PhD position in Data Enhanced Digital Twin Development for Process Control

Updated: 7 months ago
Deadline: 05 Nov 2021

Project description

The Heat is On project  (

) is concerned with heat that is needed for energy intensive processes like separation ad drying processes commonly used in the industries like agrofood, paper and specialty chemicals. In these industries 40-80 % of CO2 emissions are related to such energy intensive units. Therefore, this project aims to reduce fossil fuel consumption and increase energy efficiency by designing efficient separation and drying processes, applying commercially available energy saving techniques and smart process optimization and control through digital twins. The Heat Is On project has been developed with industrial partners, SMEs, research institutes and universities, and is coordinated by the Institute for Sustainable Process Technology (ISPT).

Position description
This PhD position focuses on the development and application of data enriched hybrid/surrogate model suitable for online implementation of model based operation support technologies such as model predictive control, real time optimization and scheduling, process monitoring (soft sensing). This will be achieved by combining physics based models with the state of the art data driven modeling or machine learning approaches. In this project, PhD student will extend the state of the art in development and adaptability of hybrid models, validate and evaluate the performance of these models on the case studies provided by the industrial partners. It is expected that the PhD student will collaborate with other researchers within the project and will interact with a number of Dutch SME's, industrial partners in agrofood, paper and specialty chemicals.


  • Study the existing literature in hybrid modeling and identifying potential hybrid modeling approaches for the case studies considered.
  • Study the informativeness of the available historical process data
  • Extending the state of the art in hybrid modeling approaches while taking into account the end use.
  • Application of developed hybrid models in one or two model based operation support technologies mentioned above.
  • Dissemination of research results to industrial partners via workshops , presentations.
  • Dissemination of research results to international peer-reviews journals and conferences
  • Teaching assistantship and supervision of Master, internship and bachelor end project students
  • Writing a dissertation and defending it.

Group Description

The research mission of the Control Systems Group is to master complexity present in mechatronics, power systems, automotive systems and industrial processes. The group focuses on fundamental research in model reduction, spatial temporal systems, Lyapunov methods for real-time control and distributed systems, and system identification. Furthermore, many industrial projects are being carried out in the area of automotive, process control, wireless sensor networks, power systems. The group actively participates in the Dutch Institute of Systems and Control (DISC). For more detailed information on the activities of the group please check


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