  • Postdoc
  • Engineering
  • max. 40 hours per week
  • €2960—€4670 per month
  • Doctorate
  • TUD03497


Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

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