New PhD Researcher position

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The KWR Water Research Institute in the Netherlands in collaboration with the Politecnico di Milano (PoliMi) in Italy, is looking for an ambitious early career researcher who will take up the challenge of working towards the design of the Next Generation of Urban Drinking Water Systems. This research will be undertaken within the creative, multi-disciplinary environment of the prestigious ERC Synergy Grant 2020 “Water-Futures” co-led by Professor Dragan Savic.

The Water-Futures project involves an interdisciplinary team co-led by Profs. Phoebe Koundouri (Athens University of Economics and Business, Greece), Barbara Hammer (University of Bielefeld, Germany) and Marios Polycarpou (University of Cyprus, Cyprus). The project aims to develop a theoretical basis for designing smart water systems. These next-generation systems will integrate real-time monitoring and control with long-term robustness and flexibility-based pathway methods, and incorporate economic, social, ethical and environmental considerations for sustainable transitioning of urban water systems under deep uncertainty with multiple possible futures. The successful candidate will work in the area of water systems transitions combining state of the art Artificial Intelligence methods, novel conceptual frameworks around long-term performance of systems (such as resilience, robustness and flexibility) with advanced quantitative and qualitative methods to capture deep uncertainty, in order to design systems that can deliver the services, smart cities of tomorrow require. The candidate will be required to work independently and as part of a Water-Futures team of PhD students, senior researchers and supervisors. 

The research will lead to a PhD degree in Science, Technology, and Policy for Sustainable Change awarded by PoliMi. The candidate will be funded by and spend a significant amount of time at KWR in the Netherlands, where she/he will interact with both interdisciplinary teams of water scientists and engineers as well as the Water Companies themselves. At PoliMi she/he will work under the supervision of Professor Andrea Castelletti in the Environmental Intelligence Lab. The PhD programme will last four years

Desired Qualifications include:

  • Undergraduate and/or Postgraduate degree in engineering and/or computer science;
  • Excellent mathematical and problem-solving skills;
  • Experience with system modelling, and preferably water/environmental systems modelling;
  • Good programming skills (e.g., Python, R, Matlab)
  • Prior experience in Artificial Intelligence / Machine Learning techniques;
  • Excellent communication and reporting skills (in English).

Interested candidates are requested to send a motivation letter, a CV and the names of three referees to: Profs. Dragan Savic and Andrea Castelletti 

Priority will be given to applications received prior to the 31st of May 2022, but the advertisement will remain active until the position(s) are filled.

For additional information about the research content, please contact:

Prof. Dragan Savic (  and Prof. Andrea Castelletti (

Categories: Positions