PhD scholarship in Transport Network Modelling

tirsdag 06 okt 20

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Frist 1. december 2020
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In the Network Modelling Group we are looking for excellent PhD applicants to help us develop and apply methods that allow realistic and computationally attractive modelling of transport networks. The PhD position is part of a project funded by a research grant from the Independent Research Fund Denmark, with employment 1 March 2021 or when agreed upon. The research group consists of scholars with expert knowledge within various aspects of the field - we work across all modes of transport, with focus on developing large-scale applicable methods and gaining behavioural insights from large-scale data sources. Our group is a part of the Division of Transport, Department of Management, which also consists of research groups within machine learning for smart mobility, transport demand, transport economics and transport psychology. 

Congestion is rapidly increasing on the road network in the Greater Copenhagen Area, and the same tendency is seen in many metropolitan areas around the world. This is a nuisance to travellers, and causes huge daily societal losses. In order to be able to address the impacts of potential policies or infrastructure investments to address this, it is essential to have available a transport model capable of giving a realistic representation of the route choices of travellers and the network state. Developing and applying such network- and route choice models to large-scale networks are the overall focus of the PhD study. 

Specifically, we have a hypothesis that there is a limit to how long detours travellers are considering and are willing to accept, and this we will explore further in the research project. We will look at it from an empirical perspective by analysing a large-scale dataset consisting of observed route choices of individuals collected by GPS units. Subsequently, we will use these insights to develop a novel route choice- and network modelling framework that allocates flow only among realistic routes while leaving highly costly routes, or routes including unrealistic detours, unused. This is changing the modelling paradigm towards so-called bounded choice models, as opposed to traditional discrete choice models, that assume that users consider global choice sets. Ultimately, we will operationalise this framework by developing, implementing and validating corresponding and consistent solution methods using a real-life case. 

Responsibilities and tasks 
You will be involved in and contribute to all phases of the research project, with the possibility to adapt to your research interests. 

The research topics you may investigate include the following 

  • Empirical analysis of data: Exploration and statistical analysis of a Big Data set stemming from GPS units, investigating the route choice preferences of travellers and possible network characteristics of routes chosen/not chosen
  • Theoretical models of behaviour: Development of consistent theoretical model exploiting the insights gained from the empirical analysis, e.g. limiting the set of considered routes due to criteria on detours
  • Algorithms for large-scale network applications: Devise solution algorithms that can solve large-scale networks within reasonable computation time, facilitated by consistently reducing the complex network to a limited set of considered alternatives
  • Real-life application: Implement algorithms on large-scale case, perform calibration and validation using Big Data set of GPS observations.

The impact of the project has the potential to be huge, as the output could solve a massive challenge in current transport models and ultimately support that decisions regarding the transportation system of tomorrow is based on a better foundation. 

Candidates should have  

  • A MSc degree (120 ECTS points) in Transportation Modelling or Engineering, Computer Science, Applied Mathematics and Statistics, Computer Science, Behavioural or Experimental Economics, or related
  • Good programming capabilities in at least one language such as Matlab, Java or Python
  • Transportation Modelling disciplines in the education background is favoured

The following soft skills are also important

  • Curiosity and interest about how transportation networks operate and perform
  • Good communication skills in English, both written and orally
  • Willingness to engage in group-work with a multi-national team

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by 15 December 2020.  

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.   

Salary and appointment terms 
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be agreed upon with the relevant union. The period of employment is 3 years. 

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information
Further information may be obtained from
Associate Professor Thomas Kjær Rasmussen,

You can read more about DTU Management on   

Please submit your online application no later than 1 December 2020 (local time)
Applications must be submitted as one pdf file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online," fill in the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one pdf file. The file must include: 

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and excel spreadsheet here)

Candidates may apply prior to ob­tai­ning their master's degree, but cannot begin before having received it. 

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply. 

DTU Management contributes actively to the development of management tools and optimization of processes by using and re-thinking theoretical engineering perspectives, models, and methods. Through our research and teaching, we ensure an innovative, competitive, and sustainable organization and use of technologies within areas such as energy and climate, transportation, production and health, both domestic and abroad. DTU Management Engineering has 350 employees, including around 70 PhD students. More than 20% of our employees are from abroad and a total of 38 different nationalities are represented at the Department.  

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,000 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.