Postdoc position in ‘Digital Ship Operations and Vessel Performance’

The Department of Technology and Innovation (ITI) at University of Southern Denmark (SDU) invites applications for a 2-year Postdoc position in Digital Ship Operations with an emphasis on Vessel Performance. The starting time is August 2020, or as soon as possible thereafter, and the job location is at Odense Denmark.

The successful candidate is expected to work actively in WP 1.2 of the national research and innovation platform ShippingLab ( and conduct application-oriented research with a team of industry partners in the deep-sea shipping sector. A key challenge of the shipping industry is to be able to monitor and improve vessel performance with the purpose of reducing fuel consumption and emissions of GHG gasses. Ship owners and operators as well as equipment vendors have in recent years invested intensively in digital technologies for vessel, hull, propeller and equipment performance monitoring as sensors, IOT devices, connectivity, data warehouses, cloud computing, business intelligence software etc. and are keen on reaping more business and economic benefits from those investments.

The research work planned for this position is to conduct big data analysis to identify operational and commercial potentials in vessel management, and develop/test models for improving energy-efficiency performance in close collaboration with a team of industry players (ship owners, operators, third-party specialist vendors etc.), in order to support the development of next-generation digital twin/AI models for vessel performance management. The related data include company datasets on vessel operations and publicly / commercially available datasets on ship positions, weather, wind, currents etc. (e.g. AIS, hindcast weather data, ocean currents etc.); modelling analysis work will involve deployment of statistical analysis, AI methods, Big Data computation and ship navigation / propulsion related theories. The aim is to identify root causes for vessel performance degradation over time and quantify the impacts of related factors, as basis for proposing relevant solutions for improvement in collaboration with industry partners.

This project supports the Industry 4.0 Laboratory Initiative at University of Southern Denmark, a long-term strategic initiative created to support research, teaching, and industrial collaboration and experimentation. The postdoc position(s) is primarily funded by ShippingLab (, and remaining funding may come from relevant research projects and/or department support through teaching activities.

Job description

    You will conduct research in the corresponding research area, e.g., conduct data analysis on historical operation records, understand physics of vessel operations and performance, develop models for performance monitoring and root cause identification. Research should be validated by theoretical modelling and experimental methods.
    You will develop and test one or more mathematical / statistical / physics/ AI models using open-source software.
    You will participate in planning, execution and documentation of projects with industrial partners.
    You will be involved in teaching / supervision for Master and Bachelor students.
    You will publish and present your work both at international conferences and in scientific journals with high impact.

Profile and requirements

  1. D. degree/research in Naval Architecture, Ship Operations, Energy Efficiency or similar topic with experience from working on the domain of digital ship operations and vessel performance modelling.
  2. Skilled in data-driven analytics and mathematical modelling/optimization, preferable in AI / Machine Learning domains
  3. Comfortable with various programming languages and willingness to learn new if needed
  4. Good written and oral communication skills
  5. Comfortable working both independently and within a team
  6. Willingness to support industrial partners and overall research project progress
  7. Interested in longer term commitment to a growing research group
  8. Interested in contributing to teaching / supervision
  9. Fluent in English, both spoken and written

Applicants should have a technical profile and documented previous experience of applying their research within an industrial application domain (track record of industrial collaborations within their expertise fields).

Contact information
Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Gang Chen email:

Application, salary etc.
The successful applicant will be employed in accordance with the agreement between the Ministry of Finance and AC (the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations). Please check links for more information on salary and taxation.

The application must include the following:

  1. Letter of motivation, including details on qualifications within the subject area (max. one page).
  2. A curriculum vitae including information on previous employment, list of programming skills mastered by the applicant, and teaching and supervision experience.
  3. A certified copy of your PhD degree certificate.
  4. A full list of publications stating the scientific publications on which the applicant wishes to rel
  5. At least one letter of recommendation from supervisors or previous employers. Should your referees wish to send their letters directly to us, please have them use mentioning your name and the title of the position in the subject line. And please note that these also need to reach us before deadline.

Shortlisting may be used in the assessment process.

Incomplete applications and applications received after the deadline will neither be considered nor evaluated.

Important information before applying

Applicants are required to have a PhD or equivalent degree at the time of employment. Applications will be assessed by an expert assessor/committee. Applicants will be informed of their assessment by the university.

The University wishes our staff to reflect the diversity of society and thus welcomes applications from all qualified candidates regardless of personal background.

Applications must be submitted electronically using the link “Apply online”. Attached files must be in Adobe PDF or Word format. Each box can only contain a single file of max. 10 Mb. We strongly recommend that you read How to apply before you apply.

Further information for international applicants about entering and working in Denmark.

Further information about The Faculty of Engineering.

Deadline: 1 June 2020
Unit: Faculty of Engineering
Campus: Odense
Read the job description and apply online

Post expires on Monday June 1st, 2020