Skip to ContentSkip to Navigation
About us Working with us Job opportunities

PhD position in Specification Management for Control System Design (1.0 FTE) (220270)

Job description

PhD position for the project “Specification Management for Control System Design” within the TTW Perspectief programme DIGITAL TWIN.

In this project, we will develop a framework for expressing complex control specifications using so-called assume-guarantee contracts. These contracts are inspired by results from computer science and have the potential to express a rich class of control specifications. They will be supported with tools for compositional analysis, allowing for deriving specifications on interconnected systems on the basis of specifications on its components. In addition, tools for data-based verification of component specifications will be developed.

This PhD project is part of the Dutch NWO AES Perspectief programme on DIGITAL TWIN.

The development of reliable and agile digital twins of high-tech systems and materials is key to enabling shorter time-to-market, zero-defect and flexible manufacturing systems with accurate predictive maintenance. This crucial development is currently hampered by the lack of synergy between model-based engineering and data-driven/artificial intelligence approaches. The DIGITAL TWIN programme will develop key-enabling technologies for full digitisation of the value chain of high-tech systems and materials by the integration of data-driven learning approaches and model-based engineering methods.

This NWO AES Perspectief programme is a five-year comprehensive research programme on the development of digital twin and digital twinning methods, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) within the domain of Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES). This collaborative programme involves six universities: University of Groningen, Eindhoven University of Technology, TU Delft, University of Twente, Leiden University and Tilburg University and twelve industrial partners.


The successful candidate should have:

• a master degree in (Applied) Mathematics, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, or Computer Science, or an equivalent degree, from a top university
• strong academic credentials, written and spoken English proficiency
• strong knowledge in systems and control theory and mathematics, with an interest in doing fundamental research.


Founded in 1614, the University of Groningen, the Netherlands, enjoys an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative institution of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Flexible study programmes and academic career opportunities in a wide variety of disciplines encourage the 32,000 students and researchers alike to develop their own individual talents. As one of the best research universities in Europe, the University of Groningen has joined forces with other top universities and networks worldwide to become a truly global centre of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering, the Bernoulli Institute for Mathematics, Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence has the mission to perform outstanding academic research and teaching in pure and applied science. The research unit Systems, Control and Applied Analysis (SCAA) is focused on mathematical systems and control theory as well as its applications. More information can be found using the following link:

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,395 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,061 gross per month in the fourth and final year, based on a full-time position (1.0 FTE)
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus.
• the position is limited to a period of 4 years; a PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering.

The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible after September 2020.


Do you want to become a member of our team? Please send your application to us, by submitting the following documents:

• letter of motivation
• CV (including contact information for at least two academic references)
• a list of publications (if any)
• transcripts from your bachelor’s and master’s degree.

You can submit your application until 6 September 11:59pm / before 7 September 2020 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university website).

We are an equal opportunity employer that values diversity. We have adopted an active policy to increase the number of female scientists across all disciplines of the university. Therefore, women are encouraged to apply. Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP), and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers,

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

  • Dr Bart Besselink, b.besselink

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

Additional information