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PhD position: System Integration for Rail Transportation

Transport is a key to sustainable development directly linked to growth. It supports the well-functioning transport supports regional economies and connect …

ongeveer een jaar geleden


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


Transport is a key to sustainable development directly linked to growth. It supports the well-functioning transport supports regional economies and connect them to world market. EU aims to develop an efficient transportation system with less congestion and fewer emission to keep its competitor advantages. The main goals for Europe are sustainable fuel systems with optimized performances across the whole life-cycle which is flexible to act based on market-incentives. The aim is to achieve an interoperable rail transport for Europe.

European Commission aims to ensure a competitive and interoperable transport system in which the rail transport plays a key role. One of the goals is that “thirty percent of road freight over 300 km should shift to other modes such as rail or water-borne transport by 2030, and more than 50 % by 2050, facilitated by efficient and green freight corridors.” To accomplish this goal, a trans-European rail transport which is capable of high speed for medium distances is unavoidable. Others goals are that “By 2050, all core network airports should be connected to the rail network, preferably high-speed; all core seaports are sufficiently connected to the rail freight and, where possible, inland waterway system.”. This leads to a single European rail area operating openly across the Europe under agreed technical demands. To achieve these goals, proper integration of the available infrastructures is indispensable. This project provides you a position to contribute to these visionary aims

The main goal of this research is to conduct scientific research on the integration process beyond the combination of system elements with special focus on safety. The researcher will work in a multi-stakeholder environment that continuously demands for improving the performances and strives for perfection across Europe. Here integration appears across the full life-cycle from understanding needs, setting proper requirements, design, smooth implementation, operation and disposal. Model Based Systems Engineering (MBSE) is a fundamental technology enabler for accommodating the needs for management of capital assets or digital information.

This project is a collaboration between University of Twente (UT), Dutch Railways (NS) and High Tech Materials and Systems (HTSM). You will report on your research during bi-weekly meetings of your research group and regular meetings of the project. You receive support to present your results at international scientific conferences and publish them in academic literature.

In the course of your research you will have the possibility to tutor MSc students who do their final assignment on sub projects pertaining to your research.


You have obtained a MSc in Systems Engineering or another filed relevant to the position with interest in management and leadership. Prior knowledge and experience on MBSE and implementation of safety standards is a plus. As the project requires interaction with experts in NS, your fluency at Dutch is an advantage.

We welcome candidates with strong communication skills who like to present their work at conferences and (project) meetings. Fluency in English is required, both spoken and written. Teaching experience is beneficial.

The PhD project will be executed at the faculty of Engineering Technology under the Design, Production and Management (DPM) department, a team of approximately 65 academics and PhD’s which deal with the topics including but not limited to Human-Centered Design, Integrated Life Cycle Management, Multidisciplinary System Design and Maintenance. Prof. Leo van Dongen holds the chair of maintenance, and this research will be carried out under the supervision of Dr. Mohammad Rajabali Nejad. For more information on the research at the DPM department, please visit https://www.utwente.nl/et/dpm.

Information and application

For additional information regarding this position, you can contact Dr.ir. Mohammad Rajabali Nejad: m.rajabalinejad@utwente.nl. You can submit your application, including a recent CV and your vision statement (max. 3 documents), before May 10th, 2018 using the button below.


We offer a 4-year full-time position as a PhD candidate at the University of Twente. The project will be conducted at the facilities of NS and UT and collaboration with parallel running projects will be emphasized in order to ensure the alignment through the process.

In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, a PhD salary starts at € 2.222,- gross per month in the first year and extends to a maximum of € 2.840,- gross per month in the fourth year.

In addition, the University of Twente offers attractive fringe benefits.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET)
is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, SBE and IGS.