PhD position Data and modelling for high quality drinking water supply

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)

Delft, Netherlands 🇳🇱

Efficient, resilient and cost-effective, high-quality drinking water supply in European context 

Job description

The PhD candidate will work under the EU funded ToDrinQ project. The overall objective of the ToDrinQ project is to support the implementation of the revised Drinking Water Directive and to significantly enhance the scientific and technical knowledge on drinking water quality protection, monitoring and treatment by developing and testing a compendium of modular complementary innovations, including novel real time sensing and water quality parameters technologies, and interoperable, easy to deploy decision tools that support resilient, evidence-based treatment plant design and improved overall water system operational awareness and risk-based response.

You will, amongst others, design and develop ‘soft sensors’, whereby software solutions, including novel deep/machine learning tools, are developed to integrate multiple heterogeneous (water quality) data, to allow the monitoring of parameters that are not directly observable.

In addition, you will develop computer methods and tools to provide evidence-based advice to water supply operators, will design and develop innovative modules supporting operators, by providing alarms, system information and intervention pathways for risk mitigation, and will further develop an integrated (but modular and flexible) platform able to support operators in monitoring and controlling their drinking water systems.

The ToDrinQ project consists of many partners all over Europe, including academia, technology providers and end-users. Apart from scientific research, you will co-operate with the partners to identify the needs and to implement prototypes of the developed methods and tools. Regular visits to the partners is part of the project.


  • MSc in Control Engineering, Civil Engineering, ICT, Mathematics, Physics, or related areas
  • Strong interest in water quality, water supply and/or water treatment technologies
  • Modelling experience and programming skills, preferably in Python, proven by previous studies and work
  • Independent, self-motivated, curiosity-driven mind, open to communicate and collaborate with peers and partners
  • A scientific attitude and analytical skills combined with a hands-on mentality
  • Excellent spoken and written English

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements.

Conditions of employment

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2541 per month in the first year to € 3247 in the fourth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills.

The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Civil Engineering & Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact   

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 31 March 2023 via the application button and upload your motivation and CV.

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development