PhD position in Combinatorial Optimisation

Updated: 28 days ago
Deadline: 05 May 2023

PhD position in Combinatorial Optimisation (TU Delft)

We have an PhD position in combinatorial optimisation at TU Delft (Netherlands). The candidate will join the team of Dr Emir Demirović (TU Delft), consisting of four PhD students working in the area of combinatorial optimisation. The team is part of the Algorithms group, which hosts seven full-time professors, two part-time professors, over 20 PhD students, and two postdocs. The project will be done in close collaboration with Dr Menno Veldhorst from QuTech, the research institute for quantum computing and quantum internet.

The project is a mixture of fundamental and applied research. On the fundamental side, the aim is to advance combinatorial optimisation, in particular scheduling and constraint programming. Devising and implementing novel algorithms in a constraint programming solver is an integral part of the PhD. On the applied side, the goal is to formalise and solve problems arising in the quantum computing and quantum networks from a combinatorial optimisation perspective, e.g., scheduling instructions while respecting a set of complex constraints given by physical capabilities of a quantum computer. In this sense, the quantum domain offers a rich source of inspiration for the further advancement of combinatorial optimisation algorithms.

We are looking for a motivated individual with a strong algorithmic background, knowledge in the quantum domain is a plus but not necessary. For questions about the project, please contact Dr Emir Demirović (

Key requirements:

  • MSc degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics, or a closely related field
  • Knowledge of combinatorial optimisation, e.g., operations research, constraint programming, Satisfiability solving
  • Excellent programming skills (Rust/C/C++ are of particular interest)
  • Eager to learn about quantum computing and quantum networks
  • Fluency in English

Desirable skills (a plus but not necessary):

  • Familiarity with quantum computing and quantum networks
  • Programming competition experience, e.g., ICPC.
  • Teaching experience, e.g., working as a teaching assistant for a course

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 .

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 € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 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.

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 as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

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.

For more information about this vacancy please contact Emir Demirović, email:

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before May 5, 2023, via the application button and attach the following documents:

  • Motivation letter up to two pages explaining your interest and skills for this specific position. Please specifically provide details about your algorithmic and optimisation skills.
  • CV.
  • Transcript of grades. Please explain the meaning of the scores, e.g., relative to other cohort, as different education systems may use different grading schemes.
  • Master thesis (or draft if not yet submited), or a comparable document demonstrating your scientific and writing skills.
  • Summary of other scientific works (if applicable).

Candidates are strongly encouraged to submit their application before the deadline, as applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The aim is to conduct interviews in March and complete the hiring process by the beginning of April.

For information about the application procedure, please contact Sophie Den Hartog (  

  • 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.

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