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2 PhD positions: Systems and Product Portfolio development in High-Tech industry

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General information


The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) engages in education and research Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering with a view to enabling society and industry to innovate and create value using sound, efficient and sustainable technology. We are part of a ‘people-first' university of technology, taking our place as an internationally leading centre for smart production, processes and devices in five domains: Health Technology, Maintenance, Smart Regions, Smart Industry and Sustainable Resources. Our faculty is home to some 1,800 Bachelor's and Master's students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates and offers three degree programmes: Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our educational and research programme are closely connected with UT research institutes Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

As an employer, the ET Faculty offers jobs that matter. We equip you as a staff member to shape new opportunities both for yourself and for our society. With our Faculty, you will be part of a leading tech university that is changing our world for the better. We offer an open, inclusive and entrepreneurial climate, in which we encourage you to make healthy choices, for example, with our flexible, customizable conditions.   



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Academic staff - PhD

Job title

2 PhD positions: Systems and Product Portfolio development in High-Tech industry

Minimum salary


Maximum salary


Job description

The core task of a systems engineer/system architect is to balance a multitude of aspects like reliability, productivity, efficiency, cost and time to market in order to design coherent, well-functioning and profitable systems, regarded over the entire life-cycle. Classical Systems Engineering focusses on the system to be built (system under design, SUD). However, in the current increasingly more complex world, embedding the SUD in the organizations that develop, build and maintain families of complex systems pose additional challenges. The already challenging balancing act for the SUD becomes even more daunting as in addition to the systems related aspects, we also include the diverse and dissimilar aspects of planning, manning and funding in the development organization. This is further complicated by incomplete and sometimes inaccurate information!

Summarizing, we aim at balancing technical and organizational aspects to come to clear development goals and decisions. It is your task to develop tools, methods and approaches for this balancing that are scientifically sound and will be adopted in industry!

We are looking for two highly motivated and hardworking PhD candidates to take up these challenges. You will work in a stimulating multidisciplinary scientific environment and in industry. The challenges described require novel scientifically founded approaches, and the approaches need to work in real life. Therefore, you will spend a significant part of your time at our industrial partner where you will be involved in (system) design challenges and decision making. Specifically, you will: 1) Investigate decision making in complex system development. One researcher will look from a technical perspective, the other from an organizational and product portfolio perspective. 2) Develop novel systems engineering and architecting tools, methods and approaches to support in these decision making processes, considering their multidisciplinary nature. 3) Test and evaluate the tools, methods and approaches in a real development environment.



  • A MSc degree. For the one candidate this degree should be in systems engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, civil engineering, software engineering, applied physics, or related field. For the other candidate in systems engineering, business administration, industrial engineering, or related field.
  • Understanding of, and experience with Systems Engineering principles and approaches.
  • Preferably working experience in a high-tech industrial context.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.
  • The ability to operate at the intersection of various fields.
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers, developers, engineers and other staff at the university and the industrial partner.

This position requires access to U.S. controlled technology, as defined in the United States Export Administration Regulations. Qualified candidates must be legally authorized to access such U.S. controlled technology prior to beginning work.

We offer

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high societal relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:

  • Two full-time 4-year PhD positions;
  • Excellent mentorship in a vibrant research and industrial environment at the UT and our industrial partner in the Eindhoven-region;
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.395 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.061 in the fourth year;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • Full status as an UT-employee, including pension and health care benefits.

Information and application

Please submit your application ultimately 30 April 2021 using the “Apply now” button, and include:

  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4, explaining specific interests, the motivation for the application, and why you qualify for this project.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae.
  • A short movie of at most 90 seconds, in which you briefly talk about your recent research, such as your master thesis.

Interviews will be held following the submission closure. Additional information about this position can be acquired from Dr. ir. Maarten Bonnema (email: g.m.bonnema@utwente.nl).

Position localisation

Job location

Nederland, Enschede, Drienerlolaan 5, 7522 NB


Drienerlolaan 5 7522 NB Enschede

Candidate criteria

Minimum level of education required

4. Master

Scientific area