PhD: Design-led Innovation Infrastructures

Department/faculty: Industrial Design Engineering
Level: Master degree
Working hours: 38 hours per week
Contract: 4 years
Salary: €2222 to €2840 per month gross

Industrial Design Engineering

The Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering is world-leading in design education and research, integrating design knowledge about people, technology and business into solutions that are desirable, feasible and viable. The Faculty consists of 25 full Professors, 120 faculty members, 120 PhD students and about 2000 Bachelor and Master students. At IDE we believe that by creating insights into people and society, and by developing foresights on how technology can improve our future, we enable designers to be inspirational yet realistic leaders that can move the needle towards a better future.

The education and research of the PIM Department focuses on the methodological, organisational, and market aspects of new product and service design. The aim is to help designers create value propositions that provide opportunities for innovation in business (networks), leading to strategically sound, sustainable and commercially successful new products and services. The department aims to support organisations in designing new Product-Service Systems by putting people at the core of their activities. By doing so, organisations collaborate better across silos, in customer networks and with suppliers to develop new value propositions. We develop foundational and applied knowledge in close collaboration with industry, design agencies, and consultants.

Job description

This PhD position contributes to the faculty's efforts in exploring the contribution of design in the aviation industry. This includes embedding design strategically, designing with the passenger in mind, and encouraging design-led innovation through the aviation ecosystem. This PhD is situated at the cross-section of design and business, with the user perspective and technology as primary means to achieve breakthroughs in the aviation industry encompassing the entire system.
This vacancy is positioned in the partnership between the faculty and KLM (Royal Dutch Airlines). In this five-year project KLM and IDE aim at investigating how organisations can be supported in delivering their customer promise. Two PhDs form the basis of this study. The first focuses on developing design capabilities in the organisation, the second on developing a design-led innovation infrastructure. The first PhD has been filled; this vacancy focuses on the second topic.

Key aspects are:
Developing a methodology for KLM's operations internally, focusing on tools, methods, processes and infrastructure, by balancing strategy and operations, including upscaling a collaboration platform for KLM departments, IDE, the creative industry, and other aviation industry partners.

You will initiate, develop and perform research on design-led innovation infrastructures. You will publish in high-quality, design-relevant conferences and journals as well as other media. You will support and investigate the innovation activities within their context at KLM.

For more information, please see


We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:
• Master of Science in the area of strategic design, innovation management, or design management
• Strong interest in academic research, specifically in action research
• Experience with projects related to service design, strategic design, innovation processes such as agile/design sprint, design management will be appreciated.
• Interest in combining doing research as well as being active within the context of research (the candidate is expected to work approx. 2 days a week at KLM, the organisation of study)
• Good communication skills and an excellent command of the English language
• Self-motivation, ability to work in an interdisciplinary team
• International network.

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. An International Children’s Centre offers childcare and an international primary school. Dual Career Services offers support to accompanying partners. Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.
As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment; an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor; and a Doctoral Education Programme aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. Please visit for more information.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Dr. Christine de Lille,
Your application must contain the following documents:
• Cover letter (two pages maximum), where you explain your interest in the vacancy and explicitly explain in which ways you are a good match.
• An extensive curriculum vitae including a publication list (if any) and an overview of past projects.
• Names and contact information of two persons willing to provide a reference letter.
Please e-mail your application by 1 July 2017 to
When applying for this position, please refer to vacancy number AT/IO-0741.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Industrial Design Engineering
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
July 1, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Christine de Lille, Assistant Professor.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact Bianca van Someren-Rijneveld/HR.