1. Vacatures
  2. Technische Universiteit Delft (TUD)
  3. Postdoctoral researcher Safety and Security Science TU Delft

Postdoctoral researcher Safety and Security Science TU Delft

Society demands more moral and ethical aspects to be involved in technology and innovation via considering safety and security criteria in design, operation, …

14 dagen geleden


Jaffalaan, Delft, Zuid-Holland
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2709 - € 4274 per maand


Society demands more moral and ethical aspects to be involved in technology and innovation via considering safety and security criteria in design, operation, and decision-making. The traditional risk assessment only serves the purpose of having a rational (technical) idea of the risks. Therefore, for gaining a societally more responsible measure of risk, moral and ethical aspects of risk should also be taken into account.

Most of present qualitative risk assessment methodologies are biased and subject to high degrees of uncertainty; on the other hand, the few available quantitative methodologies either suffer from a limited scope or fail short to account for many complex interdependencies in our today’s society and industrial activities. In any case, all of current existing risk assessment methodologies suffer from only looking at rational parameters and do not take ethical issues into consideration. These shortcomings hinders the social acceptance and the societal acceptability of risk decision-making.

The proposed research is therefore aimed at developing a responsible and innovative risk assessment approach. The ever-increasing complexity and interdependencies in our world not only give rise to new risks and vulnerabilities but also exacerbate the severity and the extent of the potential consequences (e.g., via escalation effects) which are almost never limited to the surroundings of the individual events.

The proposed research proactively tackles the above-mentioned issues by developing a value-driven approach taking into account ethical principles, with a particular case study within a chemical industrial park. The research thus aims to supply innovative risk information to practitioners with the means to:
(i) use more informed risk information to optimize prevention and mitigation decisions,
(ii) ensure societal resilience through an accurate risk calculation and interpretation
(iii) addressing the moral overload problem arising from the conflicts between safety and security issues (e.g., whether  or not to publicize the results of risk assessment), and
(iv) take both safety and security into account in an integrated way in the risk assessment approach and decision-making.

The objective of the research to be carried out by the Postdoc position is to develop an innovative approach to provide industrial practitioners with a responsible and value-driven approach for safety and security risk assessment and management. The approach will be tested and validated in the chemical industry, but will be applicable for any industrial sector such as transportation and logistics, manufacturing, construction, aviation, health care, etc.

In this approach, the chemical industry will thus be taken as a case study, since this particular sector (i) requires public trust and a license to operate, (ii) it is faced with increasing interdependencies and complexities, especially with the emergence of industrial parks, and (iii) not only accounts for both safety and security risks but also complies with (often conflicting) regulations in both aspects.

Accordingly, the Postdoc research is aimed at:
(i) identifying hazards and threats of safety and security nature by considering potential human casualties, asset damages, economic impacts, and violations of societal values;
(ii) determining risks related to safety and security issues by developing an innovative risk calculation method for inclusive and integrated risk level and -prioritization employing the hazards and threats identified in (i); and
(iii) proposing recommendations to deal with safety and security issues in one go and to resolve the moral overload problem that emerges from simultaneous implementation of security and safety policies; and
(iv) Increasing social acceptance and societal acceptability of risk decision-making.

The proposed research combines α, β and γ methodologies.
(α) The identification of moral and societal values in safety and security risks; 
(β) The modelling of technological risks; and
(γ) The inclusion of micro-economic parameters.


The Postdoc researcher preferably has a multi-discipline background of chemical engineering, economics and risk assessment, in order to perform an in-depth research to identify safety and security risk components, vulnerabilities, interdependencies, and safety and security precursors in order to develop the approach framework. Furthermore, he/she should be interested in and willing to work on ethical, sociological and moral aspects of risk and integrate moral and societal aspects with technical components in the risk calculation formula.
The postdoc will also be helping and supervising doctoral researchers and Master thesis students.
We are looking for candidates with the following qualifications:
• A background in chemical engineering or experience with chemical processes is desirable;
• A PhD in a safety engineering domain, with an affinity to quantitative modelling is desirable;
• Research experience in safety – or security engineering and – science;
• Experience with risk assessment techniques is desirable;
• Helping, supervising and teaching skills are desirable;
• Excellent skills of the English language (oral and written);
• Strong motivation to contribute to cutting-edge research on technical -,  human – and organizational factors in safety;
• Excellent organisational and communication skills, flexibility and willingness to work in a team.


Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, a discount 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. An International Children's Centre offers childcare and there is an international primary school.

Additional information

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Prof.dr. Genserik Reniers, Full Professor, email: g.l.l.m.e.reniers@tudelft.nl.
For information about the selection procedure, please contact Anita van Vianen, HR advisor, email: vacature-tbm@tudelft.nl.

When you are interested in this position, please include in your application: (a) CV, (b) motivation letter including names of two references, (c) list of publications in a single pdf entitled "TPM20.037_YourLastname.pdf". Applications will be considered until July 1st, or until the position is filled. The appointment will preferably start as soon as possible, but before September 2020. Due to the Covid 19 measurement a remotely start is possible.


Middels onderstaande knop kun je direct solliciteren op deze vacature.

Reageer op deze vacature