Vacancy for a PhD position on 'Optimizing performance of Automatic Train Operation on railway networks'

17th July, 2020

The Digital Rail Traffic Lab has a new PhD position in cooperation with ProRail. 

ProRail expects a considerable growth in railway transport of 30% until 2030 and even up to 40% until 2040. However, the current Dutch railway system is already approaching its capacity limits. Therefore, an innovative change in operation and control is required to enable stable and reliable railway traffic at high capacity occupation levels. TU Delft and ProRail collaborate in a research programme that will develop intelligent automation of the planning, operation and management of railway traffic to achieve improved, more frequent, and sustainable railway transport. One of the pillars of this digital transformation is Automatic Train Operation (ATO) connected to intelligent traffic management systems and the European Rail Traffic Management System (ERTMS). ATO will (partially) automate driving tasks depending on the Grade of Automation, with the aim to achieve accurate driving with smaller buffer times and minimal energy consumption. The research objective of this PhD research is to develop methods and algorithms for Automatic Train Operation to optimize capacity on mainline railway networks. For a more detailed research description click here

The duration of the PhD position will be four years (48 months). You will be employed in the Digital Rail Traffic Lab within the Department of Transport and Planning, Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences, Delft University of Technology, under the supervision of Prof. Goverde. You will also work within the ATO Team at ProRail for one day per week. Moreover, you will enroll in the CEG Graduate School ( and join the TRAIL Research School ( 

We are looking for candidates with an MSc in transport, Operations Research, or related fields, and an interest in railways. Excellent English level is required while mastering Dutch is an advantage.

To apply for this position, please e-mail your motivation letter, a detailed CV, and grade lists of your BSc and MSc courses to Prof. Dr. Rob Goverde, before September 1, 2020.