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PhD in Maintenance Planning Optimisation under Uncertainty

Aircraft maintenance is currently planned following a preventive strategy in which maintenance inspections are pre-scheduled based on specific utilization …

9 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


Aircraft maintenance is currently planned following a preventive strategy in which maintenance inspections are pre-scheduled based on specific utilization intervals. This approach is restrictive, limiting maintenance productivity and aircraft utilisation. However, modern aircraft have a large number of sensors collecting information regarding aircraft operations. Aircraft health diagnostics and prognostics can be computed based on this information and aircraft maintenance can be planned accordingly.

This PhD project will focus on the development of an efficienct maintenance packaging and schedule optimisation framework for adaptive aircraft fleet maintenance management, based on continuous aircraft structures and systems health assessment. The work will involve the development of an innovative stochastic dynamic programming optimization model to achive this goal. The model should be capable of dealing with the uncertainty associated with the health assessment to compute efficient maintenance plans, making the trade-off between the cost of maintenance and the urgency of performing maintenance. The work will be conducted as part of a large European project. Thus, the work will be carried out with historical aircraft data and a commercial decision-support tool is expected from this PhD project.

The position is intended as a full-time appointment, and the work will take place at the TU Delft. The researcher will have to work with several European partners and support project administration.


Applicants should have advanced analytical and modelling skills. Additional experience with operations optimisation and machine learning techniques would be advantageous. Applicants should preferably have knowledge of airline operations or maintenance engineering.

Very good spoken and written English is mandatory.   


The successful candidate will be granted a temporary employment contract with the university for a period of 4 years (48 months), with an evaluation at the end of the first year. Within the contract period, the candidate is expected to produce a dissertation (PhD thesis) of sufficient quality for him/her to be awarded a PhD. Benefits and other employment conditions are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement.

TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit www.tudelft.nl/phd for more information.

Additional information

The Air Transport and Operations section is a vibrant and youthful group of 25-30 enthusiastic staff members and PhDs with 40 MSc students per year. ATO has three research aims: 1) to develop radical new ways to optimise aircraft operations for efficiency, safety, cost, and environmental impact; 2) to extend the analysis to an airline fleet and network level to include capacity and resilience; 3) to synthesise these to include operational safety at an airline and ATM level.

If your MSc dilpma and transcript are not in Dutch, English of German and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.


Delft University of Technology (the TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognised level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. The TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At the TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. The TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools.

Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.