PhD scholarship in Learning Design for Agile Computational Tools in Systems Engineering Education

Monday 30 Mar 20

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A PhD position is available in the frame of a research funding from EU Erasmus+ Capacity Building Program and Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at the Technical University of Denmark. The PhD project will be carried out the at the Process and Systems Engineering Centre which is globally renowned for development of systematic methods and tools in various areas of chemical, biochemical and pharmaceutical engineering. The PhD project sets out to develop learning design for agile and emerging computational tools that will need to be brought into real-world practice in near future, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence.

Today, our society is facing an ever-increasing set of challenges as the process systems to deliver products and services are becoming more complex. Moreover, new computational tools are emerging, such as quantum computing and artificial intelligence, which are not yet embedded in the current engineering curricula. Therefore, one way to tackle this challenge is to develop agile learning design based on a qualitative assessment of students’ needs, their learning performance and curriculum development while taking into account their emotional response. Therefore, the focus is on enhancing individual learning skills. This means creating critical thinking, intuition and addressing various students’ needs that they may not be facing at the learning phase. However, they need to be understood once the complex concepts are brought into practice.

The chemical and biochemical industry is a major discipline that drives many products, processes and services to address societal needs. Over the past decades and with introduction of bioprocesses to produce an array of commodity, specialty and pharmaceutical products, the technological landscape has been dramatically changed. Moreover, there has been a lot of attention towards using quantum computing and artificial intelligence for increased productivity. However, there has been little to no attention paid to the use of these tools in education and developing training-support tools to be used by future engineers.

The goal of this project is to make a qualified roadmap for introducing agile computational tools and their corresponding learning design and tools into engineering education with a focus on (bio)chemical processes. This roadmap will be devised as a comprehensive assessment of current curricula and teaching methods and how to best introduce emerging computational tools into the education.

Responsibilities and tasks
The PhD student working in this project will make a qualified roadmap for introducing agile computational tools and their corresponding learning design and tools into engineering education with a focus on (bio)chemical processes. This roadmap will be devised as a comprehensive assessment of current curricula and teaching methods. The goals of the project are: 

  • Identifying the needs, challenges and opportunities for embedding quantum computing and AI in engineering education.
  • Establishing a robust approach that relates student needs to on-demand learning objectives that may be subject to an evolving technology.
  • Providing an unbiased perspective to potential advantages and disadvantages of AI in learning design, meaning an intuitive guideline for implementation that can be easily extended to other educations and domain applications.
  • Participation and dissemination of the work in organizing workshops, focus groups, peer-groups and different interpersonal activities related to the project
Candidates should have a two-year master's degree (120 ECTS points) or a similar degree with an academic level equivalent to a two-year master's degree. The candidate should ideally hold a degree in an engineering or science discipline, pedagogy or psychology. Additional skills beneficial to the position include: 
  • Demonstrated ability in carrying out qualitative surveys and statistical analysis of the results
  • Familiarity with mathematical modelling and engineering computer-aided tools
  • Strong understanding of human-technology interactions
  • Ability to devise, interpret and model the statistical results
  • Knowledge of computer-aided tools such MATLAB and familiarity with concepts of computer programming
We also expect you to be a team player and to enjoy being part of a dynamic multidisciplinary research 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 the DTU PhD Guide

Assistant Professor Seyed Soheil Mansouri, Associate, Professor Martin Peter Andersson, Professor Krist V. Gernaey and Professor Kim Dam-Johansen (Head of DTU Chemical Engineering) will assess applications.

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. 

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Further information

Further information may be obtained from Assistant Professor Seyed Soheil Mansouri, e-mail:

You can read more about DTU Chemical Engineering at

Please submit your online application no later than 31 May 2019 (23:59 local time)
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
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here)
  • Names and contact information of two reference persons
Candidates may apply prior to obtaining their master's degree but cannot begin before having received it.

Applications and enclosures 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.

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 vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 11,500 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.