Scientist hydraulic engineering constructions

Contributing to tomorrow's world. Envision it. Become a Scientist at TNO in Delft.



Education type

university (wo)



Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


The water infrastructure of the Netherlands is in increasing need of change. Climate change is being felt, safety is of great importance, data is exploding, the professional potential is shrinking. TNO's ambition for the coming years is to focus on developing new applied knowledge to preserve and renew the hydraulic engineering structures. Together with partners, we have set up a multi-year investment programme to increase the knowledge of the technical and functional lifespan of hydraulic engineering structures and to find solutions for the upcoming replacement task. As a scientist, you will use your knowledge of structures and probabilistics to help us achieve these ambitious objectives.

What will be your role?

You carry out qualitative and quantitative analyses to determine the risks and reliability of hydraulic engineering structures, including surge barriers, locks, quay walls in harbours and sheet piling. Because every structure is different, has a different history and is exposed to different conditions, every project will be a new journey of discovery for you. You come up with new solutions and develop applications to perform calculations, together with your colleagues from the project team. You do this for clients such as Rijkswaterstaat, port authorities and water boards and in consortiums with other (international) research institutions.

Your analyses answer questions such as "how long can this structure be safely used?" or "how can we improve the design?". Your goal is to fulfil the client's wishes in the best possible way. In your thinking, you dare to leave the beaten track and depart from the usual methods; after all, many clients turn to TNO precisely for that reason. Sometimes this means that you may not be able to find the best solution right away, but by cooperating and exchanging knowledge with colleagues and researchers from other organisations, such as Deltares and TU Delft, you will definitely make a step forward. 

This vacancy is open to both junior and medior scientists. In consultation with you and based on your knowledge, ambitions and interests, we will determine what your range of tasks will be. As a junior scientist, you will receive a little more guidance from medior and senior colleagues in the beginning. As a medior scientist, we expect you to be able to independently set up and carry out research in a team context. In addition, you often independently advise our clients. 

Within TNO, you will work in the Risk and Reliability Team, which is part of the Structural Reliability Expertise Group. Your team consists of about fifteen colleagues, a social and committed group of people with diverse backgrounds and levels of experience. Together, we make risks and uncertainties in structures visible by quantifying them. The team works closely with the structure experts of the Structural Safety Team. Linking these areas of expertise makes it possible to design, manage, maintain and replace structures in a risk-driven way. To achieve this, we use physical and probabilistic models, data assimilation, statistical analyses and expert judgment. Sometimes we make a full probabilistic assessment of one structure. On other occasions, we prepare a more general maintenance and inspection vision for a range of structures. Read more about research into civil structures at TNO.

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

You have an open mind, allowing you to easily think outside the box and to work well in a diverse and multinational team. You are also well capable of connecting with experts outside TNO. Since you will often be working for clients, being capable of assuming the role of consultant and advising our clients is a plus. 
Other knowledge and skills you bring to TNO: 
  •  A university master's degree in civil engineering. A PhD in the field of structural safety or risk analysis is a plus;
  • Knowledge of performing structural assessments of civil structures, especially hydraulic structures;
  • You have knowledge of and experience with stochastic and probabilistic modelling. 2 - 5 years work experience is a plus;
  • Knowledge of analytical methods for risks and reliability;
  • Programming experience (including Python, Matlab, C, Fortran); 
  • You have strong oral and written communication skills in Dutch and English (minimum B1 level);
  • You have demonstrable reporting skills.

What you’ll get in return

Challenging and varied work with a real impact. And plenty of opportunities as, at TNO, you are in charge of shaping your career. We offer a gross monthly salary between € 2.818,- and € 5.994,- (based on your knowledge and experience), 8% holiday pay, a 13th month bonus of 8.33% and a flex budget (5.58% + € 180). In addition, you will be given every opportunity to develop yourself.

Perhaps you would like to grow your career in the direction of commerce or consultancy? Or would you like to become a project manager? Immerse yourself in sustainable innovations? Or carve out a career as a technical expert?

TNO offers optional employee benefits, enabling you to tailor your benefits package to match your personal situation. You may also expect:
  • An extremely professional, innovative working environment where colleagues are leading experts in their field.
  • The opportunity to attend courses, workshops and conferences, and to receive training and coaching based on your needs.
  • 33 days annual leave on a full-time basis.
  • An employer that values and encourages diverse talent, with initiatives like the Female Leadership Program, our Rainbow Community and round tables on inclusion topics.
  • Travel allowance.
  • Great social events with your team and other TNO colleagues. That’s how you will get to know a lot of people really quickly.
  • Flexible working hours and the possibility of working from home.
  • Access to our Talent Development Programme.
  • Networking opportunities and great activities organized by Jong TNO.
  • Extensive relocation package for international candidates.
  • A good pension scheme.

Read more about tailoring your benefits package.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

Please apply before August 22nd. The selection process comprises two interview rounds. The preliminary interview takes place on August 29th. The second interview round has been scheduled for September 6th. In a final meeting we will discuss the terms of employment and your tailored benefits package. We aim to finalize the entire process within four weeks.

The selection process may include an online assessment and a reference check.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Recruiter: Frank Bax
Mobile phone: +31 (0)6 113 20080

Hiring manager: Arlette Pikaart

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


Apply now


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