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Two PhD Positions for BALAN-SE: supporting the BALANcing act of Systems Engineers and System Architects


Function types
Scientific fields
Job number
About employer
PhD positions
Natural Sciences, Engineering
40.0 hours per week
€ 2191 - € 2801
University Graduate
University of Twente (UT)

Job description

ASML develops high-tech machines that are used in semiconductor manufacturing. The machines use the latest and most advanced achievements in software engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and mechatronics. Systems engineers and system architects work with engineers to define and realize a successful system design.

The core task of a systems engineer/system architect is to balance various aspects to come to a coherent, well-functioning and profitable system design. Balancing is challenging as very diverse and dissimilar aspects have to be traded. In this research we aim at providing support tools, techniques and methods for this system-level balancing.

Model Based systems engineering (MBSE) promises that elaborate use of models will lead to increased consistency, easier integration and more reuse. In the early phase of development (when these decisions have to be made) there may be a limited amount of information available, depending on the newness and level of detail. Even more so, the information that is available is often incomplete or may have large error margins. This hampers application of MBSE.

The two PhD researchers in this project will work on facilitating trade-offs in developing complex machines. There will be close cooperation between the two.

PhD candidate #1 will start from the current - pragmatic - way of working at ASML, will investigate and improve this way of working.

PhD candidate #2 will start from a formal - MBSE-based - approach, and identify shortcomings and how these can be addressed and removed.

Through "industry as laboratory", working as a junior systems engineer at ASML, and a number of joint workshops with people from industry and academia, the two candidates will arrive at a method and tools to enable system architects in making founded and communicable trade-offs, despite missing, incomplete and inaccurate information.

The research will be executed partly at the University of Twente, under supervision of the promotor (prof.dr.ir. F.J.A.M van Houten) and daily supervisor and co-promotor (dr.ir. G.M. Bonnema) and partly at ASML under supervision of dr. T. Siefkes and ir. R. Compen. The PhD candidate will be appointed at the University of Twente. A user group will be formed by the involved partners to warrant the link to practice.


We seek two enthusiastic PhD candidates with a background in, or affinity with, (multidisciplinary) systems design and engineering. Possible backgrounds are Masters in Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Software Engineering, Industrial Design Engineering. Experience with mechatronics and/or complex systems design can be an advantage.

For PhD candidate #2

affinity with formal methods is an advantage.

For PhD candidate #1

we value affinity with user groups and social sciences.

Some of the desired skills can be acquired during an individual training programme as part of the PhD project. We consider it important that the candidates are able to view his/her research from a broader perspective and that he/she is willing and able to collaborate closely with the other PhD candidate and involved users in the team. Therefore, we welcome entrepreneurial candidates with an open mind, strong communication skills and excellent comprehension of English, in both spoken language and writing. Comprehension of the Dutch language has a strong advantage.

More information
For more information about this vacancy you can contact Dr.ir. Maarten Bonnema, telephone +31 53 489 2548, e-mail: g.m.bonnema@utwente.nl. More information about the department Design, Production and Management can be found on https://www.utwente.nl/en/et/research/departments-research-chairs/#design-production-and-management

The start of the project is planned early-2017. Candidates that expect to graduate around the start of this project are also invited to apply.

Please send your application, with a curriculum vitae, transcript (list with grades of courses attended), references and, if applicable, a list of publications before January 15th through the link below.

Conditions of employment

We offer a very challenging PhD position in an inspiring multidisciplinary environment. As a PhD candidate you will be appointed in a full-time position for a period of 4 years, after which you should have completed your PhD thesis.

Gross monthly salary for this position will range from € 2.191,- in the first year up to € 2.801,- gross per month in the fourth year (in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities). The University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance (8%) and an end-of-year bonus (8.3%), and a number of additional benefits


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

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (CTW) is one of the six faculties of the University of Twente. CTW 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.


Closing date: 15.01.2017
Closing date: 15 January 2017 Erschienen auf academics.de am 16.12.2016
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