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  3. PhD Complexity in Transport and Logistics

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PhD Complexity in Transport and Logistics

PhD position in the area of stochastic processes and applied probability. The project is related to high-tech manufacturing systems in collaboration with ASML, Philips HealthTech and Hilti. A strong background in mathematics is required and some affinity with programming is highly desirable.

ongeveer een jaar geleden


de Rondom, Eindhoven, Noord-Brabant
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 uur


Manufacturing high-tech systems requires the effort of some hundred teams of highly specialized engineers employed by the manufacturer and dozens of suppliers. Nobody can oversee the entire operation. Instead, the process is somehow orchestrated by delivery deadlines agreed between upstream teams that produce a (sub)component and downstream teams that need it. Teams are pressured to deliver early, but are limited by scarce production capacities, their ability to bear financial risks, and agreements with teams further upstream.

The project
The project applies probabilistic scaling techniques, such as fluid and diffusion limits and mean-field scalings to supply-chain models that are sufficiently tractable to apply techniques from optimal control theory. The goal is to gain fundamental insights into the macroscopic behavior of supply chains. This will lead to a rigorous assessment of performance in situations where multiple companies plan their production individually in a single supply chain. The position is embedded in the NWO-funded project 'Complexity in high-tech manufacturing', which includes several partners in high-tech manufacturing such as ASML, Philips HealthTech and VDL/ETG.

The department
The project will be carried out at the Mathematics and Computer Science department of the Eindhoven University of Technology. The department has a vibrant international environment, with 46% of the scientific staff being non-Dutch nationals and more than 100 PhD candidates. It has extensive experience in helping new (foreign) employees settle in.

Research group
The PhD candidate will be supported and supervised by an extensive research team of experienced faculty and industrial partners. At TU/e, Prof. Dr. Bert Zwart (bert.zwart@cwi.nl) and Dr. Maria Vlasiou (m.vlasiou@tue.nl) will be involved. Further collaboration with researchers from ASML, Philips HealthTech and VDL/ETG is expected.


Preference will be given to candidates in any branch of applied mathematics and to candidates from a different background (e.g. engineering) but with strong mathematical foundation. Research experience will be highly valued. Strong knowledge of applied probability and analysis is highly desirable, as well as some programming experience.
The successful applicant will hold a Master's degree in Mathematics, Applied Mathematics or related fields. All applications should include a cover letter, curriculum vitae, and transcripts. Proficiency in English is also required.


  • PhD candidates are appointed as temporary university employees for a four-year period (based on an initial one-year contract, with a three-year extension after a positive evaluation as to whether the research is expected to result in a PhD degree after four years).
  • The terms of employment are governed by the Collective Labour Agreement of Universities in The Netherlands, with a monthly salary starting at 2.222 Euro in the first year, and increasing to 2.840 Euro in the fourth year, and an additional 8% holiday allowance and 8.3% end-of-year bonus. An extensive fringe benefits package is included. Further details can be found here. Additional budget allows for extensive research visits abroad and conference attendance.
  • For information regarding the university, please visit the website of TU/e. Here you can find information about the sports facilities on campus. Information about Eindhoven can be found here. The international office provides support with administration and housing to foreign nationals and their spouses.
  • Information about terms of employment can be obtained from the personnel officers, Mr. Marco Bos, Ms. Marielle van Gerven and Ms. Jonelleke Kamperman (pzwin@tue.nl).
  • Additionele informatie

    Questions about this position should be addressed to:

    Prof. Dr. Bert Zwart (bert.zwart@cwi.nl) and Dr. Maria Vlasiou (m.vlasiou@tue.nl)

    Your application must contain the following documents (all in English):

    • Cover letter (1 page max), which includes a motivation of your interest in the vacancy, a preference for one of the two projects, and an explanation of why you would fit well for the project;

    • An extensive curriculum vitae;

    • A course list of your Masters and Bachelor programs (including grades);

    Results of a recent English language test, or other evidence of your English language capabilities;

    • Name and contact information of two references.

    Please note that a maximum of 5 documents of each 2 MB each can be uploaded. If you have more than 5 documents you will have to combine them. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

    If you are interested, we invite you to apply as soon as possible by using the 'apply now' button.

    We will start considering applications and interviewing immediately upon receiving an application.

    Applications per email are not accepted.