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  3. Postdoctoral fellow on decision support in food systems

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Postdoctoral fellow on decision support in food systems

We are looking for a Postdoc who is curious to analyze how food systems get affected by different classes of uncertainties.

2 maanden geleden


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


If you are interested in developing new quantitative methodologies for decision support involving uncertainty in the very relevant context of food and other supply systems in a dynamic, challenging academic environment, then this is the job for you.

Job Description

Food systems are increasingly burdened by a growing world population, dwindling resource availability, and climate change. Increasing their resilience seems obvious, but resilience is an emergent system property affected by environmental, economic, and social processes. There are considerable sources of uncertainty in these processes. Moreover, decision making around food systems involves many trade-offs and user objectives. As a result, decisions aimed at improving food system resilience might not have the desired effect.

Current decision support is still primarily based on the perception of risk (hazard times exposure times vulnerability) and draws heavily from agricultural indicators and models to monitor and predict hazards, while ignoring uncertainty in a broader sense. The project aims at filling this gap and developing decision making would be better served by 'embracing' uncertainty. So, we will propose the development of decision support tools that explicitly include uncertainty. These tools will advance the state-of-the-art decision support tools for food systems:

  • exploring different uncertainty sources;
  • identifying the dependence of uncertainty sources;
  • identifying possible scenarios affecting system resilience;
  • qualitatively and quantitatively assessing the likelihood of different scenarios;
  • considering the assessed scenarios in decision-making models.

Furthermore, we will look at decisions from a different angle by formulating them as inverse problems. In other words, we will impose certain desired end results and evaluate what possible transition paths may exist to obtain these results.

Job Environment

You will be appointed as a postdoc at TU/e in OPAC group and within the DeSIRE project. In addition, you will be involved in teaching activities in OPAC. During your appointment, you will collaborate with Dr. Ahmadreza Marandi (Eindhoven University of Technology), Dr. George van Voorn (Wageningen University & Research), and Dr. Elisa Perrone (Eindhoven University of Technology).

OPAC group currently consists of 5 full professors, 6 associate professors, 15 assistant professors, 9 postdoctoral fellows, and 33 PhD candidates. We teach and conduct research in the area of operations planning and control in manufacturing, maintenance services, logistics and supply chains. Research is generally quantitative in nature, while many of the researchers also engage in empirical research. We, as the OPAC group, are responsible within the university for all teaching in the areas of operations management, transportation, manufacturing operations, reliability and maintenance, and accounting and finance, both at undergraduate and graduate level. We have an extensive industrial network, which gives direct access to challenging operations management problems, new technologies, and empirical data.

DeSIRE (Designing Systems for Informed Resilience Engineering) is an extensive interdisciplinary research and capacity building programme, focused on the development of resilience of various socio-technical systems, including food supply chains. Currently the project involves 15 assistant professors, 4 postdoctoral fellows, over 40 staff members from all four technical universities (TUE, TUD, UT, and WUR), 100 research fellows from around the world, and many connections to companies as well as societal partners in policy and NGO. It is part of the strategic research impulse 'High Tech for a Sustainable Future' of the four universities of technology in the Netherlands - Eindhoven, Delft, Twente and Wageningen - forming the backbone of 4TU RE.


The ideal candidate:

  • Has a Ph.D. in quantitative science with experience in Operations Research or a comparable domain
  • Has a sufficient knowledge of quantitative modeling and analysis
  • Has the ability to conduct high-quality academic research, demonstrated for instance by a relevant PhD thesis and publication(s).
  • Has the ability to teach, shown by experience or assistance in teaching and positive evaluations of these teaching efforts.
  • Has an excellent mastering of the English language, good communication and leadership skills. Note that while there is no Dutch language requirement, it may be advantageous in the communication with some stakeholders.
  • Is a team player and is able to work in a dynamic, interdisciplinary context.


  • A meaningful job in a dynamic and ambitious university with the possibility to present your work at international conferences.
  • A full-time employment for 1.5 years.
  • You will have free access to high-quality training programs on general skills, didactics and topics related to research and valorization.
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits (including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes).
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.

Additional information

More information

Do you recognize yourself in this profile and would you like to know more? Please contact Dr. Ahmadreza Marandi, a.marandi[at]tue.nl.

For information about terms of employment, please contact Ms. Susan Opgenoorth, HR advisor, HRServices.ieis [at]tue.nl.

Please visit www.tue.nl/jobs to find out more about working at TU/e, and https://www.4tu.nl/resilience/about-us/our-vacancies/ to learn more about the DeSIRE project!


We invite you to submit a complete application by using the 'apply now'-button on this page.
The application should include a:
  • Cover letter in which you describe your motivation and qualifications for the position.
  • Curriculum vitae, including a list of your publications and the contact information of three references.
  • List of five self-selected 'best publications'.

We look forward to your application and will screen it as soon as we have received it. Screening will continue until the position has been filled.