PhD Position Human-Centered Information Extraction from City Archival Data

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Faculty Industrial Design Engineering

Matching the evolution of people with the speed of the revolution of technology. This is the focus of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE). Delft designers act as a bridge between advances in technology and the needs of people, organisations and society to create products, services and systems with purpose.

IDE is a leader in design research across the application areas of mobility, sustainability and health, as well as its development of design tools and methods. A 350-strong research team and over 2,000 students work together in our inspiring hall, labs and studios.

In close cooperation with industry, the public sector and NGOs we rehearse possible futures in research and education to design for a complex future.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering.

Functie omschrijving

The Knowledge and Intelligence Design section in the Department of Sustainable Design Engineering of the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering (IDE) offers a PhD position for a duration of four years. The PhD candidate will be supervised by Prof. Alessandro Bozzon. The research work will be conducted in the context of a collaboration between TU Delft, the Amsterdam City Archive, and the CTO Office of Municipality of Amsterdam. The goal is to investigate human-centered artificial intelligence methods for the preservation of large collections of archival documents which are a valuable source of knowledge for cultural, social and urban research of a given city. To fully unlock the knowledge contained in the archives and facilitate the exploration and exploitation of the collections, there is a need for techniques to digitize the archives; to extract structured data, namely Named Entities (NEs) such as persons, locations, events, from unstructured archival documents; and to link the extracted entities to knowledge bases. The PhD researcher will be responsible for the design, development, and real-world deployment of novel Information Extraction methods from heterogeneous archival documents that include (handwritten) records, drawings, and maps.

The candidate will be embedded in the CTO Office team, and collaborate on a daily basis with the Amsterdam City Archive research team. The candidate is expected to finish his/her studies with a PhD thesis and disseminate results through publications in peer-review journals and presentations at international conferences.

The Department of Sustainable Design Engineering (SDE) focuses on the developments of innovative design methods, processes and tools for the integration of physical and digital materials into sustainable products and services. By combining research into Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Emerging Materials, Mechatronics and Sustainability, SDE addresses complexities with regards to people, systems and processes.

Functie eisen

  • A master degree in Computer Science or closely related field;

  • A background in artificial intelligence or human computation is a plus;

  • Interest in (but not limited to): natural language processing, semi-automatic knowledge base construction, Optical Character Recognition, etc;

  • A very good command of the English language is required, as well as excellent communication skills

  • The ability to work in a team, take initiative, be results oriented, organized and creative.

  • Command of the Dutch language is a plus.


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

For information about this vacancy, you can contact Alessandro Bozzon, Professor, email:, tel: +31 15 27 87822.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact Sara Bedin, HR secretary, email:

Please submit your application before November 16, 2020. To apply, please send an email to Sara Bedin at with the following documents, quoting the vacancy number TUD00531:

  • A Master’s degree (completed or near completion)

  • A motivation letter (maximum 2 page A4) describing why you apply for this project, a description of your research interest and research ideas for the PhD project.

  • A full Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications.

  • Letters of recommendation, and/or names of possible references

  • Documentation proving your English proficiency is appreciated

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

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

36-40 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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