PhD Position Physics Informed Machine Learning for Metamodeling Equipment Performance on Industrial Scale – TU Delft – Delft

  • Delft

TU Delft

Job description

For the handling of granular materials, DEM models have been of value in supporting the design of bulk handling equipment in many ways. The current models are very detailed and accurate, yet not suitable for design optimisation due to their high computational costs. For fast and efficient design optimisation approaches, low computational cost models are required.

As a PhD in this project, you will develop metamodels that are fast enough to be used for design optimisation. The metamodels will be trained based on readily available validated DEM simulation models and enriched by operational equipment performance data. To this end, physics informed machine learning techniques will be used to bring model data and real data together in a Digital Twin. This Digital twin will enable integrated performance monitoring and metamodel-based design optimisation of bulk handling equipment and processing equipment involving granular materials, such as grabs.

This PhD position is available as of 01-Jun-2024. You will be joining the group of Prof. Dingena Schott, working on Machine Cargo Interaction Engineering. The group has members with expertise in machine cargo interaction, modelling, experimentation and simulation-based design in various transport-related applications. There are vivid interactions within the group and between groups in the Maritime and Transport Technology department to foster collaborations and knowledge transfers. This project is in close collaboration with an industrial partner and may also have opportunities for collaboration with leading universities worldwide. There is also an opportunity to gain teaching experience in topic-related courses.


You have: 

  • A Master degree in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering or a comparable discipline.
  • Experience with the Discrete Element Method (DEM).
  • Experience with Machine Learning and Design Optimisation.
  • Demonstrable affinity with industry-related research.
  • Excellent written and spoken communication skills in English.
  • You get energy from multidisciplinary collaborations and the combination of modelling and engineering.
  • Experience with data communication, predictive model, and/or digital twins is a plus.
  • Good communication and writing skills in English.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the .

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a  for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

TU Delft (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  and we actively  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 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 ME faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

ME 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 ME’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  to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

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