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PhD scholarship in Simulation and Machine Learning for the Next Generation Public Transportation

DTU Management’s Transport Division
Copenhagen, Hovedstaden (DK)
Closing date
Nov 18, 2022

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Transportation Engineering, Other
Position Type
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DTU Management’s Transport Division, would like to invite applications for a 3-year PhD position starting early 2023  at the Machine Learning for Smart Mobility Group.

The successful applicant will work on research which is focused on the development of next-generation public transportation system by using large-scale mobility simulation and new machine-learning techniques for more efficient, integrated, dynamic and personalized multi-modal transit services.

Mobility Disruption Challenges
Recent technological and business advances have supported the rise of new shared on-demand mobility services (such as ridesharing, micro-mobility, etc) that promise opportunities for improved accessibility. However the role of future public transportation can be challenged by the new mobility ecosystem, especially considering the transition to electric mobility. How to design an efficient and sustainable electrified integrated transit ecosystem that aligns the needs of the individual traveler, and creates values for providers of both transit and on-demand services, and society as a whole?

The DREMTS project explores the concept of demand-responsive electrified multimodal transit systems and develops data-driven network design, and operation control and management methodologies. DREMTS combines high-occupancy electrified vehicles (buses or trains) with electric on-demand mobility services under a mobility-as-a-service framework, and builds new planning and operation algorithms targeting both the mobility operators, the individual user and energy providers.

The project includes 4 threads of research: (1) combined mobility and energy network design; (2) energy and transit cooperative algorithms for shared-mobility fleet operations; (3) prediction of individual behaviour under Mobility-as-a-Service (MaaS) and design of dynamic pricing and incentive mechanisms at the trip and individual level; (3) large-scale agent-based simulation platform to validate the new generation of algorithms.

Design and implement tools, apply your methods and present your research
Together with our team (with a background in machine learning, reinforcement learning, Bayesian modelling and microscopic traffic simulation), the successful cadidate will focus on the research thread (3) and (4) above, namely:

  • Extend an open-source large-scale urban mobility simulators (SimMobility) with energy supply (distribution, EV charging, EV energy consumption) simulation and build a realistic large-network case.
  • Explore new machine learning methods (reinforcement learning, contextual bandits, etc) for the design of pricing and incentivive algorithms at the individual and trip level within a MaaS setting.


The DREMTS project is funded under the DTU-KTH Alliance and a collaboration with Professors Erik Jenelius and Zhenliang Ma, from the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering of KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden, is planned including a 6 month stay at KTH. Thus the successful candidate is also expected to collaborate with the PhD student at KTH that will work on research threads (1) and (2).

Responsibilities and tasks

  • Conduct a literature review and learning in large-scale mobility and energy simulation frameworks.
  • Perform mathematical model formulation and estimation using statistical methods;
  • Code implementation and validation for these models within the context of a simulation environment.
  • Design, implement and thoroughly test model-based machine learning approaches for personalized pricing and incentives.
  • Collaborate with researchers from machine learning and transportation in a truly interdisciplinary environment.
  • Co-author scientific papers aimed at high-impact journals.
  • Participate in international conferences.
  • Take advanced classes to improve academic skills.
  • Carry out teaching, teaching support and BSc./MSc. co-supervision as part of the overall PhD contract.


We are looking for applicants with a two-year M.Sc. degree (120 ECTS points) with background in Computer Science, Transportation, Applied Mathematics, Environmental or Electric Engineering, Operations Research or equivalent with the interest and ambition to pursue PhD studies in the field of applied simulation and machine learning.

  • Excellent background in statistics and probability theory is required.
  • Good programming capabilities, in C/C++/C# and at least one scientific language (e.g. Python, Matlab, R, Julia) are required;
  • Experience with machine learning and/or transportation modelling is favoured.
  • Curiosity and interest about current and future mobility challenges and digital technologies.
  • 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 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 DTU's rules for the PhD education.

The assessment of the applicants will be made until the position is filled and no later than 30 November 2022.

We offer
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 in a full-.time postion.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here.

Further information
For more information, please contact Carlos Lima Azevedo or Filipe Rodrigues

You can read more about the Machine Learning for Smart Mobility group at and 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 18 November 2022 (Danish time).

Apply online here: Positions at DTU Management

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


You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications received after the deadline will not be considered.

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

The Machine Learning for Smart Mobility group belongs to the Transport division of the Department of Technology, Management and Economics (DTU Management) at DTU. The division conducts research and teaching in the field of traffic and transport behaviour and planning, with particular focus on behaviour modelling, machine learning and simulation.

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. Read more 

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 mission to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That mission 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.

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