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  3. PhD Position Structural Analysis and Control of Complex Ecological Systems (to Support Intercropping Design in Arable Farming)

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PhD Position Structural Analysis and Control of Complex Ecological Systems (to Support Intercropping Design in Arable Farming)

Do you want to be part of the multidisciplinary SYNERGIA team of researchers from 5 Dutch universities working towards next-generation agricultural production systems that are sustainable, circular and regenerative?

3 maanden geleden


Mekelweg, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2395 - € 3061 per maand


Project description
The SYNERGIA research project, funded by the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research (NWO), contributes to the UN Sustainability Development Goals for the environment (depletion of scarce resources, global warming, acidification, eutrophication, nutrient losses, and biodiversity loss), labour (availability of skilled workers), and society (consumer/societal acceptance of novel technology and production methods). SYNERGIA goes beyond current precision agriculture and is developing the new concept of "Technology-4-Ecology-based farming" (T4E) where biological/ecological principles in farming lead the development of new farming systems, and of the required technological knowledge, principles and tools. Our multi-disciplinary team with biology, ecology, agronomy, technology and social science backgrounds will devise farming technologies to enable and support truly ecology-based farming systems. Click here for the Technology for Ecology website.

We are looking for a talented, motivated and outstanding Ph.D. candidate with enthusiasm for interdisciplinary research challenges at the interface of Systems and Control Theory, Optimisation, and Biological and Ecological Modelling.

The successful candidate will be supervised by Giulia Giordano (University of Trento) and Tamas Keviczky (TU Delft), and will conduct theoretical and algorithmic research on the structural analysis and control of nonlinear dynamical networks in biology/ecology, with application to intercropping design in arable farming, within the research project SYNERGIA: SYstem change for New Ecology-based and Resource efficient Growth with high tech In Agriculture.

We offer the opportunity to perform scientifically challenging research in a multi-disciplinary research group in collaboration with several key academic and industrial partners in next-generation agricultural production systems. The PhD student will also be able to participate in the research school DISC.

The department Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of the faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering, coordinates the education and research activities in systems and control at Delft University of Technology. The Centers' research mission is to conduct fundamental research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modelling, advanced control theory, optimisation and signal analysis. The research is motivated by advanced technology development in physical imaging systems, renewable energy, robotics and transportation systems.


Candidates for this challenging project should have an MSc degree and background in e.g., systems and control, applied mathematics, electrical engineering, or related field. The candidate should demonstrate a strong theoretical background in terms of mathematical and systems-and-control knowledge, and expertise in networked dynamical systems and ordinary/partial differential equations. A successful candidate should have good programming skills, an ability and interest to conduct interdisciplinary research, and act as a team player who is willing to actively participate in project meetings and discussions across diverse scientific fields. In addition, excellent written and oral communication skills in English are important for this position (Dutch not required).


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 information about the selection procedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, HR Advisor, email: application-3mE@tudelft.nl.

For information about this vacancy (requirements and expected scientific activities) you can contact Prof. Giulia Giordano, email: giulia.giordano@unitn.it.

For information on the SYNERGIA project and the PhD program at TU Delft, you can contact Prof. Tamás Keviczky, email: t.keviczky@tudelft.nl, tel.: +31 (0)15 2782928.