Knowledge Models and Reasoning Systems for Digital Twins of Critical Infrastructures


Creation of an accurate digital twin, a virtual model of a physical environment or an object, is one of the most important tasks for any smart environment scenario. Digital twin synchronizes the state of a physical environment with the virtual representation of it using various internet of things (IoT) sensors and actuators. A link between a physical object and its digital twin can be continuously maintained, making it possible to experiment, simulate and optimize the properties of a physical counterpart at any time.

The DiTEC (Digital Twin for Evolutionary Changes in water networks) project proposes an evolutionary approach to real-time monitoring of sensor-rich critical infrastructures that detects inconsistency between measured sensor data and the expected situation, and performs real-time model update without needing additional calibration.

As part of the DiTEC project, your role will be to investigate and create knowledge representation models for a digital twin of a critical infrastructure (such as a water network), analyse historical and real-time sensor data, and create a reasoning system that detects and alerts about changes in the real physical system, and can update the digital twin accordingly. The model should be able to handle data representation on three levels: long-term stable data (such as network topology, seasonal water supply/demand variations), short-term data (current network configuration, weather), and real-time (parameters such as water pressure, flow speed, quality).

The system is applied to water networks, where, in case of leaks, valve degradation or sensor faults, the model will be adapted to the degraded network until the maintenance takes place, which can take a long time. The project will analyse the effect on data readings of different malfunctions, and construct a mitigating mechanism that allows to continue using the data, albeit in a limited capacity.

You will be working in collaboration with fellow researchers from the University of Groningen and Hanze University of Applied Sciences. The position also assumes regular visits to Vitens, an industrial water distribution company, to ensure applicability of developed approaches to real-world industrial use-cases.

What are you going to do

Your tasks and responsibilities:

  • Complete and defend a PhD thesis within the official appointment duration of four years;
  • Publish and present your work in journals and international conferences;
  • Be an active part of the Informatics Institute and their activities;
  • Assist in educational activities and supervision of bachelor and master students.

Your daily supervisor will be Dr. Viktoriya Degeler.

What do you have to offer

Your experience and profile:

  • A Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, artificial intelligence or a related subject (or be close to completing the degree);
  • Demonstrated interest in AI reasoning systems, knowledge representation, context-aware pervasive computing, machine learning and data analysis, software engineering;
  • Good programming skills;
  • High motivation in pursuing academic research;
  • Fluency in English, both written and spoken.

Our offer

A temporary contract for 38 hours per week for the duration of 4 years (the initial contract will be for a period of 18 months and after satisfactory evaluation it will be extended for a total duration of 4 years). The preferred starting date is February 1st, 2023. This should lead to a dissertation (PhD thesis). We will draft an educational plan that includes attendance of courses and (international) meetings. We also expect you to assist in teaching undergraduates and master students.

The gross monthly salary, based on 38 hours per week, ranges between € 2,541 in the first year to € 3,247 in the last year (scale P). This does not include the 8% holiday allowance and the 8,3% year-end allowance the UvA offers. The UFO profile ‘PhD Candidate’ is applicable. A favourable tax agreement, the ‘30% ruling’, may apply to non-Dutch applicants. The Collective Labour Agreement of Universities of the Netherlands is applicable.

Besides the salary and a vibrant and challenging environment at Science Park we offer you multiple fringe benefits:

  • 232 holiday hours per year (based on fulltime);
  • Multiple courses to follow from our Teaching and Learning Centre;
  • A complete educational program for PhD students;
  • Multiple courses on topics such as time management, handling stress and an online learning platform with 100+ different courses;
  • 7 weeks birth leave (partner leave) with 100% salary;
  • Partly paid parental leave;
  • The possibility to set up a workplace at home;
  • A pension at ABP for which UvA pays two third part of the contribution;
  • The possibility to follow courses to learn Dutch;
  • Help with housing for a studio or small apartment when you’re moving from abroad.

Are you curious to read more about our extensive package of secondary employment benefits, take a look here.

About us

The University of Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ largest university, offering the widest range of academic programmes. At the UvA, 30,000 students, 6,000 staff members and 3,000 PhD candidates study and work in a diverse range of fields, connected by a culture of curiosity.

The Faculty of Science has a student body of around 8,000, as well as 1,800 members of staff working in education, research or support services. Researchers and students at the Faculty of Science are fascinated by every aspect of how the world works, be it elementary particles, the birth of the universe or the functioning of the brain.

The mission of the Informatics Institute (IvI) is to perform curiosity-driven and use-inspired fundamental research in Computer Science. The main research themes are Artificial Intelligence, Computational Science and Systems and Network Engineering. Our research involves complex information systems at large, with a focus on collaborative, data driven, computational and intelligent systems, all with a strong interactive component.

The INtelligent Data Engineering Lab (INDElab) investigates intelligent systems that support people in their work with data and information from diverse sources. This includes addressing problems related to the preparation, management, integration and reuse of data. INDElab performs both applied and fundamental research informed by empirical insights into data science practice.

Want to know more about our organisation? Read more about working at the University of Amsterdam.


Do you have any questions or do you require additional information? Please contact:

Job application

If you feel the profile fits you, and you are interested in the job, we look forward to receiving your application. You can apply online via the button below. We accept applications until and including 5 September 2022.

Applications should include the following information (all files besides your CV should be submitted in one single pdf file):

  • A detailed CV including the months (not just years) when referring to your education and work experience;
  • A letter of motivation;
  • An example of your academic writing (e.g. a master thesis, or your publication);
  • Previous education diplomas (e.g. Master’s and Bachelor’s);
  • The names and email addresses of two references who can provide letters of recommendation (please do not include any letters).

Please make sure to provide ALL requested documents mentioned above.
You can use the CV field to upload your resume as a separate pdf document. Use the Cover Letter field to upload the other requested documents, including the motivation letter, as one single pdf file.

Only complete applications received within the response period via the link below will be considered.

The interviews will be held in the course of September-October 2022.

The UvA is an equal-opportunity employer. We prioritize diversity and are committed to creating an inclusive environment for everyone. We value a spirit of enquiry and perseverance, provide the space to keep asking questions, and promote a culture of curiosity and creativity.

If you encounter Error GBB451/ GBC451, reach out to our HR Department directly. They will gladly help you continue your application.


访问项目链接 招生网站
欧陆, 荷兰 所在地点
带薪项目 项目类别
截止日期 2022-09-05




电话: +31 (0)20 525 1400