TU Delft

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Originele vacaturetekst

PhD position on Hybrid Data-Assimilation and Machine Learning

PhD position on Hybrid Data-Assimilation and Machine Learning

Job description

This position aims to explore combinations of Data-Assimilation (DA) and Machine Learning (ML) to derive theoretical results as well as develop practical tools to learn efficiently from combinations of numerical models and measurements.

Both Data-Assimilation (DA) and Machine Learning (ML) are often applied to incorporate measurements of the unknown of interest in order to make improved predictions. Even though there are obvious similarities the two fields have largely developed separately. For example, in geo-sciences ML is applied regularly to infer desired quantities from satellite remote sensing imagery, or to perform a statistical post-processing of biased forecasts. Data assimilation, on the other hand, aims to estimate the state, which is considered to be observed only indirectly. The updated estimate of the state is then inserted into the numerical model to improve the subsequent forecast. This updated forecast is used as the basis of the next estimation cycle, when new observations arrive. With different histories, communities and applications, there are many potential analogies with different methods and concepts between the fields, offering a potentially rich source of new ideas, concepts and method


MSc degree in Mathematics, Computer Science or Statistics.

  • Affinity with coding numerical methods, e.g. in Matlab or Python.
  • Initiative, drive and ability to set up, organise and execute your research.
  • Interest or experience in teaching and guiding students.
  • Good writing and presentation skills in English.
  • Good organisational skills and ability to work independently and in a team.
  • Strong interest in Data-Assimilation, Machine Learning, both from a theoretical and more applied perspective
Conditions of employment

This position combines a 6-year PhD project with teaching responsibilities and includes an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. In the first four years, the expected division between teaching and PhD research is 50/50; in the final two years the teaching load is reduced to 25%. This gives a total of 3.5 years of PhD research, and 2.5 of educational responsibilities.

The primary educational activities will be participating in teaching teams at the bachelor level, co-designing courses, providing lectures, recruiting and managing the teaching assistants, overseeing lab work, and creating and evaluating exercises. Lecturers are in close contact with students, monitor their progress, and pro-actively come up with course improvements. Furthermore, lecturers in a PhD track are involved in supervising bachelor and master students in their research thesis projects, as well as in co-teaching master courses in the area of their research.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2434 per month in the first year to € 3408 in the sixth 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

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context. At TU Delft we embrace diversity and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science

The Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) brings together three disciplines - electrical engineering, mathematics and computer science. Combined, they reinforce each other and are the driving force behind the technology we use in our daily lives. Technology such as the electricity grid, which our faculty is helping to make future-proof. We are also working on a world in which humans and computers reinforce each other. We are mapping out disease processes using single cell data, and using mathematics to simulate gigantic ash plumes after a volcanic eruption. There is plenty of room here for ground-breaking research. We educate innovative engineers and have excellent labs and facilities that underline our strong international position. In total, more than 1,100 employees and 4,000 students work and study in this innovative environment.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Hanne Kekkonen, email: h.n.kekkonen@tudelft.nl or Prof.dr.ir. Martin Verlaan, email: m.verlaan@tudelft.nl 

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before September 15, 2021 via the application button and upload the following documents:

  • A cover letter motivating your application and a CV.
  • BSc and (partial) MSc academic transcripts (in English).
  • Name and contact information of two references; DO NOT send reference letters.

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

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated.

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