PhD Position Data-driven Approaches for Monitoring and Assessing Contaminants in Marine Environments

Updated: 4 months ago
Deadline: 08 Jan 2024

16 Nov 2023
Job Information

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)
Research Field

Researcher Profile

First Stage Researcher (R1)

Application Deadline

8 Jan 2024 - 22:59 (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

In this PhD project we will develop novel data-driven and machine-learning-based approaches for monitoring, assessing, and forecasting the evolution of concentration of contaminants (such as microplastics, antibiotics, etc.) in coastal and ocean waters.

This PhD project is part of the Horizon Europe project ONE-BLUE (Integrated approach to assess the levels and impact of contaminants of Emerging concern on BLUE health and biodiversity modulated by climate change drivers). Contaminants of emerging concern (CECs) comprise a large variety of contaminants, including chemicals, microplastics, antibiotics, etc. CECs have been found in marine environments, and the bio-accumulation and bio-magnification of some CECs has been proven. In this context the goal of ONE-BLUE is to develop an integrated system for monitoring CECs in coastal and ocean waters, and assessing and forecasting their impact on marine ecosystems and their biodiversity, including combined effects due to climate change.

In this PhD project we will support the ONE-BLUE objectives and focus on four interacting topics:

  • Modelling of CECs, which includes enhancement of existing CEC models with newly collected data within ONE-BLUE, and development of data-driven approaches to obtain up-to-date models for CEC monitoring in marine ecosystems.
  • Sensor fusion for CEC parameters, i.e. the development of innovative sensor fusion methods to infer CEC values that are not measured directly and values at places with no or only partial measurements.
  • Forecasting of CEC parameters, which includes the development of integrated data-driven and model-based methods for estimating and forecasting CEC data in both space and time based on sparse measurements/data.
  • Integrated data-driven and model-based methods for early warning and decision support. Here, we will also use a combination of optimization-based and learning-based approaches, as well as model-based and data-driven approaches.

The PhD student will join our machine learning and optimization team at the Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) of Delft University of Technology. At the DCSC, our mission is to conduct foundational research in systems dynamics and control, involving dynamic modeling, advanced control theory, and optimization with societally important application fields including energy, transportation, and sustainability.

Specific Requirements

This position is perfect for you if you have an MSc degree in systems and control, applied mathematics, AI, computer science, electrical engineering, or a related field, and a strong background or interest in systems & control and machine learning. You are expected to work on the boundary of several research domains.

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 by 8 January 2024, via the application button and upload your letter of application along with a detailed curriculum vitae, a motivation why the proposed research topic interests you, a list of publications (if applicable), the abstract and/or summary of your MSc thesis, your BSc and MSc course program and the corresponding marks, names and addresses of two to three reference persons, and all other information that might be relevant to your application.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Irina Bruckner, our HR advisor at [email protected] .

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

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Bart De Schutter, [email protected] .

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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