PhD Position Institute for Transport Planning and Systems

A PhD scholarship in mathematical optimization is available at ETH Zurich. Successful candidate will have funding to work and study for four years in Switzerland. There is no application deadline for this position.

ETH Zurich is one of the world's leading universities specialising in science and technology. It is renowned for its excellent education, its cutting-edge fundamental research and its efforts to put new knowledge and innovations directly into practice. new position.Despite the excellent quality of railway systems in Switzerland, railway systems need to increase their capacity, to match the ambitious targets from policy and environmental goals. Punctuality, travel time, and customer satisfaction should be kept at the same level, or even increased, to remain attractive under increasing constraints. Railway Traffic Management Systems aim at managing uncertainty in real time, by adapting a pre-defined plan of railway operations to ever changing situations, reducing delays and improving performance. This project, funded by the Swiss national research fund, is to design the entire chain of current tools in railway traffic management, when large quantities of data are available and the inclusion of uncertainty becomes explicit. This refers to a probabilistic problem of state estimation ( i.e. positioning of trains), probabilistic prediction of train movement and future operations (i.e. prediction of delays), as well as stochastic optimization of train operations under uncertain future events (stochastic and robust optimization). Moreover, this topic has to include constraints on mathematical optimization, ICT, computer science, process management, with currently practical implementation of uncertainty-aware methods in railway traffic management systems.

We envisage for tackling those challenges a new approach including explicitly uncertainty as estimated by data or simulation approaches. We also expect frequent contacts with practitioners, with a doctoral student being able to have regular frequent interaction and presence on relevant research groups at railway companies in Switzerland and elsewhere, and at relevant research groups at international level.

You ideally have a Master’s Degree in engineering, applied mathematics, management/decision sciences, econometrics, statistics, computer science or related fields. You are highly motivated, self-driven and have excellent communication and writing skills (fluent spoken and written English is mandatory). Moreover, the following skills are expected of a promising candidate: (a) Computer science and ability to program independently complex software (b) Ability to model and consider uncertainty as described by large data sets; predictive analytics and uncertainty-aware methods (Bayesian estimation, Markov chains, etc.) © Mathematical optimization (MILP, IP, LP), and/or control sciences, in particular stochastic programming techniques (d)Team working and communication skills, also in German. Knowledge of German or similar languages is a plus; Otherwise, willingness to learn basic German within a short time horizon is appreciated. You enjoy working in an interactive international environment with other doctoral students, post-docs and senior scientists, referring continuously to practical problems and solutions. This position will be available as of March 2019 or upon agreement; the planned project duration is four years.


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