Postdoc/PhD Candidate Design of Real-Time Scheduling and Clustering Tools

University of Groningen - Department of Operations

Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Belonging to the best research universities of Europe and joining forces with prestigious partner universities and networks, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Faculty of Economics and Business
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Job description
The postdoc/PhD position “Design of real-time scheduling and clustering tools for logistics operations in education” (1.0 fte) is part of the research project ‘Lean in secondary education’ of the Department of Operations. The Department of Operations is one of Europe’s largest research groups in the fields of Operations Research, Management Science and Operations Management. The department offers a high-level research environment along the whole range of Operations, both with respect to content and methodology.

The aim of the research project “Lean in secondary education” is to design tailored logistics and lean/agile concepts and tools in an education context to enable customisation in the learning process in a cost-efficient and pupil-effective way. Schools are now at a tipping point to embrace the educational system innovation of personalized learning. In a personalized learning system each pupil gets at the right time the right type of education for each subject in order to avoid wasted time in the learning process. In such a system, all coordination of activities and decision making with regard to individual learning needs of pupils will be made in the school in an interaction between teacher and pupil. A paradigm shift is required in the organisation of the logistics operations of the core educational processes (i.e., learning, teaching and assessment) to achieve a high quality situation where any pupil at any time based on their own learning speed, level and ambition can acquire the right part of a specific course in a cost-efficient way. It is the expectation that through flexible scheduling, group composition, teacher deployment and working methods personalized learning can be facilitated. In industry, concepts such as lean and responsive production have been developed in order to accommodate customer-specific engineering, production and control. However, these concepts cannot directly be translated to an educational context.

The postdoc/PhD candidate will work on the design of new analytical and simulation models and solution algorithms to support real-time decision making for coordination of activities such as clustering learning demands of pupils, scheduling of activities and allocation of activities to teachers. An important aspect of the designed models is to provide the right amount of support for all pupils, flexibility in the system, a leveled workload for teachers and transparency in the organisation of activities. The design of new real-time batching, work-load balancing and scheduling techniques will be at the heart of many new developments in literature as it requires insights in the characteristics of operations, and attributes (e.g., learning demand, availability) of individual pupils and teachers which will be updated real-time. We expect that models designed will add to the knowledgebases in the fields of logistics in education, leagile in service organization and service operations management in general.

In this project the postdoc/PhD candidate will work together with permanent staff, graduate students, schools in secondary education, service organisations and companies. A large group of schools and other external partners provides the opportunity for interfacing research and valorisation activities. We will build in this project on earlier studies of junior researchers and graduate students that show that knowledge from the field of logistics and operations management can be used in designing new concepts for addressing planning and control of educational processes.

If you apply for a postdoc position: Qualifications

  • PhD in Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Industrial Engineering, Operations Management or related fields (please note that candidates who will defend their PhD not later than 1 November 2017 are also invited to apply)
  • strong academic record as evinced by curriculum vitae and list of publications
  • demonstrated competences for quantitative modeling
  • a background in logistics or supply chain management is appreciated
  • candidates should be fluent in English
  • organisational qualities and excellent communication skills
  • affinity with or experience in working in business or service settings is a plus.

If you apply for a PhD position: Qualifications

  • MSc in Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Industrial Engineering, Operations Management or related fields
  • potential and ambition to become a high-level researcher in the domain of supply chain management and logistics
  • demonstrated competences for quantitative modeling
  • excellent communication skills
  • fluent in English.

Conditions of employment
For the postdoc position, the University of Groningen offers a starting salary depending on qualifications and work experience between € 2.588 (salary scale 10 Dutch Universities) and € 4.757 gross per month (salary scale 11) based on a full-time position. The fulltime (1.0 fte) appointment is temporary for a period of two years, with the possibility of an extension of two years. In addition, the university offers a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of year bonus.

For the PhD position, the University of Groningen a full-time position. The full-time appointment is temporary for a period of four years, under the condition of a positive assessment at the end of the first year. The gross monthly salary is € 2.222 euro, which increases yearly to a maximum of € 2.840 in the fourth year. In addition, we offer a 8% holiday allowance and a 8.3% end of year bonus.

For the PhD position, an assessment may be part of the procedure, consisting of psychological tests and an interview.

Starting date: as soon as possible.

Candidates are invited to send a motivation letter and curriculum vitae until 4 September / before 5 September 2017 Dutch local time by means of the application form, see:

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.

For information you can contact:

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