PDEng position: Context-realistic VR training simulators: Using sensed data to reconstruct actual road construction operations in a VR training environment

This job offer has expired

    University of Twente (UT)
    First Stage Researcher (R1)
    14/05/2019 00:00 - Europe/Brussels
    Netherlands › Enschede

Construction industry has a growing need for vocationally trained operators who not only possess traditional domain knowledge and skills, but are also able to oversee variation, uncertainty and risks in their daily jobs. Virtual Reality (VR) technology can bring realistic working situations to the classroom, helping students to experience the full complexity of work situations and train their situational awareness. However, often scenarios are not very realistic in terms of reflecting the dynamics of the actual construction site. In order to create realistic circumstances and scenarios that also reflect uncertainty, the aim of this project is to use sensed data (images or sensors) to reconstruct the actual construction operation in the VR environment. Based on the data collected from various types of operations, different virtual training scenarios will be developed. Tasks and objectives are the same across scenarios, but conditions will vary. The VR environment should also support video playback that can be used for debriefing sessions.

The development of this has an exploratory-design character and therefore it fits in the scope of the PDEng ASPARi programme.


The main challenges in the project include:

  • Understanding the mindset of teachers and students in order to identify the types of uncertainties that need to be reflected in the VR. This challenge is mainly handled by project members from Educational Science and Technology.
  • Developing a solution to capture these uncertainties from actual construction operations in VR.
  • Translating the sensed data into VR training scenarios.
  • Piloting an educational programme based on the developed scenarios (in collaboration with teachers and students), including usability studies.


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, other independent parties will become part of the steering group of the project, including representatives from education (including teachers and school leaders), science (Educational Science and Technology and Construction Management & Engineering), industry and the ASPARi (Asphalt Paving Research and innovation) network, and various schools for vocational education. The academic guidance will take place by the faculties of Engineering Technology (dr. ir. Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki) and Behavioural, Management and Social Sciences (dr. Bas Kollöffel).


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 € 1.913 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 a relevant discipline;
  • Knowledge/affinity with VR technology, game-development, programming, and education 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).


If you have any further questions about this vacancy, please contact dr. ir. Faridaddin Vahdatikhaki (e-mail: f.vahdatikhaki@utwente.nl; telephone: +31534892242) or dr. Bas Kollöffel (e-mail: b.j.kolloffel@utwente.nl; telephone: +31534891066).

Your application should include the following documents:

  • Letter of motivation
  • Curriculum vitae
  • List with grades of courses attended
  • Two references and, if applicable, a list of publications, implementations or products.

You can upload your application via www.utwente.nl/vacatures/en (click twice to find vacancy). Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

The application deadline is May 13th, 2019. Interviews will be held in May/June 2019.

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

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EURAXESS offer ID: 400054
Posting organisation offer ID: 54141


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