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Ph.D-position. Decision support tools for Roll-of Roll vessels operations

Digital decision support tools for sustainable vessel operations.

Department of People and Technology, Roskilde University, invites applications for a position as PhD of Computer Science from January 1st 2021 or as soon as possible thereafter. The position as PhD is limited to a period of 3 years.

Description of the PhD project

Decision support tools for Roll-of Roll vessels operations.
The PhD project is part of the RoRoGreen project funded by the Danish Innovation Fund. The ROROGREEN is a project that aims at bringing Denmark a step closer to sustainable Roll-on Roll-off (RoRo) shipping. The project uses digital innovation to monitor RoRo shipping emissions and optimize the industry's operational and strategic planning. By doing so, we reduce the fuel consumption of the used vessels, which have the highest impact factor on the GHG emissions produced during maritime shipping. The operational efficiency gained by the optimized procedures will lower costs, attract more cargo from road to sea, and indirectly also reduce the emissions of road transport. The project will use advanced technological hardware such as cameras, drones, mobile robots, and sensors, for automated data capturing. The collected data will then be exploited by using artificial intelligence and optimization techniques for the development of decision support tools. A RoRo company will partake in the project as a living lab for the technologies and tools developed. The consortium is composed of a number of vendors and universities which will be testing, validating and innovating these tools and technologies. Estimations, based on earlier research results and the experience of the RoRo company. This project will mainly focus on the shipping of unaccompanied trailers.

The part of this PhD position in the RoRo green project
The project aims at optimizing the industry operational and strategic planning. Data from sensors, drones and robots will be in this part be cleaned and exploited using artificial intelligence and optimization techniques for the development of decision support tools mostly for load planning such as dual-cycling and stowage with the aim of reducing respectively loading time and trim while improving trim and satisfying stability. Moreover, uncertainty and prediction of cargo arrival patterns should be part of the project as well as planning before all cargo has arrived. In collaboration with companies the PhD student is to develop decision support tools for vessel planning aimed at the reduction of fuel consumption. Therefore, the PhD student is expected to carryout collaboration with industry and publish articles in high quality international journals within operations research, computer science and logistics (such as Transportation Research part A-D, Transportation Science, European Journal of operational research).

The Ph.D project aims at:

Analyze and develop decision support tools for vessel operations within the Roll-on/Roll-off industry which can reduce the fuel consumption. This should be executed using machine learning, heuristics and combinatorial optimization in collaboration with companies.

The Doctoral School
You will be enrolled as a PhD student at Doctoral School of People and Technology and associated with the program in Information Technology. Read more here:

The Doctoral School for People and Technology frames research that seek to address sustainability often by applying experimental approaches and situating the individuals active and learning involvement. The research comprises approaches of a human, societal, health and information technological character and often applying planning, interventions and design-oriented subject areas. The Doctoral School has 5 Phd programs with each of their focus points: Information Technology; Learning, Working life and Social innovation; Research in Health and Society; Social Psychology of Everyday Life and Society, Space and Technology. Read more here .

As a PhD student you will be associated with the research group PLIS. Read more here:

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD position is an educational position and the main tasks are in accordance with chapter 3, Ministerial Order on the PhD Programme at the Universities and Certain Higher Artistic Educational Institutions (,

You must hold a master’s degree or equivalent within computer science, or operations research. Qualifications within the following areas are required

  • Machine learning algorithms
  • Heuristics and local search algorithms
  • Integer programming
  • Multi-objective or multi-criteria optimization problems
  • Programming
  • Fluent in English both oral and written

We also emphasize the following qualifications:
  • Knowledge of decomposition methods such as branch and price and benders decomposition
  • Knowledge of maritime operations
  • Knowledge of stochastic programming
  • Interdisciplinary collaboration skills

You are required to be enterprising and to possess good communication skills (both oral and written English) and to be a visible, involved participant in the department’s daily activities, in addition to being willing to engage in disciplinary and interdisciplinary collaboration across the department.

PhD project description
The PhD position is a unique possibility to focus and concentrate on a 3-year PhD research project. Your application must be attached a description (~5 pages) of the PhD project you would like to pursue. The description of your suggested PhD project should be clearly relevant to refinement, querying and analytics of uncertain indoor location data, address the project assessment criteria’s listed below, and include 1) scientific purpose, relevance and novelty, 2) research questions, 3) theories and methods, 4) envisioned empirical work, and 5) project plan.

In the assessment regarding employment consideration will be given to;
  • Relevant Master’s degree or equivalent (according to Danish Qualifications Framework for Higher Education:
  • Any additional academic requirements stated in the job advertisement.

In the assessment regarding enrollment consideration will also be given to the following criteria:
  • Educational skills and any further professional qualifications
  • Grades at Master’s programme or equivalent
  • Quality and relevance of the project description
    • Considerations regarding decision support tools for stowage and load planning of Roll-on/Roll-off vessels shall be included in your project description.
    • Your project description shall be no more than 5 pages
  • Quality and relevance of the methodical and theoretical choices
  • Consistency and coherence between the problem and the choice of method and theory
  • If the PhD project seem realistic and feasible
  • Ability to complete the PhD project
  • Relevance of the project to the profile of the Doctoral School

For further information about the position, please contact:

PI of research project Associate professor Line Reinhardt - PhD coordinator Bente Larsen on tel. (+45) 46742599, - Head of the Information Technology PhD program Professor Jesper Simonsen

Terms of employment
The employment is on full time and you will refer to Dean of Technology and Health Science Anders Siig Andersen.

The position will be filled according to the Agreement between the Danish Ministry of Finance and the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations (AC) and Job Structure for Academic Staff at Universities.

Application procedure
After the deadline for applications the Head of Department will shortlist applicants for assessment with assistance from the recruitment committee including the chairperson of the assessment committee.

Shortly after the application deadline all applicants will be notified whether or not their application has been selected for assessment.

The shortlisted applicants will be informed about the composition of the assessment committee, and each applicant will be given the opportunity to comment on the composition of the committee and - later on - their assessment.

Once the recruitment process is completed, all applicants will be informed of the outcome of their application.

To apply for the position go to

Only applications in English are accepted.

Applications must include:

1. Cover letter

2. CV

3. Documentation of education including grades from Master’s programme or equivalent

4. Your description of the PhD project

5. Your time schedule of the PhD project

6. If applicable: Documentation for any research experience, work experience or publications.

Please submit your application no later than November 23, 2020.

Material received after this date will not be taken into consideration.

Roskilde University wishes to reflect the diversity of society and welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.


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