PhD Position in Design of Flexible Public Bus Services for Smart Cities KU Leuven Centre for Industrial Management / Traffic & Infrastructure Belgium


The supervisor of this research, prof. Pieter Vansteenwegen, works at the Centre of Industrial Management, Traffic and Infrastructure (CIB). CIB has research groups working on optimization of public transportation, traffic management and logistic optimization. The supervisor is also the chair of the KU Leuven Mobility Research Centre. This center brings together and integrates complementary expertise on mobility, infrastructure, logistics and environment at KU Leuven. At CIB, at least two other PhD students are working on (closely) related research topics in the field of public transport line planning. Other PhD students are working on applications of operations research for practical problems. This project is in collaboration with prof. Kenneth Sörensen of the University of Antwerp. He supervises many PhD students working on practical applications of operations research.



Currently, most public bus systems offer almost the same service all day long, even when the demand clearly changes throughout the day. This is rather rigid and inefficient. However, in the near future, in many ‘smart cities’, it will be possible both for potential passengers to explicitly state their destination, requested arrival time, etc., and for a bus operator to communicate bus arrival times and other information in real-time to its passengers and drivers. This allows to make public bus services much more flexible and efficient.


Therefore, in this project, we focus on making bus services flexible by allowing on-line changes to the routes, stops and timetable. We will explore the possibilities and develop mathematical models and optimization techniques to fully exploit the opportunities of flexibility. Then, we will evaluate under which circumstances different types of flexibility should be considered for practice. The goal is to obtain a more efficient, flexible and demand oriented public bus system.


This is a research project together with the University of Antwerp, funded by FWO-Vlaanderen.



The candidate should have a master degree in engineering, traffic engineering, business engineering, computer science, informatics or applied mathematics and have an interest in practical applications of quantitative techniques and operations research.


Basic programming skills are required.


He/She should be able to write and teach in English (e.g., IELTS 7; IB TOEFL 90; GMAT 575; TOEIC 817). Speaking Dutch is an advantage.



  • A four year fully funded doctoral research position at KU Leuven;
  • (80%) scientific research in the field of operations research;
  • (20%) educational tasks: seminars, workshops, thesis coaching, etc.;
  • Attending conferences, visiting international partners, etc.


The starting date of this research position is as soon as possible, but anything between March 1 and October 1, 2019, can be discussed.




For more information please contact Prof. dr. ir. Pieter Vansteenwegen, tel.: +32 16 32 16 69, mail:


You can apply for this job no later than March 01, 2019 via the online application tool

KU Leuven seeks to foster an environment where all talents can flourish, regardless of gender, age, cultural background, nationality or impairments. If you have any questions relating to accessibility or support, please contact us at

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Computeroxy


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