PhD: Public Transport Data Analysis & Modelling

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

Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences of Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) provides leading international research and education, with innovation and sustainability as central themes. Research and education are closely interwoven and address societal challenges. The Faculty consists of the departments of Transport and Planning, Structural Engineering, Geoscience and Engineering, Water Management, Hydraulic Engineering, and Geoscience and Remote Sensing.

The Transport and Planning Department (T&P) has been awarded the maximum score for all research assessments for the last 15 years. The faculty was ranked second in the latest QS world university ranking. T&P (about 80 members) has a strong track record in traffic flow theory, traffic simulation, dynamic traffic management, and intelligent transport systems of all transport modes, including railway, pedestrians, and urban public transport. A trademark of the department is the use of empirical data, incorporation of human factors, and advanced modelling tools.

Job description

In 2018, the new North-South metro line will be in operation in Amsterdam. The network of buses and trams will be adjusted accordingly. The TU Delft and Amsterdam universities will monitor and analyse the impacts of such a substantial change in public transport supply on passengers, the city, and society. The task of the PhD student is to analyse public transport ridership and passenger choices before and after the introduction. This implies passenger patterns and preferences with regard to factors such as comfort, reliability, and transfers. A combination of data sources will be available (e.g. AVL, smartcard and surveys) to derive passenger behaviour. Both the actual and perceived level of service will be analysed. The final objective is to develop passenger choice models supporting demand forecasts. This research will be performed in close cooperation with the operator and transit authority.


We are looking for highly talented and driven candidates. You have:
• a relevant MSc degree in transportation or a related applied science field.
• an analytical approach to problem solving and eagerness to learn new things.
• a proven background and interest in further developing your modelling and analytical skills.
• complete proficiency in English.
• ability to contribute to a stimulating research environment.
• interest in public transport planning and operations.
• excellent communication skills, ability to cooperate with both scientists and transport professionals.
Special background advantages are travel behaviour analysis, demand modelling, and data analytics.

Conditions of employment

The TU Delft offers an attractive, customisable compensation and benefits package, including 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 day care, before- and after-school care 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. Niels van Oort, To apply, please e-mail a detailed CV, proof of English language proficiency, abstract of your MSc thesis (1 page), 2 pages about your ideas of an approach and methodology to assess the impact of a new public transport line on passenger flows and quality, including elaborating on data and modelling aspects, along with a letter of application in a single PDF file entitled “CiTG17.24_Lastname.pdf” by 10 October 2017 to Dr. van Oort via Please make sure to include in your document examples of projects in which you successfully demonstrate your public transport knowledge and modelling, and/or data analytics skills.

Enquiries from agencies are not appreciated.


Civil Engineering and Geosciences
Master degree
Working hours
4 years
€2222 to €2840 per month gross

Closing date
Oct. 10, 2017
Vacancy nr.


For more information about this job, please contact Niels van Oort, Assistant Professor.


For more information about the application procedure, please contact Niels van Oort/Transport & Planning.