PhD Position Sensor Fusion for Wave State and Vessel Response Estimation

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 18 Sep 2022

PhD Position Sensor Fusion for Wave State and Vessel Response Estimation
PhD Position Sensor Fusion for Wave State and Vessel Response Estimation
Published Deadline Location
yesterday 18 Sep Delft

This PhD position offers a unique opportunity to apply fundamental research from the fields of data science and sensor fusion towards an innovative maritime application.
Job description

This PhD position combines the fields of sensor fusion, automatic control, and marine dynamics to optimize sensor systems onboard vessels for improved estimation of wave state and vessel response. The combination of these fields, along with considering the effects of combined loading and non-linearities, facilitates an improved understanding of how the vessel responds to ocean excitation and the resulting structural response.

This position fits within a larger project, FUSION: Smart Sensing for Informed Maintenance and Optimized Naval Design. This PhD position will develop vessel state-space models, then design and test sensor systems and algorithms for estimating the experienced wave excitation and the resulting vessel response. The overall project aim is to potentially extend the vessel safe service life and give insight into when structural maintenance should be performed. Further, by optimizing sensor systems onboard to better inform maintenance decisions, future vessel designs can be lighter and leaner.

This interdisciplinary PhD position is a collaboration between the Delft Center for Systems and Control (DCSC) and the Maritime & Transport Technology (MTT) department within the Faculty of 3mE at TU Delft. The position targets fundamental, technical research relating to sensor fusion applied to the practical problem of sensing for marine systems. Therefore, working closely with advisors from DCSC and MTT, you will further develop vessel state-space models, design sensor systems and algorithms for estimating wave energy spectrum and vessel structural response, and then validate this system based on model tests. The findings from this work will complement other parts of the FUSION project to improve estimates of the vessel fatigue life and allow operators to make informed decisions on structural maintenance.  

  • 36—40 hours per week
  • €2541—€3247 per month
  • Delft View on Google Maps

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


We are seeking an outstanding and enthusiastic PhD candidate with expertise and/or interest in one or more of the following or related areas: data science, automatic control, sensor fusion, marine dynamics. You have obtained an MSc or equivalent degree or expect to maintain such a degree very soon. Excellent spoken and written English and the ability to work independently are expected.

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 .

Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

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 € 2443 per month in the first year to € 3122 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

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 and aim to be as inclusive as possible (see our Code of Conduct ). Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering

The Faculty of 3mE carries out pioneering research, leading to new fundamental insights and challenging applications in the field of mechanical engineering. From large-scale energy storage, medical instruments, control technology and robotics to smart materials, nanoscale structures and autonomous ships. The foundations and results of this research are reflected in outstanding, contemporary education, inspiring students and PhD candidates to become socially engaged and responsible engineers and scientists. The faculty of 3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with an international scope and high-tech lab facilities. Research and education focus on the design, manufacture, application and modification of products, materials, processes and mechanical devices, contributing to the development and growth of a sustainable society, as well as prosperity and welfare.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? This video will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Dr. Harleigh Seyffert, email: .   

For information about the application procedure, please contact Mrs. N. van Benthem, email: .  

Working at TU Delft

Join the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Work on clever solutions for worldwide challenges, to change the world and make an impact. Ready to bring your energy to our research?

Challenge, change, impact!

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by September 18th, 2022 via the application button and upload a detailed CV including your contact information, academic record, and the contact information of at least two references.

The available position will be filled as soon as possible (i.e., as soon as a suitable candidate is found). This means the selection of candidates may already begin before the application deadline passes.

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.

Acquisition in response to this vacancy is not appreciated. 


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