Postdoc in Artificial Intelligence Modelling of Coordination of Humanitarian Relief for Climate Resilient Airport Operations

Delft University of Technology


Postdoc: Artificial Intelligence Modelling of Coordination of Humanitarian Relief for Climate Resilient Airport Operations


Department/faculty: Faculty Aerospace Engineering
Level: Doctorate
Working hours: 38.0 hours weekly
Contract: 2 years
Salary: 3255 - 4274 euros monthly (full-time basis)

Faculty Aerospace Engineering



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 2,700 BSc and MSc students, 225 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.


Job description


Airports play a crucial role in facilitating humanitarian aid, but are often situated in susceptible locations to climatic disasters. The ability to be resilient and operate effectively during such adverse events can therefore be seriously compromised. It is difficult to legislate for serious damage, loss of communications, excessive arrival of aid, and evacuation demands etc. However, coordination is crucial and is something that is often missing or mismanaged, leading to severe lack of operational efficiency and capacity in disaster relief.

This research position will focus on the formal understanding and modelling of coordination in the processing of humanitarian aid through an airport from arrival to distribution from the airport. Artificial Intelligence (AI) techniques such as Agent Based Modelling & Simulation (ABMS) will be used within the context of a Multi-Actor System (MAS) in order to understand the challenges and processes in a formalised manner. This will lead to recommendations and potential procedures to increase resilience during the facilitation of humanitarian aid through airport operations. This entails the fundamental challenge of coupling detailed socio-technical models with inputs and sensitivity to systemic MAS models of the influencing actors coordinating the through-put of aid at an airport. This is a two year postdoc position in the first instance, with the possibility of extension through successful funding acquisition. It involves an ongoing collaboration in this research direction between two Faculties at TU Delft (Technology Policy & Management and Aerospace Engineering) and Delft’s research initiative DIMI (Delft Deltas, Infrastructure & Mobility Initiative).     




The ideal candidate will have a strong background and doctoral degree with good knowledge of AI Techniques (ABMS and MAS in particular), good programming skills and knowledge of airport operations. Knowledge of sociotechnical paradigms is considered to be a valuable asset.He/she should have a proven record in high quality journal publication, interdisciplinary research, and the ability to conceptualize and formalize processes and associated systems. The position also requires an inquisitive, enthusiastic inventive, open-minded person who works independently but interactively within an interdisciplinary team environment, linking and exploiting existing expertise within the team as well as their own novel approaches. Grant writing and valorisation experience would also be a highly beneficial asset. The candidate should have a very good command of English language, in direct communication as well as writing, as well as excellent interpersonal communication skills.


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. Coming to Delft Service organizes diverse events for new international employees and their accompanying partners, like Partner Career Workshops and Dutch Culture Workshops. Located on campus are the International Children’s Centre and an international primary school which are subject to availability as well as several bilingual schools in the nearby surrounding. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.


Information and application


For information about this vacancy, you can contact O.A. Sharpans'kykh, Assistant Professor, email:, tel: +31 15 27 81483.

For information about the selection procedure, please contact mw. N. Zoet, section secretary, telephone: +31(0)15-2781386, or email:  


To apply, please refer to vacancy number LR19.33.

Send your motivation letter, along with the following documentation:

    • detailed CV;


    • list of scientific publications;


    • research vision statement;


    • contact information of two or more possible references.

The documents shall be embedded within a single PDF-file and addressed to N. Zoet, section secretary, email:

The deadline for application is November 2nd, 2019.

In your application, please refer to