Last application date Jul 16, 2021 00 : 00
Department TW18 - Department of Industrial Systems Engineering and Product Design
Contract Limited duration
Degree Master degree in Industrial Engineering, Educational Sciences & Technology, Operations Research, or equivalent
Occupancy rate 100%
Vacancy type Research staff
PhD in operator competence management towards a skilled and robust workforce : ISyE (Ghent University, Belgium)
ISyE is a core research group of Flanders Make. It performs applied research in the domain of industrial systems engineering and optimization.
Our major research areas are in flexible assembly systems design, control and optimization, and in particular human support in manufacturing.
Outline of the PhD :
Due to the introduction of mass customization, manufacturing companies have to be more flexible than before. Subsequently, there is a high need for multi-skilled operators that can perform a wide range of tasks.
Training people (offline and on-the-job), however, comes with a cost. The origin of this cost is twofold : directly due to a trainer or the specific technology used (digital instructions, AR / VR, micro-learning) and indirectly due to a reduced added value to the production line during training.
Finding the right trade-off between cost and benefit is thus crucial to remain competitive. Next to the personal development of a single operator, it is important for a manufacturing company to have a robust and resilient workforce that can cope with absenteeism, frequent changes in product mix and volumes and multiple unforeseen circumstances.
Different strategies could be used to ensure the required robustness of the workforce, going from a standard cross-training approach to more sophisticated competence monitoring and management.
The aim of this PhD research is to investigate (1) how the competence level(s) of an individual should be quantified; (2) what the effect is of on-the-job training strategies on competence levels and (3) how this information can be used in order to improve and maintain the robustness of the workforce.
We offer the opportunity to carry out a doctoral research in a motivating environment (ISyE-core lab, part of Ghent University and Flanders Make).
Next to a high motivation and interest in the topic, you must meet following requirements :