PhD position: Integrating models and real-time data for zero-defect manufacturing control systems

PhD position: Integrating models and real-time data for zero-defect manufacturing control systems

Published Deadline Location
2 Jun 16 Jun Enschede

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Job description

High-precision manufacturing pushes the limits of what is possible with conventional manufacturing systems. The development of the new generation of high-precision manufacturing systems relies on detailed understanding of the process disturbances which cause variation in the end-product. This project aims at developing models for control of manufacturing processes which can be used for interpreting small variations in the process due to product-to-product disturbances. Such accurate and mature models can only be developed through integration of knowledge from high-fidelity physics-based models with knowledge obtained from large streams of sensor data. Integration of models and sensor data is key for the development of novel data analytic tools providing crucial causal information to the product-to-product variations which can subsequently be used by our novel data-driven control systems to pre-empt and to remove such variations in real-time.

The research consortium comprises of two universities (University of Groningen and University of Twente) and seven small-medium and large companies. In total, the project has four vacancies (two PhD candidates and two postdocs) with the following two main research activities: (R1). the development of model-based data analytics tools for inferring / obtaining accurate and mature models which are applicable for control of high-precision manufacturing systems; and (R2). the development of new provably-correct control design mechanisms towards a self-learning control architecture based on the integration of process models and real-time material, process and product information. The PhD vacancy advertised here belongs to activity R1 and is executed at the University of Twente. The main challenge is to develop methodologies for integration of simulation and sensor data, resulting in extremely fast and still accurate models that can be applied in control loops.

For this project, we are looking for a PhD candidate with relevant expertise. The candidate will report his/her research during bi-weekly meetings of the research group and quarterly meetings with the industrial partners. The candidate is expected to interact significantly with the industrial partners and present his/her results at international scientific conferences and publish them in academic literature. Furthermore, the researcher will be encouraged to tutor MSc students who do their final assignment on sub-projects pertaining to the research project.

At the Faculty of Engineering Technology, the PhD position is part of the Mechanics of Solids, Surfaces and Systems (MS3) department, a team of approximately 75 academics and PhDs which deal with the topics: solid mechanics, tribology, production and system engineering. The work will be performed in the chair Nonlinear Solid Mechanics.


University of Twente (UT)


You have obtained a MSc. degree in Mechanical Engineering, Applied Mathematics or a related discipline with excellent results and you have a special interest in modelling of manufacturing processes. Prior knowledge in solid mechanics, computational methods, control and statistics is required. Ideally, you have a solid background in performing nonlinear finite element analyses and optimization.

We welcome candidates with strong communication skills who like to present their work at conferences and project meetings. Fluency in English is required, both spoken and written. You need to provide IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5), TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90) or Cambridge CAE or CPE.

Information and applicatin: Your application should comprise:

  1. letter of motivation
  2. curriculum vitae
  3. list with grades of the courses attended
  4. IELTS, TOEFL or Cambridge test score
  5. contact information of 2 referees
  6. list of publications (if applicable)

Applications should be submitted only online before June 16th, 2017, through the link below. The intended starting date is October 1st, 2017.

For more information you can contact: Prof. Ton van den Boogaard, head of the chair Nonlinear Solid Mechanics, phone: +31 (0)53 489 4785, e-mail:


Conditions of employment

We offer a 4-year full-time position as a PhD candidate appointed at the University of Twente (UT).

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, a PhD salary starts at € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year. The University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (8%) and an end-of-year bonus (8.3%) and a number of additional benefits


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, SBE and IGS.


  • PhD
  • Engineering
  • max. 38 hours per week
  • €2222—€2840 per month
  • University graduate
  • 912584


University of Twente (UT)

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