Ph.D. On Campus

Smart and Sustainable Transport in Ports

Erasmus University Rotterdam

48 months
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


As part of a large European project on sustainable ports, we offer a PhD position in Smart and Sustainable Transport in Ports at Erasmus University Rotterdam.


 With the increasing awareness of climate change, industries are under more and more pressure to reduce their carbon footprint. One sector that contributes significantly to CO2 emission are international ports. In this project, we study ways to reduce the carbon footprint of one of the largest ports in the world.

To do this, we study the implementation of electric, and potentially autonomous, transportation modes within the port. We will particularly focus on two modes of transport:

  • 1) autonomous and electric barges for inter-terminal transportation,

  • 2) green connected trucks. In two separate work packages, we study the challenges in the implementation of these green alternatives.

  • In the third part of the research, we develop a simulation model combined with optimization that can determine the optimal use of the different modes of transportation.


This project in Smart and Sustainable Transport in Ports at Erasmus University Rotterdam develops and uses quantitative research methods based on operations research, econometrics, and machine learning to optimize the transportation within ports. This can include Linear Programming, Simulation, and Queueing theory.

In the project, we collaborate with multiple industry partners and knowledge institutes in the consortium. We expect that there will be extensive collaborations with TNO and the RSM-Business Information Management group, both of which being in the same work packages. Furthermore, to strengthen your international profile, we strongly encourage our Ph.D. students to go abroad for a research visit during their third or fourth year at one of the top universities for 3 to 6 months.

As a PhD student, you will gain the training and experience necessary to conduct independent research through course work in information systems, economics, econometrics, machine learning, optimization, and large-scale data analytics. You will work closely with the advisors to define, develop, and execute your own research. The PhD dissertation will be defined by the student with inputs from the advisors, and thus requires creativity, self-direction, and a passion for scientific inquiry.

Programme Structure


  • Autonomous barge

  • Green connected trucking

  •  Green logistics DSS

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 48 months

Start dates & application deadlines

More details

Application deadline: 15th December 2021

We encourage applicants to submit as early as possible as we will evaluate applications as they come in.


On Campus

Academic requirements

GRE admission requirements GRE®
GMAT admission requirements GMAT

Other requirements

General requirements

  • The candidates should have an interest in the challenges faced by logistical companies in their transition towards a more sustainable operation. He or she should have a quantitative orientation towards problem solving. The candidate should also be open to collaborating with the industry partners within the project;
  • Preferred background: MSc. in Operations Research, Applied Mathematics, Industrial Engineering, Supply Chain Management, Econometrics, Computer Science or Business Analytics;
  • Excellent study record;
  • Programming experience;
  • International orientation and the capacity to speak and write in English fluently;
  • Commitment and drive to execute excellent PhD Research.

  • Curriculum vitae

  • A certified copy of all academic diplomas

  • A certified translation of academic diplomas

  • A certified translation of the transcripts

  • Two academic reference letters 

  • Original GMAT or GRE test score

  • A statement of purpose

Tuition Fee

To alway see correct tuition fees
  • International

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 EUR per year during 48 months.
  • EU/EEA

    Tuition Fee
    Based on the tuition of 0 EUR per year during 48 months.

We do not charge fees to accepted PhD candidates.

Living costs for Rotterdam

760 - 1265 EUR /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Fresh content

Updated in the last 3 months

Check the official programme website for potential updates.

Our partners

Smart and Sustainable Transport in Ports
Erasmus University Rotterdam


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