2 PhD Candidates for the Tiscali Project

The faculties of ITC (Prof. Su & Prof. van der Meijde), Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Informatics (Prof. Stramigioli) and Engineering Technology (Prof. Doree) opened two PhD vacancies for the project TISCALI (Technology Innovation for Sewer Condition Assessment with Long range Information system).

TISCALI is initiated and subsidized by the Dutch foundation of technological innovation (STW) and the water industry platforms RIONED and STOWA. The ultimate goal of the project is to further explore alternative technologies for sewage condition assessment. Nowadays, camera inspection is the most often used technologies. This technology, however, only delivers local inspection results. Such local pipe inspection is disruptive for the sewage and surrounding environment, labor intensive, and expensive. In addition, video inspection results are not useful to gain more general insight in the condition of a total sewer network system.

To enable larger scale sewage assessment TISCALI aims to develop a three stage systematic approach that conducts scans on macro, meso and micro level (i.e. aerial scans, street level scans and in-pipe inspections). The ambition is to achieve this by integrating low cost, off the shelf technologies (thermal imaging, ground penetrating radar, and in situ robots) for detection and quantification of defects in the sewage as input for determining constructive strengths of a sewage network.

The SCAUT is a collaborative project between the three faculties and various industry partners. The two selected PhD students hence work in partnership on the four work packages. The focus of the work of one PhD student will on WP1+2, the other mostly concentrates on WP3+4.

  • WP1. Detecting and evaluating potential “problem” locations in a fast manner by thermal infrared (TIR) remote sensing,
  • WP2. Using Ground Penetrating Radar and TIR on-site for qualitative sewer condition assessment,
  • WP3. Locally quantifying the sewer condition by means of an in-pipe robotic inspection
  • WP4. Building a “smart” subsurface information system, or toolkit, that supports objective sewer condition assessment.

Recruited PhD students will work at lab and field facilities (GeoScience laboratory, rapid prototyping lab, WRS Urban observation network and Safety Campus Twente) and real case testing locations in the Netherlands.

The recruiting committee selects candidates based on the following qualifications:

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

PhD position 2 has a multidisciplinary nature since it requires to use robotic technology, sensing, acquisition and visualization in a civil engineering context. We aim at a candidate with a background in one of the core technologies (robotics, sensors, programming or visualization) with a strong interest in civil engineering and maintenance. A candidate with a background in civil engineering with strong interest and knowledge in robotics/sensing might be equally applicable.

Your profile

  • Interested in the field of sewage systems and asset management
  • Be able to collaboratively conduct research projects
  • Having good communication and reporting skills
  • Good command of English language
  • Command (or interest in learning) of the Dutch language is desirable for dealing with some (most) of the user parties involved

Information and application

For any questions regarding applications, please contact Dr. Ir. W.J. Timmermans (e-mail:; tel.: +31 53 4874488), project leader of TISCALI.

Are you interested in working on this project? Please send your application with your motivation letter and a detailed CV (including contact information for at least two academic references) and transcripts from your Bachelors and Masters degrees as a SINGLE PDF file before 22 January 2017 through the link below (apply here).

Be aware that one can apply for both PhD position 1 (WP1+2) and PhD position 2 (WP3+4) but separate applications are needed.

Our offer

We offer a very challenging fulltime position for four years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (CAO NU) the gross monthly salary ranges from € 2.191,- in the first year to € 2.801,- in the fourth year. Additionally, the University of Twente provides excellent facilities for professional and personal development, a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus, and a number of additional benefits. Your main responsibility will be to carry out research, but you will be given the opportunity to acquire some teaching experience as well.
The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which drives change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university in the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. The University of Twente has a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out pioneering research.

The Faculty of Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation (ITC) of the University of Twente provides international postgraduate education, research and project services in the field of geo-information science and earth observation using remote sensing and GIS. The aim of ITC's activities is the international exchange of knowledge, focusing on capacity building and institutional development in developing countries and emerging economies.


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