Open Position as a Doctoral researcher/Ph.D. student in Semantic Digital Twins

The University of Stuttgart represents outstanding, world-renowned research and first-class teaching in one of Europe's most dynamic industrial regions. As a reliable employer, the university supports and promotes the academic careers of its researchers. It is proud of its employees, who currently come from over 100 different countries. The university is a partner for knowledge and technology transfer and focuses on multidisciplinarity.

Publication date:  Jul 25, 2022
Position-ID: 642
Faculty: Computer Science, Electrical Eng. & Inform. Techn. 
Institution: Computer Science, Electrical Eng. & Inform. Techn. : IPVS - Institute of Parallel and Distributed Systems 
Research Association: N/A 
Teaching Obligation: Yes 
Application deadline: 07/31/2022
Anticipated Start Date:  08/15/2022   
About Us

The Analytic Computing group at the University of Stuttgart, Germany, invites applications for a full-time position as a doctoral researcher/Ph.D. student (100% TV-L E 13). Personal inquiries can be directed to Prof. Staab or Dr. Hernandez. Please visit our website (link below, in Contact Details) to learn more about us and our research. 

Your Tasks

The entrance of the digital age has introduced new challenges to the process of design, construction, and operation of buildings. Since this process is inherently multidisciplinary, project actors face the problem of interchanging their digital assets. The increasing number of software tools made it inviable to manage the data via files that must be translated between the different existing tools and formats. Architecture, Engineering, and Construction disciplines are therefore adopting a new paradigm, called Digital Twin, where physical objects are mirrored into a digital model. Data obtained from the physical objects are stored and organized. In return, computation is performed on the digital model to discover information that is used to manage the physical objects. 


The design, construction, and operation of a building compromises multiple disciplines and processes that must be performed simultaneously during the lifecycle of a building. Giving digital objects semantics is a promising approach to integrating knowledge across these different disciplines, and ensuring a correct alignment. A design decision in one discipline that violates restrictions stated in another discipline can be detected at the initial stages of the design. 


In this position, you will develop methods for applications for Semantic Digital Twins in architectural design and the construction of buildings. The position offers some flexibility and stronger focus can be given to more fundamental or more application-oriented questions depending on your interests. Your research will include the design of core ontologies for architectural design processes, belief representation methods that allow reasoning about design processes at distinct levels of abstraction, and the development of methods for detecting and repairing inconsistencies and constraint violations in designs. 


What you will contribute

You will work on core ontologies for architecture, engineering, and construction, on methods to support various stages of the engineering process, and corresponding formal reasoning methods. You will advise and tutor bachelor’s and master’s students in the computer and data science programs of the department on topics related to your research. 

Your Profile

Applicants for the position are required to have an MSc in computer science or in a related field. You should possess knowledge in logic and/or ontologies and/or formal artificial intelligence. First experience with KR methods like knowledge graphs, semantic web technologies (e.g., RDF, SPARQL, SHACL), or logical knowledge representation methods (e.g., belief revision, description logics) are needed for the position. Good social and communication skills are a must. 


Please submit the following documents to apply: 

  1. a motivation/cover letter that highlights why you are the right fit for this specific position, 

  1. a curriculum vitae, 

  1. if possible, scans of all your original final transcripts and diploma certificates (or stamped official translations) from each university degree (Bachelor, Master, etc.). Otherwise, please send unofficial documents and translations as available. 


Applications submitted before July 31st will receive preferential treatment. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. 

Our Benefits

We provide you with a friendly, but challenging interdisciplinary research environment and support your academic career towards accomplishing your Ph.D. in a prestigious research group. In Germany, our computer science department is in the top 6 in citation rate and top 4 in the total number of publications (Source: U Multirank 2021). 


The salary amounts to German TV-L E 13, which starts at approx. 50,000 Euro income per year (before taxation). 

Employment and compensation information
Maximal Funding Period or Duration of Employment: 3 years  
Type of Funding: Position as Employee at the University of Stuttgart 
Compensation: EG TV-L 13 
Percentage of weekly working hours (usually 39.5h = 100%): 100% 
Employment at the cooperation partner:  
Location: Stuttgart, Campus Vaihingen 
If Location other than Stuttgart or additional location(s):
Contact Details
Contact person: Prof. Steffen Staab 
Phone: +49 711 685 88100 

At the University of Stuttgart, we actively promote diversity among our employees. We have set ourselves the goal of recruiting more female scientists and employing more people with an international background, as well as people with disabilities. We are therefore particularly pleased to receive applications from such people. Regardless, we welcome any good application. 

Women who apply will be given preferential consideration in areas in which they are underrepresented, provided they have the same aptitude, qualifications and professional performance. Severely disabled applicants with equal qualifications will be given priority.

As a certified family-friendly university, we support the compatibility of work and family, and of professional and private life in general, through various flexible modules. We have an employee health management system that has won several awards and offer our employees a wide range of continuing education programs. We are consistantly improving our accessibility. Our Welcome Center helps international scientists get started in Stuttgart. We support partners of new professors and managers with a dual-career program.

Information in accordance with Article 13 DS-GVO on the processing of applicant data can be found at