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Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Uncertainty

Delft University of Technology - Department of Geo-science & Engineering

Delft, 36-40 hours per week

Challenge: Understanding uncertainties and their impacts on geotechnical structures and infrastructures.

Change: Quantifying risks explicitly using a reliability framework.

Impact: Delivering innovative and safe geotechnical solutions to build a sustainable society.

Job description

There is an increasing need to quantify the performance of geotechnical structures and infrastructures within a reliability-based framework, so that risks can be explicitly quantified for guiding effective mitigation measures. Of fundamental importance is the need to understand uncertainties and their impacts at the soil mechanical behavior level and at the geotechnical site level, as an essential precursor to reducing the uncertainty in soil mechanical response as well as to understanding uncertainty propagation to the structure level.

In your role as Assistant Professor of Geotechnical Uncertainty, you will investigate soil mechanical material behavior and geotechnical structure response accounting for uncertainties relating to, for example, data, measurements, statistics, transformation from measured data to derived properties, and external (including environmental) loadings. The position takes into consideration the random, spatial and systematic components of uncertainty, as well as uncertainties relating to the cross-correlations of material properties and develops new solutions to better control and reduce the geotechnical uncertainty and risk in geotechnical assessments and construction processes. The successful applicant will be encouraged to develop collaborations within the department and faculty (e.g. with Resource Engineering, Applied Geology, Geophysics and Hydraulic Engineering). We also expect you to develop close working relations with the Dutch Geotechnical Industry; therefore, speaking Dutch, or the willingness to learn Dutch within the first two years of your appointment, is essential.

The key job responsibilities of the successful candidate include:

Education: Organizing, initiating and contributing to the development and teaching of graduate courses in our new master track of Geotechnical Engineering, within the new MSc programme of Civil Engineering. Supervising BSc and MSc students, preparing and assessing assignments and exam papers.

Valorisation: Initiating and contributing to new research projects. We encourage proactive engagement with both government and private partners for increased societal impact.

Research: Contributing to delivering high quality, internationally leading research related to Geotechnical Engineering.

Organisation: Contributing to organizational/administrative activities and committees specifically related to education within the Department of Geo-science & Engineering and the Faculty of Civil Engineering and Geosciences.

You will join the Section of Geo-Engineering in the Department of Geosciences and Engineering. The section has 12 full-time and 6 part-time academic staff, and around 40 PhD and post-doctoral researchers. Areas of expertise include soil mechanics, dykes and embankments, foundation engineering, underground space technology, engineering geology, and geo-environmental engineering. There are extensive experimental laboratory facilities, including large-scale soil-structure interaction testing facilities and a geotechnical centrifuge. The section has close links with the onshore and offshore industries, with governmental organisations, and with the Dutch research institute Deltares.

The Department of Geoscience and Engineering encompasses 5 sections: Applied Geology, Applied Geophysics and Petrophysics, Geo-Engineering, Resource Engineering, and Reservoir Engineering. Within the department there is considerable scope and encouragement for inter-disciplinary research.


If you have:

  • A PhD in Geotechnical Engineering or another related discipline, with a strong expertise in soil mechanics and numerical and statistical methods.
  • A proven affinity with academic teaching in a variety of settings.
  • A good understanding of the higher education environment, including diversity and inclusion values.
  • The ability to deliver high quality research and evidence to prove this.
  • The capacity to communicate effectively with peers, students and stakeholders.
  • An interest in pioneering and exploring new paths and are excited to initiate, acquire, execute and coordinate research projects.
  • The potential to become a real team builder and have good communication skills in English

We look forward to receiving your application!

Are you interested in this position, but feel you have acquired more experience and advanced further in your academic career? Please mention this in your application letter, as in specific cases we may consider an Associate Professor position.

Conditions of employment

This position is offered as an Academic Career Track position (0.8 – 1.0 FTE). During the Academic Career Track, we expect you to grow towards an Associate Professor position within a maximum of eight years, for which a position will be available. With other Academic Career Track colleagues, you will participate in the Academic Career Track Development programme, where you are offered ample opportunities to develop yourself in the areas of Education, Research, Societal Impact & Innovation, and Leadership & Organisation. You will regularly discuss your development and results with senior staff based on a personalized development plan and performance criteria agreed upon at the start of your Academic Career Track. You will start with a temporary contract that will be converted to a permanent contract no later than 12 -18 months after a positive evaluation, based on continuous confidence in your development potential and fit in the organisation.

Inspiring, excellent education is our central aim. We expect you to obtain a University Teaching Qualification (UTQ) within three years if you have less than five years of teaching experience. This is provided by the TU Delft UTQ programme as part of the Academic Career Track Development programme.

TU Delft sets high standards for the English competency of the teaching staff. The TU Delft offers training to improve English competency. If you do not speak Dutch, we offer courses to learn the Dutch language within three years.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged and you can work partly from home.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service. This service addresses the needs of new international employees and those of their partners and families. The Coming to Delft Service offers personalised assistance during the preparation of the relocation, finding housing and schools for children (if applicable). In addition, a Dual Career Programme for partners is offered. The Coming to Delft Service will do their best to help you settle in the Netherlands.

TU Delft (Delft University of Technology)

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values and we actively engage to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

Faculty Civil Engineering and Geosciences

The Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences (CEG) is committed to outstanding international research and education in the field of civil engineering, applied earth sciences, traffic and transport, water technology, and delta technology. Our research feeds into our educational programmes and covers societal challenges such as climate change, energy transition, resource availability, urbanisation and clean water. Our research projects are conducted in close cooperation with a wide range of research institutions. CEG is convinced of the importance of open science and supports its scientists in integrating open science in their research practice. The Faculty of CEG comprises 28 research groups in the following seven departments: Materials Mechanics Management & Design, Engineering Structures, Geoscience and Engineering, Geoscience and Remote Sensing, Transport & Planning, Hydraulic Engineering and Water Management.

Click here to go to the website of the Faculty of Civil Engineering & Geosciences.

Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Prof.dr. M.A. Hicks, head of the Section of Geo-Engineering, e-mail:

Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply before 15 April 2024 via the application button and upload your:

  • Letter of motivation explaining your scientific drive,
  • Research statement (maximum 1,5 A4) with your vision on future research directions and it’s societal relevance,
  • Teaching statement (maximum 1,5 A4) with your vision on teaching and development needs for the future,
  • Detailed cv,
  • Contact information of two persons who can provide references,
  • Publication list,
  • PhD thesis,
  • and two selected publications.

We are likely to plan the on-site interview in the 2nd half of May.

TU Delft creates equal opportunities and encourages women to apply.

Please note:

  • You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.
  • A pre-Employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.

Agency calls are not appreciated.

Location: Delft - Netherlands
Salary: €4,332 to €5,929
£3,767.96 to £5,157.02 converted salary* per month
Hours: Full Time
Contract Type: Academic Career Track
Placed On: 19th March 2024
Closes: 15th April 2024
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