PhD: Eco-efficient aircraft routing to largely reduce climate impact

Research / Academic

Aviation is a strong and growing sector that guarantees long-range mobility. However, it also contributes significantly to climate change. Emissions from aircraft increase the atmospheric concentrations of e.g., carbon dioxide, ozone, and water vapour. Another very important effect is the formation of contrails, which also contribute to climate change. Typically, flight routes are optimised for costs and travel time. First results indicate that a slight re-routing and avoiding regions with contrail formation or large ozone productions, significantly reduces the aviation’s contribution to climate change.

Your work will be part of the European project FlyATM4E, which aims at identifying routings that have a large potential to reduce climate warming, but do not require additional costs. These “Cherry-Picking” solutions will be investigated with an Earth-System Model, which includes an air traffic simulator, allowing for various air traffic optimisations.

Your research includes active discussions with the European project partners, including developing optimisation strategies, implementing them in the air traffic simulator, optimizing flight trajectories subject to different strategies and analysing in depth the simulated atmospheric response with respect to contrails, chemical composition and carbon dioxide.


The candidate should have a Master's degree in an area relevant to the subject, e.g. atmospheric sciences, (applied) physics, (applied) chemistry,  aerospace engineering, or mathematics. A combination of good mathematical/analytical skills and advanced programming skills with a strong interest in interdisciplinary work is advantageous for this position.

Salary Benefits:

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. 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.

Work Hours:

38 hours per week


Kluyverweg 1