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PhD in Optimisation of Aircraft Terminal Operations, Netherlands


The faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world's largest faculties devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. In the Netherlands it is the only research and education institute directly related to the aerospace engineering sector. It covers the whole spectrum of aerospace engineering subjects. In aeronautics, the faculty covers subjects ranging from aerodynamics and flight propulsion to structures and materials and from control and simulation to air transport and operations. In astronautics, topics include astrodynamics, space missions and space systems engineering. The faculty has around 2,500 BSc and MSc students, 214 PhD candidates and 27 professors supported by scientific staff.
The faculty's mission is to be the best Aerospace Engineering faculty in the world, inspiring and educating students through modern education techniques and enabling staff to perform ambitious research of the highest quality for the future of aerospace. The working atmosphere at the faculty is friendly, open-minded and dedicated.

The mission of the Department of Control and Operations is to improve the safety and efficiency of operations in aerospace and to reduce their impact on the environment. The department comprises three sections: Control and Simulation, which focuses on the development of advanced automatic control systems; Air Transport and Operations, whose goal is to improve operational performance by optimising capacity, costs, environmental impact, and safety; and Aircraft Noise and Climate Effects, which focuses on reducing aircraft noise, emissions and the effects of aviation on climate change.

The Air Transport and Operations Section is a vibrant and youthful group of 15 enthusiastic staff members and PhDs with 40 MSc students per year. ATO has three research aims: 1) to develop radical new ways to optimise aircraft operations for efficiency, safety, cost and environmental impact; 2) to extend the analysis to an airline fleet and network level to include capacity and resilience; and 3) to synthesise these to include operational safety at an airline and ATM level.

Job description

Airports face increasing challenges due to the growth of air traffic movements on the one hand, and growing environmental awareness of surrounding communities on the other. The objective of this PhD research is to develop a multi-level optimisation methodology to minimise the environmental impact of aircraft operations on near-airport communities, while taking into account airport and airspace capacity, and external safety. This methodology could include a resource allocation algorithm to cover parameters such as runway allocation, procedure/route allocation (SID/STAR), and aircraft sequencing. This could be combined with an algorithm to optimise departure and arrival routes for individual aircraft, aircraft types or classes of aircraft. The main objectives of the optimisation methodology should be the mitigation of noise and pollutant emissions in surrounding communities, while taking into account the interests of other stakeholders such as airports, Air Traffic Control, airlines, etc.


Applicants should have an MSc degree in Engineering, or the equivalent thereof, and good computer programming skills. A good team spirit and the ability to function in a multidisciplinary group is required. In addition, an affinity with aircraft operations and environmental impact is desirable.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, 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 childcare 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. 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. Sander Hartjes, phone: +31 (0)15-2788925, e-mail: To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, references and MSc thesis along with a letter of application by 15 February 2016 to Vera van Bragt,
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number LR15-32.

Further Information

Application Deadline : 15 February 2016

PhD in Optimisation of Aircraft Terminal Operations : PDF

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Posted on 2016-01-09 02:12:37

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