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Funded PhD position; at Department of Design, Production and Management; University of Twente; in Netherlands

PhD position on Systems Engineering and Interconnected Networks for the detail design of mechatronic and smart systems

Job description

The Integrated Product Lifecycle management group in the Department of Design, Production and Management is looking for a PhD candidate in the research area of mechatronic and smart products detail design. We are an international group of researchers that combine engineering knowledge with management skills, in a very supportive and inclusive environment. Our research and education focuses on designing and managing products and their lifecycles, particularly the issues related to product variations and change impact.

The challenge
Mechatronic and smart systems encompass software, electronic and mechanical components. In companies, the detail design of these components is carried out by specialists in the corresponding disciplines, where each discipline uses its own language and models to define the corresponding components. Translation between these languages is time-consuming, but necessary to combine the descriptions of each discipline into a full product definition; or whenever a change in the product is needed.

Interconnection-based networks can be used to build both product and process documentation. All required information for the final product will be documented inside the network of connections. Some information is part-relevant, and will be coupled to the different parts. Other information concerns multiple parts and may be stored within the interconnections between the parts. These interconnections can represent hierarchical relations; material, electrical, and data flows; order of assembly, etc.

The PhD candidate will commit on answering questions, such as: How could system design models be effectively traced to detail design models? How could these models keep the information represented by the interconnected networks? How to better design smart products?

  • You will contribute to the development of an innovative and practical method to make the integration of the mechanical, electronic, and data views, by considering the interconnection-based networks approach;
  • You will be part of a greater team that aims defining the new generation of PLM system through the E-PLM project;
  • You will apply methods for comparative analysis to systemically compare diverse cases;
  • You will develop creative design approaches for mechatronic and smart products;
  • You will collaborate with regional partners to test design approaches in the context of the E-PLM project.

Your profile

  • You hold a master’s degree in industrial design, systems engineering, mechanical engineering, software engineering or another relevant interdisciplinary specialization.
  • You have strong academic and communicative skills and practical experience in one or more of the following research areas: systems engineering, data modelling, product design and development, and industrial design.
  • You are fluent in English. If available, IELTS test results (minimum score 6.5), TOEFL-iBT (minimum score 90) or Cambridge CAE or CPE are desirable.
  • You look forward collaborating with researchers, policymakers and practitioners in diverse countries and from different disciplines.
  • Ideally, you have experience working in an international context and co-producing knowledge with societal partners.
  • You have a passion for improving product design and development around the world.

Information and application
For further information, please contact dr. Marcus Pessoa, email:

The start of the project is as soon as possible. Candidates expecting to graduate soon are also invited to apply. Your application should be submitted before October 6th, 2017, by link below.

Our offer

We offer a very challenging fulltime position for four years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. We work in a dynamic ecosystem with enthusiastic colleagues, in which internationalization is an important part of the strategic agenda.

  • A starting salary of € 2.222,- in the first year and a salary of € 2.840,- in the fourth year gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • Minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment;
  • Professional and personal development programs.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: MIRA, CTIT, SBE and IGS.

Deadline: October 06, 2017.

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