PhD position on Knowledge Engineering for Smart Diagnostics

University of Twente
September 24, 2023
Offerd Salary:€ 2.770
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Ref info:N/A

The Formal Methods and Tools (FMT) group at the University of Twente is looking for a highly motivated and talented PhD candidate to join the team working on diagnostic methods for malfunctions of cyber-physical systems. Designing systems such as MRI printers and scanners, for instance, is by no means easy and failures are often expensive and dangerous. To lower these costs, and increase system availability and reliability, more knowledge about these failures is needed: how do they arise and how to prevent and repair them?

You will be working on the ZORRO project: Engineering for Zero Downtime in Cyber-Physical Systems via Intelligent Diagnostics , led by Prof. Dr. Mariëlle Stoelinga. System-level diagnosis currently heavily depends on knowledge that is hidden in the brains of the experts or written documentation, often vaguely specified. Therefore, you will be working on (i) finding ways to formally model knowledge about organisations, agents and domains for the specific task of diagnostics, (ii) developing knowledge extraction methods in large industrial systems, (iii) extracting knowledge from various information sources (such as tables, spoken conversation, meta- data, etc.) and (iv) integrating the various extracted knowledge and data into the actual diagnostic process.


  • You will perform daily PhD-level research. You will both work on your own topics, and collaborate with an excellent and internationally renowned team of researchers and experts in the field to contribute to the development of new techniques and approaches.
  • Work on industrial cases, in collaboration with our consortium partners: Philips and Canon.
  • Present (both preliminary and mature) results at appropriate meetings and conferences.
  • Publish results in scientific workshops, conference proceedings, and journals.
  • Contribute to teaching on topics related to your work.
  • Supervise and mentor involved BSc and MSc students as needed.
  • Your profile
  • You have, or will shortly acquire, a MSc degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, or a related field.
  • You have a creative mindset and strong problem-solving and analytical skills.
  • You are comfortable with working on practical tasks, on industrial case studies.
  • You have a thorough theoretical background, e.g., in formal methods.
  • You have experience with at least one of the fields of safety, failure analysis, statistical and/or knowledge modelling, information extraction, and are willing to delve deeper into these topics.
  • You are fluent in English and have excellent communication skills.
  • You have good team spirit and like to work in an interdisciplinary and internationally oriented environment, collaborating within the industry and academia alike.
  • Our offer
  • As a PhD student at UT, you will be appointed to a full-time position for four years, with a qualifier in the first year, within a very stimulating and exciting scientific environment;
  • The University offers a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues;
  • Your salary and associated conditions are in accordance with the collective labour agreement for Dutch universities (CAO-NU);
  • You will receive a gross monthly salary ranging from € 2.770,- (first year) to € 3.539,- (fourth year);
  • There are excellent benefits including a holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, an end-of-year bonus of 8.3%, and a solid pension scheme;
  • The flexibility to work (partially) from home;
  • A minimum of 232 leave hours in case of full-time employment based on a formal workweek of 38 hours. A full-time employment in practice means 40 hours a week, therefore resulting in 96 extra leave hours on an annual basis.
  • Free access to sports facilities on campus
  • A family-friendly institution that offers parental leave (both paid and unpaid);
  • You will have a training programme as part of the Twente Graduate School where you and your supervisors will determine a plan for a suitable education and supervision;
  • We encourage a high degree of responsibility and independence, while collaborating with close colleagues, researchers and other staff. Starting date of the position: as soon as possible.
  • Information and application

    If you are passionate about computer science and interested in working on cutting-edge research, we encourage you to apply for this exciting opportunity. Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application via the ‘Apply now' button below until 24 September and include:

  • A motivation letter, emphasizing your specific interest and motivation to apply for this PhD position in our group.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae including your education, publications, awards, working experience. Your CV should demonstrate the scope of your work and education and indicate a good fit with the stated requirements for the position.
  • An academic transcript of BSc and MSc education, including grades.
  • A short description of your last large deliverable (MSc thesis, final project report, EngD thesis).
  • References (contact information) of two scientific staff members (such as the supervisor of your MSc thesis/final project) who are willing to provide a recommendation letter at our request.
  • The applications are screened continuously, the first deadline for applications is 24 September 2023, but later applications may be considered. For further information about this position, please contact Dr. Georgiana Caltais, [email protected] or Prof. Dr. Mariëlle Stoelinga, [email protected].

    Interviews will take place in two phases. If selected, there will be an online interview, on 29 September, 3 or 4 October. A subset of the candidates will be invited for an in-person interview as well, on 9 or 12 October.

    About the department

    The FMT group is part of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) at the University of Twente. Our central goal is to develop formal techniques and tools to support the development of complex systems, and increase the reliability of the high-tech systems that we all rely on, both as individuals and as society.

    About the organisation

    The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) uses mathematics, electronics and computer technology to contribute to the development of Information and Communication Technology (ICT). With ICT present in almost every device and product we use nowadays, we embrace our role as contributors to a broad range of societal activities and as pioneers of tomorrow's digital society. As part of a people-first tech university that aims to shape society, individuals and connections, our faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad, and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. Our research has a high profile both in the Netherlands and internationally. It has been accommodated in three multidisciplinary UT research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centre and Digital Society Institute.

    Want to know more? Caltais, G. (Georgiana)

    Assistant Professor

    Caltais, G. (Georgiana)

    Assistant Professor

    Do you have questions about this vacancy? Then you can contact Georgiana for all substantive questions about this position and the application procedure. For general questions about working for the UT, please refer to the chatbot.



    Email:[email protected]

    How to apply Step 1

    Apply. When you see a vacancy that appeals to you, you can apply online. We ask you to upload a CV and motivation letter and/or list of publications. You will receive a confirmation of receipt by e-mail.

    Step 2

    Selection. The selection committee will review your application and you will receive a response within 2 weeks after the vacancy has been closed.

    Step 3

    1st interview. The 1st (online or in person) meeting serves as an introduction where we introduce ourselves to you and you to us. You may be asked to give a short presentation. This will be further explained in the invitation.

    Step 4

    2nd interview. In the second interview, we will further discuss the job content, your skills and your talents.

    Step 5

    The offer. If the conversations are positive, you will be made a suitable offer.

    Your Colleagues
  • Stoelinga, M.I.A. (Mariëlle)
  • Personal page

  • Caltais, G. (Georgiana)
  • Personal page

  • Zaytsev, V. (Vadim)
  • Personal page LinkedIn Twitter

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