Postdoc in deterioration and reliability modelling for sewer asset management

Research / Academic


The Dutch urban drainage sector invests approximately 1.5 billion euros annually to provide crucial sewerage services, such as safe drainage and the prevention of flooding. A lack of reliable condition data and the current inability to relate condition to performance is hindering informed, proactive sewer asset management.

The aim of this postdoc position is to improve sewer condition assessment by applying and/or developing statistical models for the structural deterioration and reliability modelling of sewers. In the course of this, the information output for deterioration and performance assessment shall be improved and the added value of information from automated (multi-sensor) inspection be investigated. There is a PhD in the project who focuses on the development of automated defect detection and classification algorithms. Together with the PhD student and a postdoc in an adjacent project, an experimental set up will be developed to test and benchmark automated multi-sensor defect detection and classification in the lab and under real-world conditions.

This project is conducted in collaboration with the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science part of the Cooperation Programme Technology Innovation for Sewer Condition Assessment (TISCA). Regular interaction with the other project members and partners, as well as active participation in preparing and conducting workshops is expected to strengthen the practical relevance of the project.


Our ideal candidate

  • holds a recently completed PhD (<3 years) in a relevant field, such as environmental/ civil/ mechanical engineering, operations research, statistics
  • has experience in statistical modelling and programming (preferably R, Python or Matlab); prior work with technical infrastructures as well as sensors is a plus
  • is analytically minded, self-driven and strives for science that is both cutting-edge and practically relevant; openness to working across disciplines and paradigms is an asset
  • has an excellent written and spoken command of English and a proven publication record
  • has working knowledge of Dutch – or willingness to learn it – to enable interaction with our partners from public administration and businesses

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.

Work Hours:

30 - 40 hours per week


Stevinweg 1