PhD Position Airport and Airline Operations for Hydrogen-powered Aircraft

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 05 May 2024

28 Mar 2024
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

5 May 2024 - 21:59 (UTC)
Type of Contract

Job Status

Not Applicable
Hours Per Week

Is the job funded through the EU Research Framework Programme?

Not funded by an EU programme
Is the Job related to staff position within a Research Infrastructure?


Offer Description

The aviation sector is actively investing in the development of new disruptive technology, infrastructures, and operational concepts to achieve climate neutrality. Hydrogen-powered aircraft and other hydrogen technology are considered to be key enablers of the drive towards sustainable operations. Various companies have announced plans to put on the market first hydrogen aircraft by 2030. However, considerable efforts are still to be made to prepare the airport and airline ecosystems to the arrival of these new aircraft. In particular, this includes research and development on required airport infrastructure and operational procedures.

Your unique challenge as a PhD student at TU Delft is to develop concepts, models, and tools to facilitate integration of hydrogen-powered aircraft into airport operations and infrastructure, taking also the airline perspective into account. Hydrogen requires a supply chain, equipment, and infrastructure, which are different from jet fuel. This has a substantial impact on planning and execution of airport and airline operations. Would you like to help airlines and airports to achieve safe, reliable, and efficient hydrogen-powered aircraft operations?

In this PhD project, you will be involved in the EU Horizon funded GOLIAT project, which goals are well aligned with the PhD project. GOLIAT will also demonstrate small-scale liquid hydrogen aircraft ground operations at three European airports.

You will develop mathematical and computational models for airport ground operations for hydrogen-powered aircraft. Conventual Conventional airport ground operations have been extensively modelled and analysed at TU Delft. This existing research will be a significant stepping stone for this PhD project. Furthermore, you will contribute to scenario definition of hydrogen demand over multiple time horizons based on (existing) airline fleet development models and airport ground operations. Together with other project partners, you will be involved in techno-economic modelling of hydrogen supply and aircraft refueling infrastructure. In addition, you will contribute to the reports that are the project deliverables.

You will, of course, be writing papers and attending conferences. In addition, you will supervise labs and coach master students during their graduation research under the flag of the Air Transport Operations group. Who are your fellow team members? We are an interdisciplinary and internationally diverse group of some 20 driven assistant and associate professors, lecturers, project managers, PhD students and postdocs. We share the ambition to develop models and tools in which we accumulate our expertise to enable future adaptive and sustainable air transport operations. Fostering an open, friendly and collaborative atmosphere in which people are approachable, we share knowledge, help each other and meet socially. And you will get all the support and training you need to evolve and grow as a researcher.

Learn more about Air Transport Operations

Specific Requirements

Accelerating the future of sustainable air transport operations. That’s the drive you share with us. You put your analytical skills to good use, creating mathematical models and translating them into algorithms and programs. You work well both independently and in international, interdisciplinary teams, for which you harness your communication skills. And you enjoy coaching master students, while developing your own skills and competencies.

You also have:

  • An MSc in Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics, Physics or another relevant subject.
  • Good modelling and Python programming skills.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .

Additional Information

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 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 a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

Selection process

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no lather than 5 May 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • Motivation letter.
  • Detailed CV.
  • Copies of your BSc and MSc degrees and transcripts.
  • Names and contact information of relevant references.

Please note:

  • 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.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Additional comments

If you would like more information about this role, please contact Dr Alexei Sharpanskykh, [email protected] , phone number: +31 15 27 81483.

Website for additional job details

Work Location(s)
Number of offers available
Delft University of Technology
Postal Code
2628 CD
Mekelweg 2

Where to apply



Mekelweg 2
Postal Code

2628 CD


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