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PhD scholarship in AI Methods for Improving Process Safety in Automation
DTU Electrical Eng
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Friday 09 Jul 21
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Apply no later than 29 August 2021
Apply for the job at DTU Electrical Eng by completing the following form.
DTU Electrical Engineering seeks qualified and talented candidates for a
vacant PhD position in Improving Process Safety by Applying Model-based
The purpose of the project is to define function modelling framework and
implement model-based AI reasoning solutions, i.e. to develop representations
and algorithms, to support a variety of industrial safety assessment
procedures including Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment. The model-
based reasoning system will be applied for knowledge management and decision
support to facilitate the industrial safety assessment activities.
Your work will have the potential to influence the current industrial
practices, and subsequently improve the safety and reliability of industrial
systems, reducing the social and environmental impact due to industrial
Responsibilities and qualifications
Safety Assessment is a key building block through industrial plants' life
cycle, which includes important steps such as hazard identification and
afterwards risk evaluation. The result of it subsequently is used to support
decision making during plant design, operation and maintenance, to eliminate
or mitigate risks and improve safety level of the systems. However, many
results of the safety assessment activities such as HAZOP studies are highly
dependent on human experience and they are unlikely to be complete, consistent
Model-based methods are gaining recognitions in Safety Assessment due to their
features such as concrete knowledge representations and consistent knowledge-
based reasoning. These features bring great potential to improve the
efficiency of the Safety Assessment procedure and consistency of its result.
The models developed for such a purpose should represent the safety objectives
and functions explicitly and always be maintained and updated, corresponding
to new operational situations and changing operational conditions to support
Safety Assessment through the plants' life cycle.
The overall aim of the project is to define formal knowledge representation
and develop reasoning algorithms for Safety Assessment methods based on one of
the functional modelling approach called Multilevel Flow Modelling (MFM).
Current research in MFM at DTU Electrical Engineering is about developing MFM
based reasoning algorithms and software tools for the analysis of causes and
consequences of disturbances in industrial plants like oil and gas production
plants. More information regarding MFM can be found at
https: // www. mfm.elektro.dtu.dk/, and additional training will be provided once
the project starts. The methodology will be applicable to all kinds of complex
process facilities, power plants, infrastructure and more.
The project is part of a research program “operations and maintenance
technology” funded by the Danish Hydrocarbon Research and Technology Center
(DHRTC). The overall purpose of the program is to improve operations and
safety of oil and gas production platforms in the Danish North Sea. MFM here
plays a central role as a methodology for representation of plant knowledge
and for Safety Assessment, Operation Support and Maintenance Planning. MFM is
the technology basis for the Control Room Assistant (CRA), software
developed by the project partner Kairos Technology, and will be applied again
to a new software product called the “Hazop Assistant”.
We are searching for applicants that with one (or more) of the following
General Automation or Process control
Artificial Intelligence (rule based systems and knowledge
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.
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 Professor Ole Ravn and
Assistant Professor Xinxin Zhang, DTU Electrical Engineering and Jørgen
Rentler Næumann, DHRTC DTU.
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.
The starting date is 1 November 2021.
You can read more about career paths at DTU here.
Further information may be obtained from Assistant Professor Xinxin Zhang,
You can read more about DTU Electrical Engineering at www. elektro.dtu.dk, and
about “DHRTC” at www. oilgas.dtu.dk/english.
If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in
Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark.
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 29 August
2021 (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)
Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see
guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
You may apply prior to obtaining your 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.
The Automation and Control group performs research and teaching in automation
technology, control theory, robotics and autonomous systems at DTU. The group
has 54 affiliated researchers and other employees. Please read more about the
Automation and Control group on www. aut.elektro.dtu.dk/.
DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering
technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc, and PhD levels, and
participate in joint international programmes. We conduct excellent research
within acoustic technologies, electromagnetic systems, electronics, autonomous
systems, robotic technologies, digital energy solutions, interconnected energy
systems, electric energy technologies, and not least electrification in many
respects. Our Department has more than 200 members of staff.
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 12,900 students and 6,000 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