PhD Scholarship in Development of an Integrated Optimisation Model for Operating Urban Transit System (SmoothTrip)

Tuesday 12 Jul 22

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Apply no later than 1 October 2022
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DTU Management’s Transport Division would like to invite applications for a 3-year PhD position starting on 1 March 2023 or earlier. The successful candidate will join the Network Modelling group of the Division of Transport under the supervision of Associate Professors Yu Jiang and Professor Otto Anker Nielsen.

We are looking for excellent applicants with a strong background in Operations Research, Transportation, Applied Mathematics, or Computer Science and with an ambition for excellence.

This position is funded by the Independent Research Fund Denmark. The candidate is expected to stay 6 months at Lancaster University Management School (LUMS), England.

Project Background
Public transport (PT) contributes to various sustainable development goals (SDGs). The low share of PT mode is the primary challenge facing the existing PT sector. The mode share across EU28 countries has declined from an already low 17.6% in 2013 to 16.7% in 2017. Many European urban transit systems contain a combination of different PT modes. Strategically, there is a need for a decision tool to support the efficient planning and operation of the urban transit system in its entirety. However, currently, there is no holistic methodology to assist the decision-making regarding how to design an integrated operations plan for the urban transit system that contains multiple PT modes. Theoretically, this is a long-established sequential PT planning framework. More than 30 years after its establishment, the framework’s applicability is challenged by the rapid evolution of the modern urban transit system. The paradigm needs to be revised. Thereby, this project is developed with the aim of devising an integrated optimisation model and corresponding solution algorithm for the urban public transport system and demonstrating its performance by conducting case studies using the Copenhagen network data.    

Responsibilities and qualifications
Your overall focus will be to develop models and solution algorithms for optimising integrated public transport system and conduct experiments to validate the models and algorithm. You will work with scholars and industrial partners with expert knowledge within various aspects of the field. You will be rooted in the Network Modelling group, a part of the Division of Transport, Department of Management. The division also consists of research groups within transport demand, machine learning for smart mobility, transport economics and transport psychology. You will be part of an increased effort in the integrated urban mobility system with other PhD students and staff in the division.

We expect you to have the interest and ambition to pursue PhD studies and experience working with mathematical modelling and programming.

You must have a two-year master’s degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master’s degree.

Your background should be in Transportation, Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Computer Science, or related.

We furthermore expect

  • Good programming capabilities in any scientific language (e.g., C++, C#, Python, Julia, etc.)
  • 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 Ph.D. 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 DTU's rules for the PhD education.  

The assessment of the applicants will be made by the advisor team as soon as possible after the application deadline.

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognised 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 characterised 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. This includes, among other a highly attractive salary scheme and other benefits, see 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 Yu Jiang, or Professor Otto Anker Nielsen,

You can read more about DTU Management at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark. Furthermore, you have the option of joining our monthly free seminar “PhD relocation to Denmark and startup “Zoom” seminar” for all questions regarding the practical matters of moving to Denmark and working as a PhD at DTU.

Application procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 1 October 2022 (Danish 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 out 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 (in English) including official description of grading scale
  • Applicants from institutions where the language of instruction and examination are not entirely in English are required to provide at least one English language test result (e.g. TOEFL, GRE, or IELTS)

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master’s degree but cannot begin before having received it. If you have finished your master’s degree, you may attach a pdf version of this to the application, as well as any published English papers.

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

DTU Management
DTU Management conducts high-level research and teaching with a focus on sustainability, transport, innovation and management science. Our goal is to create knowledge on the societal aspects of technology - including the interaction between technology and sustainability, business growth, infrastructure and prosperity. Therefore, we explore and create value in the areas of management science, innovation and design thinking, business analytics, systems and risk analyses, human behaviour, regulation and policy analysis. The department offers teaching from introductory to advanced courses/projects at BSc, MSc and PhD level. The Department has a staff of app. 350.

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 13,400 students and 5,800 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. DTU has campuses in all parts of Denmark and in Greenland, and we collaborate with the best universities around the world.