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Submitted by mvoppen on


You will be working on a 1-year research project in collaboration with the Flemish drinking water utility De Watergroep. The project focusses on the development of a framework for automatic calibration and uncertainty analysis of digital twins for leak detection in drinking water networks. Your specific tasks include:

  • Conduct a literature review on state-of-the-art calibration methodologies.
  • Make an inventory among international drinking water utilities of the application and calibration of hydraulic models.
  • You will develop an open python package for automatic calibration of EPAnet drinking water network models. This framework will include:
    • Sensitivity analysis to determine the most important sources of uncertainty in a calibration exercise (ex. pipe roughness factors);
    • Definition of physical constraints on the calibration algorithm (ex. flow-pressure relation);
    • Implementation of a parameter optimization algorithm (ex. genetic algorithms);
    • Identifiability analysis on the estimated model parameters.
  • If needed based on the identifiability analysis you will look into model reduction strategies such as skeletonization.
  • You will develop a methodology for the propagation of important sources of uncertainty in a hydraulic model.
  • You will apply and test your methodology to a case-study in the north-east of Belgium. 



  • You have a master’s degree or a PhD degree in bio-science engineering, chemical engineering, process engineering or similar.
  • You have good knowledge of optimization algorithms and uncertainty analysis.
  • You have experience with (mathematical) modelling & modelling software such as Python.
  • You have good knowledge of hydraulic modelling of drinking water networks. Experience in EPAnet is a plus.
  • You are a quick learner and are able to conduct independent research.
  • You are fluent in English, both speaking and writing.
  • You are motivated and dedicated.


  • We offer you a contract of either scientific staff or postdoctoral researcher (depending on your diploma) of a 1-year duration.
  • Your contract will start on 1/09/2020 at the earliest.
  • Your remuneration will be determined by salary scale WM1 to WM4 (if you hold a Master’s degree) or salary scale PD1 to PD4 (if you hold a doctorate). Click here for more information about our salary scales.
  • All Ghent University staff members enjoy a number of benefits, such as a wide range of training and education opportunities, 35 days of holiday leave (on an annual basis for a full-time job) supplemented by annual fixed bridge days, bicycle allowance and eco vouchers. Click here for a complete overview of all the staff benefits (in Dutch).


All information here.