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PhD-Estimating and Predicting Mobility Patterns, Netherlands


Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

The Department of Transport and Planning (T&P) focuses on the planning, design, operation and management of transport systems, addressing road transport, public transport and passenger and freight transport systems. T&P consists of 70-80 staff members, of whom 20 are permanent. The department is responsible for the T&P track in the MSc programme of Civil Engineering in the TU Delft Transport Institute and coordinates the interfaculty MSc programme of Transport, Infrastructure and Logistics. T&P is the only civil engineering research group in the Netherlands that was awarded the maximum score.

Job description

Understanding, estimating and predicting multi-modal mobility patterns is a complex task, since it involves predicting the result of decisions and interactions between millions of actors. For many years this task involved making a great many assumptions, which resulted in modelling approaches ranging widely from coarse equilibrium methods to highly detailed, activity-based methods.

In this project, part of the SETA EU project, the starting point is (huge amounts of really BIG) data from social media, GPS traces and much more, that make it possible to identify, estimate and calibrate highly detailed activity and choice models. These will be put to the test in three EU test-sites (Birmingham, Santander, Turin), to develop and improve new information services for both travelers and (public) transport operators, whereby mobility services can be improved and tailored to serve the needs of travelers at lower costs and higher performance levels. Using these unique data, your tasks are to explore, develop and evaluate prediction methods for both mobility demand and supply.

You will be supervised by Dr. Oded Cats and Prof. Van Lint and will work in the Delft integrated Traffic and Travel Laboratory ( of the Transport and Planning Department. In this project you will closely cooperate with an international team of experts in this exciting, emerging field.


You have a relevant MSc degree in transportation or a related field and a strong affinity for computer science. Alternatively, you have an MSc degree in computer science and a strong affinity for mobility. In either case, you have proven programming and data processing skills (in Matlab or e.g. Python, JAVA) and proven English communication skills, both in writing and orally. You are a team player (e.g. able to collaboratively do research and write papers) but you are also able to work independently. Most importantly, you are curious and eager to learn new things, prepared to travel and to work beyond 9-5 if needed.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including a discount for health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. An International Children’s Centre offers day care, before- and after-school care and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Oded Cats, To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, motivation letter and publication list. Make sure to include in your motivational letter (and/or CV) examples of projects in which you succesfully demonstrate your programming and data processing skills. Please e-mail your application by 1 November 2011 to Dr. Cats,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number CITG15-35.

Further Information

Application Deadline : 1 November 2015

PhD-Estimating and Predicting Mobility Patterns : PDF

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Posted on 2015-10-22 00:23:39

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