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5 Drienerlolaan
Enschede, Overste, 7522 NB

Zorgvuldige Ondergrondse Aanleg en Reductie Graafschade





Two Ph.D. positions open for applications (due 31 january 2017)

As of December 20 we officially started the application process for the selection of two prospective PhD candidates for the TISCALI project (Technological Innovation for Sewer Condition Assessment Long Range Information System). This project was initiated by the Dutch network for sewage professionals RIONED and the Dutch organizations for applied technology research, STW. We are recruiting for two different positions. Together,  the two PhD's develop a multi-layered system for macro, meso and micro assessment of sewage systems. Candidates will collaborate with each other, and will have contacts with industry partners (MapXact, OICAM, Safety Campus Twente, and ID-TEC). Development and testing will take place at the closely located labs in Enschede (GeoScience laboratory, rapid prototyping lab, WRS Urban observation network and Safety Campus Twente) as well as in real life situations. Since the project is part of a larger programme, STW plans also to organize meetings and trainings.

We preferably select candidates with a background in the fields: such as earth observation, robotics/mechatronics, civil engineering. More details are given below:

Specific for PhD position 1 (Thermal Infrared and Ground Penetrating Radar)

  • Background in earth sciences, physics, or remote sensing, familiarity with the other fields is a prerequisite
  • Familiarity with subsurface imaging through geophysical techniques
  • Understanding of thermal remote sensing principles
  • Interest in data processing, programming and visualization

Specific for PhD position 2 (In pipe inspection and subsurface information system)

  • Background in electrical/mechanical engineering, mechatronics or robotics
  • Basic understanding and interest in engineering of subsurface networks
  • Conceptual knowledge about infrastructure and building information modelling
  • Understanding of basic robotics and sensing technology principles
  • Interest and understanding of data collection and visualization
  • Ability to understand and create tools and visualizations in a suitable programming language


Are you interesting? Applications can be sent (only) via our official web portal



We are searching for the best MSc graduated in the field of Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Mechanical Engineering or related discipline, with a demonstrable affinity with design, construction management and multidisciplinary assignments. Besides, you must have the ambition and talent to accelerate in finding solutions / creating designs for complex civil technological issues with a multidisciplinary character.

We offer a full-time contract for a period of two years. The salary and conditions are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement (CAO) of the Dutch Universities. The gross salary is € 1.749,- per month while you follow a tailor made post-master design programme with a combination of education and working on a design project. The salary is supplemented with a holiday allowance of 8% and an end-of-year bonus of 8,3%. The University of Twente provides excellent support for professional and personal development. On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).

For the upcoming period, ZoARG needs for several of her projects technological designers with a MSc in Civil Engineering, Industrial Design, Mechanical Engineering or a related discipline. Below is a list of challenges relevant for reduction of excavation damages. We expect these challenges can/will be converted into PDEng-projects in the coming year.

1)    redesign of technology, process and utilisation for mechanical trenching

context: While digging excavators might hit and damage other cables and pipes – leading to dangers, delays, rework, hindrances. Recently a trencher with bristles was introduced as alternative for the traditional digger. First experiences in field are promising: quick, save and less damages. The applicability however is still limited because the design of the machine is not attuned to the site conditions and glass fibre laying operational process. Taking full advantage of this new bristle trenching technique requires an integral system redesign of the contractual clauses, FttH laying requirements, laying process, operations and machine characteristics. 

2)     improve traceability of cables and pipes contributes to damage prevention

context: Before and during excavation and breaking the soil specific measures are taken to prevent damage to other cable, pipes and underground infrastructures. It is required to announce the scheduled soil disturbing activities and to gather information from the utility owners at for location. Furthermore test trenches and trail pits are dug to identify cables and pipes, to verify the actual positions, to establish ownership, and to check the correctness of the upfront gathered information. This detection and identification would be easier, more reliable and robust if the cable and pipes would be better traceable.

3)     objectivisation of initial state

Laying of FttH in many case requires removing and replacement of the pavement and pave walks.  Municipalities require these surfaces to be brought back to their initial state. This necessitates taking detailed inventory of the state of the surfaces before the project, after the project and often also at end of the guarantee period to monitor soil setting. Currently personal visual inspection is the way to take inventory. This process is time consuming and can lead to quarrels over subjectivity and to claims. In some cases the contractor may offer a refurbishment of the paving. In these cases again the visual inspections are the main method to assess the quality of the work. There is a need for methods and techniques to reduce the effort and subjectivity of these inspections and assessments


Aan de volgende thema's wordt vanuit ZoARG aandacht besteed. Wij staan daarom open voor PDEng-voorstellen die strekken in de volgende richting:

4)    information package for the contractor in case of EMAT (econ. most advantageous tender)

5) developing BIM 5D simulation toolbox for excavation and laying of cables and pipes

6) creating an ontology (BIM) and object library for the underground infrastructure(s)

7) creating a toolkit for enhanced risk awareness in design and construction of sub-surface infrastructures


For more information, please contact Dr. Ir. L.L. olde Scholtenhuis via Applications can be submitted via email and should include CV, motivation letter and copy of the MSc certificate.