PDEng position in Civil Engineering: Develop a systematic reliable procedure that validates the performance of a ground penetrating radar.

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    University of Twente (UT)
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    09/12/2018 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Enschede


Are you passionate about high-end technological design? Do you want to continue developing your skills with a combination of education and work?

The Professional Doctorate in Engineering (PDEng) programme Civil Engineering offers you a 2-year position combining post MSc education and a design project to be carried out at MapXact. The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and will be partly tailored to the design project. In collaboration with MapXact in Harfsen you will work on high level, creative new designs for complex issues.

About MapXact

The innovation of new technologies for the detection of underground infrastructure is driven by the need of reduction of excavation damage and the need/demand for mapping of the underground infrastructure. MapXact focuses on development and testing of technology that maps and detects underground infrastructure. One of its priorities is the development of a Ground Penetration Radar (GPR). MapXact has a R & D department that focuses both on improvement of data exploitation (hardware) data-interpretation (software). The goal of MapXact is to improve the GPR such that cables and pipes will be mapped in 3D on a more automated and accurate way.

The project - Detection technology validation and its application

For the acceptance of new technologies, it is important to have clarity and confidence in it. Uncertainties and unjustified expectations about the possibilities and limitations can lead to restraint and disappointments. Validation leads to more clarity of the market, increasing adoption of standards, and better indication/directions for further development of the technology.

The performance of ground radars are not only dependent of hardware and software, but are greatly influenced by the application context. For example, a GPR provides less usable radar grams in conditions that promote electrical resistance of the soil (e.g. moisture retaining ground, high air-humidity). In addition, aspects such as cloud cover and urban canyons affect the accuracy of the positioning -unit.

There is also a human factor that plays a role. So the user in the field needs to know:

  • what frequencies are needed to be able to scan at the desired depth and resolution;
  • which walking patterns yield the desired images;
  • how to act when radar measurements show unexpected anomalies.

One last variable is the image processing which often is carried out by means of post processing. Because often this processing is not performed by the one who did the field measurements, misinterpretation can appear. This reduces the quality of the final inspection report.

The unwanted variability in the measurement process frustrates providers and clients of GPR and other detection applications. In the current situation - in which implicit quality parameters are used for validation - lacks objectivity. It is not only difficult to substantiate performance of a technology, but it also has the disadvantage that promising innovations have a long lead time for approval and adoption. There is a need for detection technology validation and its application. At this moment, a systematic way in which detection and mapping technologies are tested and reviewed is missing. MapXact acknowledges the situation where is a lack of an analytical method and recognizes that customers and other providers have that difficulty. MapXact therefore sees the importance of a systematic reliable procedure that validates the ground penetrating radar performance. The development of this has an exploratory-designing character and therefore it fits in the scope of the PDEng ZoARG programme.

The intended design project will consist of the following steps:

Defining application scenarios for GPR;

Distract (performance)quality criteria for validation;

Operationalization of these criteria;

  • Explore international testing principles for human-operated technology (in areas such as systems engineering, manufacturing, human-system design);
  • Development of (physical) validation settings;
  • Development of a testing protocol and testing scenarios (process oriented);
  • Perform pilots of the designed protocol (with already accepted- and new technologies);
  • Formulate recommendations for integration/recognition of the validation method in practice.

The project is planned in such a way that practical and usable interim results will be provided. With an eye on wide acceptance and application, next to MapXact other independent parties will become part of the steering group of the project. The academic guidance will take place by the faculties of Engineering Technology (Prof.dr.ir. Dorée, Dr.ir. Olde Scholtenhuis) and ITC (Prof. dr. Van der Meijde).

More Information


We offer a very challenging position for two years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In this time we will provide you with a tailor made post-master design programme that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%).

  • A salary of € 1.865 gross per month;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A solid pension scheme;
  • 41 holidays in case of full-time employment.

On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree PDEng and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).

Web site for additional job details

Offer Requirements

Specific Requirements

  • You hold a MSc degree in Civil Engineering or a related discipline;
  • Knowledge/affinity with cables, pipelines, detection technology and/or technology-innovation is an advantage
  • You have demonstrated affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments;
  • You have a passion for finding solutions for complex technological issues;
  • You have excellent collaboration and communication skills;
  • You are self-starting and self-motivating, willing to take initiatives and feel the responsibility for your own project;

Candidates with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).

INFORMATION AND APPLICATION If you have any further questions about this vacancy, please contact dr.ir. L.L. olde Scholtenhuis by email: l.l.oldescholtenhuis@utwente.nl or by telephone: +31 53 489 6857.

Please send the following documents before 8 December 2018 through the link below:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List with grades of courses attended
  • References and, if applicable, a list of publications.

Work location(s)
1 position(s) available at
University of Twente (UT)
7522 NB
Drienerlolaan 5

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EURAXESS offer ID: 351884
Posting organisation offer ID: 50799


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