PhD Positions in Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence for Airline Operations

University of Twente
December 10, 2022
Offerd Salary:€ 2.541
Working address:N/A
Contract Type:Other
Working Time:Full time
Working type:N/A
Job Ref.:N/A

As part of the Kickstart AI program, University of Twente (UT) and KLM Royal Dutch Airlines collaborate to translate complex and challenging airline operations problems to scientific challenges and to design solutions that will have an impact on science and practice. In this context, we are looking for two PhD candidates with a genuine interest in Airline Operations and Artificial Intelligence, and have a background in Industrial Engineering, Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, or similar fields.

The world of airline operations offers a myriad of complex and challenging problems. Daily disruption of schedules, constraining resources, and interdependency of aircraft, ground equipment, and passenger operations require advanced optimization and artificial intelligence techniques. Complexity arises not only when planning these intensively interconnected of processes ahead of time, but also when handling them in real-time. The aim of this collaboration between UT and KLM is to bridge Operations Research and Artificial Intelligence (e.g., reinforcement learning and supervised learning) to develop integrated and dynamic solutions to airline operations problems, such as crew and fleet scheduling, disruption management, maintenance planning, and ground handling.

This PhD project is part of the Kickstart AI initiative, backed by KLM, NS, ING, Ahold Delhaize, Philips, and various Dutch universities. Kickstart AI has the goal to increase knowledge about and application of Artificial Intelligence in business operations. The UT and other universities have opened joint positions with these companies to realize this, and your project will be embedded in this framework too. Within the UT, you will be part of the Industrial Engineering and Business Information Systems (IEBIS) section in the High-tech Business and Entrepreneurship (HBE) department at the Faculty of Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (BMS). You will be supervised by Martijn Mes and dr. Dennis Prak. You will also spend a few days a week at Schiphol Airport to collaborate on-site with KLM project partners and shape your project in a practice-driven way.

Your profile

As a prospective candidate, you

  • Are passionate about contributing to solutions that benefit science and business at the same time;
  • Are able to communicate with university and business stakeholders;
  • Have knowledge of several of the following techniques: mathematical programming, dynamic programming, reinforcement learning, supervised learning, simulation, business analytics, heuristics, etc.;
  • Can code in one or more of the following programming languages: Python, Java, C , Delphi, Matlab, and R;
  • Have, or will shortly acquire, an MSc degree in Industrial Engineering, Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, or related programme;
  • Possess excellent communication skills and are proficient in English.
  • 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 € 2.541,- (first year) to € 3.247,- (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 institution is family-friendly and 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.
  • Information and application

    For more information on this position please contact dr. Dennis Prak, email: Please apply online submitting a full resume and motivation letter before December 10, 2022.

    About the organization

    The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.

    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.

    Want to know more? Prak, D.R.J. (Dennis)

    Assistant Professor

    Prak, D.R.J. (Dennis)

    Assistant Professor

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



    Your Colleagues
  • Mes, M.R.K. (Martijn)
  • Personal page

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