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PhD position SEQUOIA

SEQUOIA aims to improve the reliability of the Dutch railroads by deploying big data analytics to predict and prevent failures. Its scientific core is a novel …

ongeveer een maand geleden


Drienerlolaan, Enschede, Overijssel
Tijdelijk contract / Tijdelijke opdracht
Uren per week:
38 - 38 uur
€ 2222 - € 2840 per maand


SEQUOIA aims to improve the reliability of the Dutch railroads by deploying big data analytics to predict and prevent failures. Its scientific core is a novel combination of machine learning, fault tree analysis and stochastic model checking. Key idea is that big data analytics provide the statistics on failures, their correlations, dependencies etc. and fault trees provide the domain knowledge needed to interpret these data. The project outcome aims at developing explainable machine learning techniques that discover causal relations instead of statistical correlations; machine learning of fault trees or of other models that are normally designed top-down by domain experts. The techniques should help ProRail to decrease train disruptions and delays, to lower maintenance cost, and to increase passenger comfort.

The project involves an intense cooperation ProRail and the RWTH Aachen University. The PhD candidate will spend a portion of their time at ProRail.

Key project deliverables are efficient analysis algorithms and a workable tool to be used in the ProRail context.

For more information about the project, see: fmt.cs.utwente.nl/research/projects/SEQUOIA/


The candidate should have an MSc degree in Computer Science, Mathematics, Data Science or an equivalent qualification.

We seek a candidate with a background in data science and big data analytics. The candidate should have a thorough background in (predictive) modeling, have ample experience with software development and tools (e.g. R, Python, Hadoop) and/or industrial case studies. Speaking Dutch, or the ability to learn it fast is a prerequisite. We also ask for good communication and collaboration skills.

Further information:
- DMB group: www.utwente.nl/en/eemcs/ds/
- Dr. D. Hiemstra (d.hiemstra@utwente.nl)

- FMT group: fmt.cs.utwente.nl/
- Prof. dr. Marielle Stoelinga (m.i.a.stoelinga@utwente.nl)
- Prof. dr. Joost-Pieter Katoen (j.p.katoen@utwente.nl)

To apply, please include:
- a cover letter (explain your specific interest and qualifications);
- a full Curriculum Vitae;
- a list of all courses + grades, and a short description of your MSc thesis project;
- references (contact information) of two scientific staff members.

Applications should be uploaded via the application link below. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is May 20, 2018.


The University of Twente offers excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus.

  • A PhD position for four years (38 hrs/week).
  • Full status as an employee at the University of Twente, including pension and health care benefits.
  • Gross salary PhD student: ranging from EUR 2.222 (1st year) to EUR 2.840 (4th year) per month, plus holiday allowance (8%) and end-of-year bonus (8.3%).
  • Excellent facilities for professional and personal development.
  • Good secondary conditions, in accordance with the collective labour agreement CAO-NU for Dutch universities.
  • A green and lively campus, with lots of sports facilities and other activities

Starting date of the position: as soon as possible after June 1, 2018.

The PhD student will participate in the Twente Graduate School and the Dutch National Research School ASCI that offer advanced courses to deepen your scientific knowledge. Participation in national and/or international summer schools, conference and workshops, as well as visits to other prestigious research institutes and universities are also foreseen.