PhD Position in Dynamic Demand-Supply Matching in Multimodal Supply Chains

Updated: about 1 month ago
Deadline: 14 Jan 2024

  • Vacancies
  • PhD Position in Dynamic Demand-Supply Matching in Multimodal Supply Chains

  • Key takeaways

    Key takeaways

    The PhD research will be performed as part of an NWA project funded by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) called "It's a cargo match! - Attaining waste-free and effective freight transport systems by seamlessly matching demand and supply with inclusive, smart, and green-oriented booking platforms". The goal of this project is to conceive a platform of platforms for multimodal freight transport services to match transport jobs with transport resources in dynamic and stochastic environments. Operational matching decisions should be quick and transparent, but at the same time anticipate future uncertainties and strive for high system efficiency. In this context, (multi-agent) reinforcement learning algorithms need to be designed to support online decision-making, both at the individual actor level and at the global system level. Concretely, the PhD candidate will perform research on the following aspects:

    • Understand how AI methodologies can facilitate dynamic supply-side decisions
    • Understand how AI methodologies can facilitate dynamic demand-side decisions
    • Understand how AI methodologies can proactively facilitate dynamic matching of supply and demand

    The challenge

    The platform economy is on the rise, exemplified by popular booking platforms in the airline- and hospitality industries. These platforms favour synchronization and matching between supply and demand, thereby offering better capacity utilization. In a similar fashion, freight transport services could be matched to transport requests, consequently enhancing sustainability, agility, and resilience of supply chains.

    However, deploying such platforms is complex, due to the variety of transport modes and cargo features, conservative business models, and rigid mindsets that limit the opportunities for interconnected networks and visibility of transport options. Thus, there are many hurdles to overcome to design successful platforms for the freight transport sector.

    This PhD position focuses on algorithmic design to support online decision-making. By leveraging real-time data, developed algorithms dynamically respond to shifting demand and supply, as well as events such as delays. A combination of approximate mechanism design, market mechanisms, multi-agent system modelling, machine learning, and heuristics procedures will be investigated to support a well-functioning freight transport platform.

    Within this project, you will have the opportunity to work not only with colleagues at the HBE department of the University of Twente, but also with researchers from TU Delft, with the opportunity for regular visits to TU Delft, and with our industrial partners from the logistics sector.


    Information and application

    Are you interested to be part of our team? Please submit your application before January 14, 2024 and include:

    • A cover letter (maximum 2 pages A4), emphasizing your specific interest, qualifications, and motivations to apply for this position;
    • A Curriculum Vitae, including a list of all courses attended and grades obtained, and, if applicable, a list of publications and references;
    • An IELTS-test, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT), or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE). Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet. TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

    Additional information can be acquired via email from Wouter van Heeswijk ([email protected]) or Martijn Mes ([email protected]). Please do not send applications to these email addresses.


    About the department

    The HBE cluster is dedicated to encouraging a supportive and inclusive working culture. Our aim is that all job applicants are given equal opportunities. When we select candidates for employment, it will be on the basis of their competence and ability. To support the workforce diversity, we are open to offer flexible working conditions on an individual basis to support work-life balance, that may include contract of employment, working hours and location, or child care arrangements.

    Please have a look at our video to learn more about our department.

    The High Business Entrepreneurship corporate video can be watched via this link .


    About the organisation

    The Faculty of Behavioral, Management and Social sciences (BMS) aims to play a key role in understanding, jointly developing and evaluating innovations in society. Technological developments are the engine of innovation. As a technical university that puts people first, we tailor them to human needs and behavior and use social engineering to integrate them into society. We also ensure adequate governance at public and private level, and robust, inclusive and fair organizational structures. We do this by developing, sharing and applying high-quality knowledge in Psychology, Business Administration, Public Administration, Communication Sciences, Philosophy, Educational Sciences and Health Sciences. Our research and education in these disciplines revolves around tackling and solving societal challenges. The research programs of BMS are closely linked to the research of the UT institutes Mesa+ Institute for Nanotechnology, TechMed Center and Digital Society Institute.

    As an employer, the Faculty of BMS offers work that matters. We equip you to create new possibilities for yourself and for our society. With us, you will become part of a leading technical university with increasing, positive social impact. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial atmosphere, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example through our flexible, adaptable benefits.



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