PhD Candidate on Machine Learning for Sustainable Industry

Research / Academic

The Institute for Computing and Information Sciences (iCIS) at Radboud University is looking for a PhD candidate to develop and apply machine learning and data science methods that can help make industry more sustainable. The key idea in the project is to combine data-driven and physics-based models to build what are known as digital twins: accurate virtual representations of the actual industrial process.

You will work within the crossover research project `The heat is on'. This project focuses on maximising the application of circular heat in dewatering and drying processes. For industries like agrofood, paper industry and specialty chemicals, some 40-80% of the CO2 emissions are related to energy. Besides Radboud University, six other research institutions are involved in `The heat is on': Eindhoven University of Technology, Groningen University, Wageningen Food & Biobased Research, NIZO, Rotterdam University of Applied Sciences and Hanze University of Applied Sciences Groningen. In addition, there are 14 private partners in the project: ISPT (coordinator), FrieslandCampina, Crown Van Gelder, Eska, Mayr-Melnhof Eerbeek, Sappi, Schut Papier, Smart Packaging Solutions, Nouryon, Teijin Aramid, Blue-tec, Mobatec, VNP and KWA.

The data science group at iCIS leads the 'Sensor Networks and Data Science' work-package and contributes knowledge on scalable machine learning, with an emphasis on predictive maintenance and process optimisation and control. We are looking for a candidate who will be excited to perform collaborative research within such a large, multidisciplinary consortium and directly contribute to the reduction of emissions.

This project is furthermore linked to the Radboud Centre for Green Information Technology (under establishment). Scientists from around 20 research departments at Radboud University with expertise in IT, materials, chemistry, ecology and the environment will join forces in this centre. Together with industrial and social partners, they will work on new, sustainable IT applications and solutions for energy-efficient data use.


  • A Master's degree in Computer Science, Artificial Intelligence, Mathematics or a related discipline.
  • Good programming skills in Python or similar computer languages.
  • Willingness to collaborate with researchers from different disciplines.
  • Affinity with machine learning and statistics.
  • A good command of spoken and written English.

Salary Benefits:

  • Employment: 1.0 FTE.
  • The gross starting salary amounts to €2,395 per month based on a 38-hour working week, and will increase to €3,061 from the fourth year (salary scale P).
  • In addition to the salary: an 8% holiday allowance and an 8.3% end-of-year bonus.
  • Duration of the contract: you will be appointed for an initial period of 18 months, after which your performance will be evaluated. If the evaluation is positive, the contract will be extended by 2.5 years  (4 year contract).
  • The intended start date is 1 September 2021.
  • Your education task may be up to 10% of your appointment.
  • You will be able to use our Dual Career and Family Care Services. Our Dual Career and Family Care Officer can assist you with family-related support, help your partner or spouse prepare for the local labour market, provide customized support in their search for employment and help your family settle in Nijmegen.
  • Have a look at our excellent employment conditions. They include a good work-life balance (among other things because of the excellent leave arrangements), opportunities for development and a great pension scheme.

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