PhD position in Predictive Maintenance


Faculty of Science and Engineering


University of Groningen

Job description

We are looking for a candidate to undertake research in the field of dynamics and vibration, with a particular focus on predictive maintenance of engineering structures.

To support the modern, robust and smart factories, it is critical that breakdown maintenance is reduced to a minimum and the management is allowed to have the luxury of a pre-planned scheduled maintenance. To accomplish this, predictive maintenance is required, which can accurately track assets’ performance, status and real time health condition using real-time vibration data. In recent era, the use of machine health and condition monitoring technologies in predictive maintenance practices has escalated owing to the interest from major industries like manufacturing, aerospace and civil, for which reliability in operations is a crucial factor. For reliable monitoring and diagnosis of machines, vibration analysis is carried out in order to anticipate the defects and degradations that can affect the performance of a machine. Predictive maintenance requires online and real time indicators of a machine’s status and health using instrumentation and control equipment for data acquisition and analysis. In this project, we will acquire vibration data using sensors, data acquisition on an engineering system. We will analyze both time domain and frequency domain data to predict the health of the structure in different operating conditions. This vibration data will be effectively utilized to assist in devising a predictive maintenance plan and to reach the root cause of these issues up to the source component. Finally, timely maintenance strategy will be pursued in order to avoid breakdown maintenance.

The University of Groningen is a research university with a global outlook, deeply rooted in Groningen, City of Talent. Quality has been our top priority for over four hundred years, and with success: the University is currently in or around the top 100 on several influential ranking lists.
The Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE) is the largest faculty within the University. We offer first-rate education and research in a wide range of science and engineering subject areas, from mathematics, astronomy and mechanical engineering, to interdisciplinary fields such as artificial intelligence, pharmacy and nanoscience. Our community has an open and informal character with students and staff from around the world.


• a recognized institution has granted a Master's degree in Mechanical Engineering, specializing with a notable academic track record
• proficiency in theoretical aspects of vibration testing and control, as well as the processing and analysis of vibration signals, with an added advantage of familiarity with structural health monitoring
• desirable practical expertise in utilizing data acquisition systems such as dSpace, NI modules, Siemens Scadas, and equipments such as modal shakers, accelerometers, etc.
• proficient programming skills in Matlab/Python/LabVIEW
• demonstrated capability in independent research, exemplified by exceptional performance in the MSc thesis
• excellent proficiency in both spoken and written English, and knowledge of spoken Dutch would be advantageous for this purpose
• possession of a critical mindset and the ability to think analytically.

Conditions of employment

Contract length: 48 months.

We offer in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2,770 gross per month in the first year, up to a maximum of € 3,539 gross per month in the fourth and final year (based on a full-time employment)
• a holiday allowance and end-of-year bonus of respectively 8% and 8.3% of your gross annual income
• a full-time position (1.0 FTE) for four years: first, you will get a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years; prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that successful completion of the PhD thesis within the contract period is to be expected. A PhD training program is part of the agreement and you will be enrolled in the Graduate School of the Faculty of Science and Engineering.

Consider our website for information about work at the University of Groningen:

Job Application

Applications for the position should include:

• a cover letter (1–2 pages) introducing yourself and describing your motivation to apply for this position and how your background fits with the position
• a CV (max 2 pages) demonstrating academic excellence, including details of BSc and MSc degrees
• copies of your academic records from your BSc and MSc studies
• contact details of two academic references.

You may apply for this position until 30 January 11:59 pm / before 31 January 2024 Dutch local time (CET) by means of the online application form (click on “Apply” below the advertisement on the university website).

The University of Groningen strives to be a university in which students and staff are respected and feel at home, regardless of differences in background, experiences, perspectives, and identities. We believe that working on our core values of inclusion and equality are a joint responsibility and we are constructively working on creating a socially safe environment. Diversity among students and staff members enriches academic debate and contributes to the quality of our teaching and research. We therefore invite applicants from underrepresented groups in particular to apply. For more information, see also our diversity policy webpage:[…]/

Our selection procedure follows the guidelines of the Recruitment code (NVP): and European Commission's European Code of Conduct for recruitment of researchers:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

Additional information

For additional information, please contact:

Prof. Maryam Ghandchi Tehrani

In your application, please always include the job opening ID V23.0730

Digital application form