PhD in Electric Green Airport Surface Movement Modelling

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Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

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Functie omschrijving

To achieve important goals of the aviation industry to become even greener and more sustainable, advanced technological solutions and novel concepts of operation are needed. One of such innovative operational and technological solutions is airport surface movement based on autonomous and non-autonomous engine-off taxiing. Non-autonomous engine off taxiing may be realised with the aircraft using other external means to taxi (e.g. towing trucks, taxibot). Autonomous engine off taxiing may be implemented by e.g., electric motors added to the main landing gear.

In this PhD project, a novel concept of such taxiing operations will be developed, implemented and analysed, with a particular focus on vehicle routing and multi-aircraft path planning and scheduling. To address this challenge, AI-based planning techniques, such as multiagent path finding, possibly combined with machine learning methods, is a promising way forward.
Research will be done in the context of EU SESAR project AEON, in close collaboration with academic and industrial partners (such as airports, producers of equipment for electric taxiing).

The position is intended as a full-time appointment, and the work will take place at the TU Delft. The researcher will have to work with several European partners and support project administration.

Functie eisen

The successful candidate has:

  • A Master of Science degree in the areas of aerospace engineering, computer science, applied mathematics, mechanical engineering or other related areas

  • Strong mathematical and analytical skills

  • Strong programming skills, preferably in Python

  • Excellent communication skills in spoken and written English

  • Creativity, positive attitude, and perseverance

  • Knowledge of multi-agent systems and AI is an asset


TU Delft offers PhD-candidates a 4-year contract, with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3061 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts 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.

Informeren en solliciteren

The Air Transport and Operations section is a vibrant and youthful group of 20-30 enthusiastic staff members and PhDs with 50 MSc students per year. It develops innovative analytical models to address operational air transport problems, faced by, e.g., airports, airlines, maintenance service providers, aircraft manufactures or policy makers. The section currently plays a leading role in the European air transport research, closing collaborating with major European aviation stakeholders and participating in and coordinating several European research projects.

If your MSc diploma and transcript are not in Dutch or English and you will be the selected candidate, the TU Delft will ask you to deliver a certified translation.

For more information, please contact Dr. O.A. Sharpanskykh, phone:+31 (0)15 278 1483, e-mail:

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

38.0 uur per week
Type vacature:


  • Er is geen minimale opleiding vereist
  • Voor deze functie is er geen minimale werkervaring vereist

Wat wij bieden

€ 2.395,- tot € 3.061,- per maand

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