PhD Data-driven learning of interpretable nonlinear models for high-tech systems

Eindhoven University of Technology


February 28, 2022


PhD Data-driven learning of interpretable nonlinear models for high-tech





Mechanical Engineering



Date off


Reference number


Job description

High-tech systems are becoming ever more complex due to increased requirements. Design and control of theses systems require accurate mathematical models that describe their complex nonlinear dynamical behavior. Engineers designing, building, and controlling these systems often have prior system knowledge. They desire to impose properties, e.g., stability, on the mathematical models and require these models to be interpretable.

This open PhD position aims to develop a framework that enables the identification of nonlinear mathematical models with pre-specified properties that are physically interpretable. To achieve this, the PhD candidate will exploit recent developments from the fields of machine learning, tensor algebra, system identification, and system theory to come to interpretable and stable models of complex dynamical systems.

  • Study the literature of nonlinear system identification, machine learning, tensor algebra, and system theory.
  • Development of interpretable, data-driven nonlinear modeling approaches using tensor decompositions, nonlinear state-space identification techniques, and constrained Gaussian Processes.
  • Analysis of the stability of the identified models in a time-efficient way.
  • Enforcement of the stability during the identification step.
  • Dissemination of the results of your research in international and peer- reviewed journals and conferences.
  • Writing a successful dissertation based on the developed research and defending it.
  • Assume educational tasks like the supervision of Master students during courses, internships, and graduation projects.
  • Job requirements

    We are looking for a candidate who meets the following requirements:

  • You are a talented and enthusiastic young researcher.
  • You have experience with or a strong background in systems and control, mathematics, and signal processing. Preferably, you finished a master's in Systems and Control, Mechanical Engineering, (Applied) Physics, (Applied) Mathematics, Computer Science, or Electrical Engineering.
  • You have good programming skills and experience (Matlab and/or Python are an asset).
  • You are organized, autonomous, a team player, and have strong communication skills.
  • You are creative and ambitious, hard-working, and persistent.
  • You have good command of the English language (speaking Dutch is an advantage but is not required).
  • Conditions of employment

    We offer:

  • A challenging job in a highly motivated team at a dynamic and ambitious university and a stimulating internationally renowned research environment.
  • A full-time temporary appointment for 4 years.
  • To develop your teaching skills, you will spend 10% of your employment on teaching tasks.
  • To support you during your PhD and to prepare you for the rest of your career, you will make a Training and Supervision plan and you will have free access to a personal development program for PhD students (PROOF program).
  • A gross monthly salary and benefits (such as a pension scheme, pregnancy and maternity leave, partially paid parental leave) in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement for Dutch Universities.
  • Additionally, an annual holiday allowance of 8% of the yearly salary, plus a year-end allowance of 8.3% of the annual salary.
  • Should you come from abroad and comply with certain conditions, you can make use of the so-called ‘30% facility', which permits you not to pay tax on 30% of your salary.
  • A broad package of fringe benefits, including an excellent technical infrastructure, moving expenses, and savings schemes.
  • Family-friendly initiatives are in place, such as an international spouse program, and excellent on-campus children day care and sports facilities.
  • The TU/e is located in one of the smartest regions of the world and part of the European technology hotspot “Brainport Eindhoven”, well-known because of many high-tech industries and start-ups. A place to be for talented scientists!

    Information and application

    More information about the project can be obtained through the project's supervisor: dr. Koen Tiels: https: // www. tiels/.

    For information about terms of employment, click here or contact

    Please visit www. to find out more about working at TU/e!


    We invite you to submit a compete application by using the “apply now”-button on this page. The application should include:

  • A cover letter (stating personal goal and research interests connecting to one or more of the topics defined above), maximum one page.
  • A complete Curriculum Vitae (including contact details of two references and a list of publications, if any), maximum two pages.
  • Transcripts of BSc and MSc degrees.
  • All documents should be provided in pdf format. Please keep in mind you can upload only 5 documents up to 2 MB each. If necessary, please combine files. We do not respond to applications that are sent to us in a different way.

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