PhD vacancy “the notion of malfunction”

Job description

In engineering, technological products that do not satisfy the functional requirements laid out for them are said to malfunction. This notion of malfunction plays an important role in engineering and is philosophically intricate. The research project aims to survey modern engineering uses of the notion of malfunction and develop these into a systematic account. A more extensive project description can be downloaded here.


Required: either a degree in engineering with an interest in philosophy or a degree in philosophy with an interest in engineering. Preferred: a degree in both fields.

Conditions of employment

The appointee will be employed by TU Delft for a fixed period of 4 years (38 hours/week) within which he/she is expected to write a doctoral dissertation (PhD thesis). The salary has a maximum of € 2558 per month gross with a full-time appointment and depending on experience. TU Delft offers an attractive benefits package, including a flexible work week, a free ADSL connection at home, and the opportunity to assemble a customized compensation and benefits package (the ‘IKA’). Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities.

Information and application

For more information about this position, please contact Maarten Franssen, phone: +31 (0)15 2785795, ­e-mail:; or contact Mirjam Koning, e-mail: ­ To apply, please send a detailed CV along with a letter of application to Mirjam Koning. Internal candidates have preference in selection. TU Delft is an equal opportunity employer. When applying for this position, make sure to mention vacancy number ATTBM07-041.

Background information on the organisation

TU Delft

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) is a multifaceted institution offering education and carrying out research in the technical sciences at an internationally recognized level. Education, research and design are strongly oriented towards applicability. TU Delft develops technologies for future generations, focusing on sustainability, safety and economic vitality. At TU Delft you will work in an environment where technical sciences and society converge. TU Delft comprises eight faculties, unique laboratories, research institutes and schools. 

Faculty of Technology, Policy and Management

The TPM faculty carries out research and teaching at the interface between technology and management. We educate our students to become engineers who combine the knowledge of technology with well-developed management skills for companies or administrations. The issues we study are socially relevant and require a multidisciplinary approach. We are design-oriented and make an important contribution to the resolution of socio-technical issues. We have extensive networks within science and practice, and are internationally orientated.

Philosophy section

The Philosophy section provides courses on foundational and normative issues regarding engineering and technology for all engineering programmes at Delft University of Technology. The section’s research programme focuses on foundational and ethical problems related to technology. The section participates in the 3TU Centre for Ethics and Technology.