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PhD Decision-Making for Resilient Systems and Portfolios

Military systems are inherently complex and subject to different lifecycles. At the same time, interoperability and continued functioning of the systems must …

2 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
36 - 40 uur


Military systems are inherently complex and subject to different lifecycles. At the same time, interoperability and continued functioning of the systems must be guaranteed at all times, in the face of uncertainties about rapidly changing requirements and deployments. The candidate will develop and test novel approaches that enable more efficient management of (portfolios of) assets, drawing on methods and techniques from the field of operations research, supply chain management and decision making under uncertainty.

The aim of this position is to design, develop, and test methods and tools to support planning to improve the resilience and reliability of military systems, ensuring that the required capabilities are available at all times. The resulting novel approaches should harmonize complex products portfolios across their lifecycles for efficient and effective planning and management. You will have the opportunity to further develop concepts of resilience in planning and decision making at the interface between academia and practical application. To this end, topics and methods that you will use include prepositioning and inventory management, planning of requierd capacities and capabilities under uncertainty.

The successful candidate will work on establishing and implementing this research program on Resilient Systems between the Netherlands Ministry of Defence and the Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management at Delft University of Technology. You will benefit from working in a dedicated setting that appreciates and promotes interdisciplinary research that creates impact for practice at a leading technical university.


The PhD position is supported and co-supervised by the Netherlands Defence Academy and the Directorate of Policy at the Netherlands Ministry of Defence. Within the Directorate of Policy, the Department of Business Operations & Evaluation works to repair, simplify and harmonize key business processes at the central level for all branches of the Dutch defence. The department will provide you with relevant knowledge and information, business cases and critical feedback.

Within TU Delft, the position is embedded in the newly founded TPM Resilience Lab which provides you with the opportunity to collaborate in an interdisciplinary team of top scientists in resilience, logistics & supply chain management, and decision-making under deep uncertainty. You will be directly working with Dr. Tina Comes and Dr.ir. Jan Kwakkel as your supervisors. During the PhD trajectory, you will gain experience in supervising MSc students as well as contribute to teaching. Via our network and tailored mentoring, we will create opportunities for you to develop your career through support for conferences, collaborations, and training possibilities.


Candidates for the PhD position are expected to bring the skills and motivation necessary to conduct interdisciplinary research at the interface between academia and practice and successfully complete a PhD position within the dedicated time.

- You have successfully completed your master's degree in operations management / research, transportation & logistics, policy analysis or an equivalent that provides a good basis from which to engage with supply chain management and planning under uncertainty.
- You have excellent analytical skills, you like to work with and conceptualize complex problems, and you are experienced in Python (or other programming languages).
- You have an affinity for research and you are open to exploring new topics and learning new methods.
- You are good in networking, presenting and discussing your work, and you like to coach and supervise.
- You are fluent in English. Dutch language profiency is a plus.
- You thrive in a collaborative and inter-disciplinary environment, and you are looking forward to working with the Ministry of Defence. To foster this collaboration, if you are not yet proficient in Dutch, you are willing to learn Dutch in the first 1-2 years of the PhD trajectory. We will support you via dedicated courses and alloting time for learning Dutch.
- Citizen of a NATO member nation. This position will require you to work with confidential data, you must be able to obtain a declaration of no objection (VGB) at least at level B. To get this VGB, you will undergo a security screening as you start your position.


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 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 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.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, you can contact Dr. Tina Comes, Associate Professor, email: t.comes@tudelft.nl, tel: + 31 (0) 15 278 4459.
For information about the selection procedure, please contact Olivie Beek, HR Advisor, email: vacature-tbm@tudelft.nl