PhD scholarship in Mesoscopic Simulation of Urban Transport

DTU Management Engineering
Tuesday 18 Apr 17

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The Division of Transport Modelling of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), Department of Management Engineering, is looking for excellent applicants to pursue a PhD study in mesoscopic simulation of urban transport starting in June 2017. The study is related to the IPTOP research project on Integrated Public Transport Optimisation and Planning. 

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD project will be working with mesoscopic transport models. Mesoscopic models are attractive by modelling network flows and interactions more accurately than aggregate macroscopic models while, opposite microscopic models, still being applicable to large-scale cases. The MATSim transport simulator is one of the transport models which our group is working with, and this is expected to be the primary software used in the PhD project. MATSim is java-based and open source.

During the PhD we will give methodological contributions to state-of-the-art research and contribute to the further development of MATSim, e.g. by the development and implementation of behaviourally realistic route choice models and better and consistent modelling of bicycles.

The project will also give practical contributions to the advancement of realistic modelling of the Greater Copenhagen Area transport network, as this will be the case-study area. Moreover, we will develop a fully disaggregate MATSim model for the case-study and calibrate this using real-life observed data from e.g. the public transport operators.

The objective of the PhD study is thus to develop methods enabling the establishment of a behaviourally realistic mesoscopic model for the Greater Copenhagen Area. In contrast to existing models it should simulate busses, cars, bicycles and pedestrians in the same urban space, and should model how the different modes of transport interact (delays etc.) for the whole extend of the large case-study area.

Candidates should have 

  • A Master’s specialisation in transportation engineering, computer engineering, statistics, computer science, or related
  • Excellent programming capabilities, preferably in Java since this is the language which MATSim software is coded in
  • Excellent background in statistics and probabilities

Experience with the MATSim software is preferred.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarships for the PhD degree are subject to academic approval, and the candidates will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes of DTU. For information about the general requirements for enrolment and the general planning of the scholarship studies, please see the DTU PhD Guide.   

The assessment of the applicants will be made by May 2017. 

We offer
We offer an interesting and challenging job in an international environment focusing on education, research, scientific advice and innovation, which contribute to enhancing the economy and improving social welfare. We strive for academic excellence, collegial respect and freedom tempered by responsibility. The Technical University of Denmark (DTU) is a leading technical university in northern Europe and benchmarks with the best universities in the world.

Salary and appointment terms
The salary and appointment terms are consistent with the current rules for PhD degree students. The period of employment is 3 years.

The workplace will be at the Transport Modelling Division, DTU Management Engineering, DTU Lyngby Campus. 

The PhD-student is also expected to have a study-stay at 3-6 months a university outside Denmark during the study. The location will be agreed in the beginning of the study. 

Further information
Further information may be obtained from Professor Otto Anker Nielsen, tel.: +45 4525 1514 or mail

You can read more about DTU Management Engineering on  

Please submit your online application no later than 2 May 2017. 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 Engineering 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.   

DTU is a technical university providing internationally leading research, education, innovation and scientific advice. Our staff of 5,800 advance science and technology to create innovative solutions that meet the demands of society; and our 10,600 students are being educated to address the technological challenges of the future. DTU is an independent academic university collaborating globally with business, industry, government, and public agencies.