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3 PhD positions in the Smart Cities EMC research project

The EMC (Electromagnetic Compatibility) group is part of the Electrical Engineering, Mathematics & Computer Science (EEMCS) faculty at the University of Twente.


Position 1. Development of parameterised macro/behavioural models for complex platforms

Objectives: Develop parameterized black-box/behavioural models of complex platforms with active/non-linear components. Parameterised behavioural models allow to overcome the difficulties caused by the dependency of complex platforms on the variabilities of the components. Simulate the actual behavior of the complex platforms with respect to abnormal and interfering conditions caused by other equipment by means of either functional (e.g. power line communication) or non-functional (e.g. classical EMI) signals. In the most extreme sense, investigate the (im)possibilities of cognitive communication under severe interference conditions using the time-frequency diversity concept.

Expected Results: Methodology for embedding component models in time-domain simulators. Characterization and validation of the possible improvements in terms of simulation performance. Communication performance (in BER) for heavily polluted power lines.

Position 2. Evaluation techniques for in-situ measurement and monitoring, connected to power line communication challenges, large dynamic range and monitoring into account

Objectives: Evaluate current standards and technologies on EM interference and power line communication. Investigate the gaps in frequency domain using the time-frequency diversity from a measurement point of view. Assess the possibilities of modern fast loggers, digitisers and embedded processors for fast data evaluations, and develop a similar device.

Evaluate long term loggers with the objective to develop techniques for fast wide-band and long-term evaluation of power quality parameters. Evaluate and develop techniques for interference reduction and/or compensation related to power line communication. Investigate novel ways to overcome the negative impact of reducing interference on PLC propagation.

Expected Results: Measurement techniques using novel fast analysers and real-time processing. Trade-off analysis of reducing non-functional signals (interference) and transmitting functional signals (communication). Guidance for more cost-effective measures.

Position 3. Large-system EMI (interaction) analysis using EM topology, and embedding the validated models

Objectives: Develop a general framework to integrate the results from the other work packages, generate methodology and validate the work. This shall result in a complete toolbox of analysis techniques and indices for distortions that fully represent their stochastic and time varying nature, using system optimisation in the presence of uncertainty. The statistical techniques shall be implemented and evaluated, and the results of WP5 shall be fully embedded. Investigate cost effective measures to cope with interference, passive and active, global (smart city), local (building) or at device level. Cost-benefit trade-off will be made in close collaboration with industry, and other stakeholders, as well standardisation institutes.

Expected Results: Integration of the WP5 results. Validated set of tools and expert systems using statistical techniques for complex systems for PQ and EMC and determination of risk of interference.


The vacancy is part of the SCENT project in Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Networks (ITN), European Joint Doctorate, funded by the H2020-MSCA-ITN-2018-812391 grant. The SCENT consortium is comprised, in addition to the University of Twente (NL), by the University of Zielona Gora (PL) and The University of Nottingham (UK). Successful candidates will receive a joint doctorate from these three universities. The project is supported by the IEEE EMC Society TC7, Dutch EMC-ESD association and 12 industries.


The global vision of Smart and Sustainable Cities is greatly restricted by the rapid increase of interference and interoperability problems which occur through the interaction of electrical power with information technology and communications equipment. This interconnected systems-of-systems infrastructure creates a complex electromagnetic environment in which interoperability of the electronic systems has to be achieved. There is an urgent need to conduct greater understanding in Power Quality (PQ) and (conducted) Electromagnetic Compatibility (EMC) due to the changing dynamics of the field. The main issue is the insufficient number of qualified engineers for the latest developments in smart cities, renewable generation and electric vehicles. A highly trained cadre of engineers (a new breed) is required to lead this area. To date no specific doctoral programme in this field is available in Europe resulting in well trained researchers and engineers being scarce. SCENT will create a network to train highly skilled engineers through an integrated doctoral training program based on the essential research required in PQ and EMC that can underpin all future technological developments, strongly linked to industry, and bridging the gap between research and industry for translation of new knowledge. Designed into the project are specific innovations with methodologies to optimize the design of power distribution networks inside buildings and industrial plants, as well as transport systems, with respect to compatibility (no interference) and efficiency in the distribution networks and connected electronic systems. The partners of the network consist of leaders in these fields and relevant industrial stakeholders resulting in a unique and effective network in Europe and globally. Dissemination methods to realize optimal impact will include scientific publications, workshops, training of engineers in industry, and dissemination through newsletters, interviews, social media.


We are seeking highly motivated persons with an excellent background and a MSc. degree in electrical engineering.

You enjoy communicating your work verbally and in writing. You enjoy working as part of a team, and yet are capable of working independently. You are curiosity-driven, but you are committed to deliver by hard deadlines too. Your involvement in the team inspires progress and you have clear scientific communication skills. We prefer applicants with strong English language proficiency.


We want you to play a key role in an ambitious project in an inspiring international consortium comprising 3 academic partners, strongly supported by industry.

• We offer you a full time three + optional fourth year position with a starting monthly gross salary of 2222 € that will progress to 2840 € in the fourth year. Additionally, you will benefit from a holiday allowance and an end-of-year bonus.

• We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.

• As part of your research project, you will collaborate with high tech companies where you will spend up to 1 year of your doctoral studies.

• The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other extracurricular activities.

• A high-quality training program is part of the offered position. The research has to lead to published scientific work and project deliverables that shall result in a joint PhD thesis at the end of the employment period.


Applications should include the following documents: 

• A one-page letter motivating a) why you want to do a Ph.D.; b) why are you applying for this specific position; c) why do you consider yourself a suitable candidate for this position;  

• A list of three achievements in your life that you are proud of;  

• A detailed CV listing education, work experience, publications, relevant other activities and coordinates of up to three referees;  

• An academic transcript of B.Sc. and M.Sc. education;  

• A copy of academic works such as papers or M.Sc. thesis;  

• A high TOEFL (> 90 or 100) or IELTS (> 6.5 or 7) score certificate. 

Please email these documents, making clear which Institution(s) you are interested in, to: 

Informal enquiries related to the positions at the University of Twente may be directed towards Prof. dr. Frank Leferink ( 


All researchers recruited in an ITN must be Early-Stage Researchers (ESRs). This means that the researchers shall, at the time of recruitment by the host organisation, be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.

Researchers can be of any nationality. Applicants have to ensure compliance with the Marie-Curie mobility requirement: At the time of recruitment, the applicant must have resided or carried out their main activity outside of the country of the institution for more than 24 months in the 3 years immediately prior to their recruitment. For instance, when applying for a position at the University of Twente in the Netherlands with a starting date of May 1st, 2019, the applicant must not have lived in the Netherlands for more than one year since May 1st, 2016. Short stays, such as holidays, are not taken into account.


The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programs. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders.

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