Assistant Professor of Data Analytics for Business Optimization

Wageningen University



Assistant Professor Data Analytics for Business Optimization (Tenure Track)

Published on
January 14, 2020

Location Wageningen

We are looking for

Are you the assistant professor with experience in data analytics and business optimization? Maybe you are the right person to strengthen the further development of data analytics capabilities, both in research and in teaching, within the Chair group of Operations Research and Logistics (ORL).

These days research and education in the field of Operations Research and Logistics are shifting due to an increased focus on data analytics. Unfortunately, data availability in agri-food networks still varies. Data on business sciences increasingly become abundantly available at ever more granular levels. Many efforts are focused on generating even more granular data in networks (including agri-food networks, for example with the development of Smart Farming or the collection of detailed traceability data throughout the supply chain). The availability of increasingly granular data provides an important opportunity for more advanced decision making (in the face of trade-offs). Traditional empirical methods are not adequate to deal with this. Recent advances in machine learning approaches offer better opportunities to effectively exploit large datasets and combine approaches, for example: machine learning and optimization. As a result, decision-makers can have better insights into causes and effects of actions (and their interrelations - directly, indirectly and over time). These approaches may also allow for better interpretable models (instead of typical black-box models), which is increasingly demanded from data analytics approaches in business settings. Data analytics for situations where data is not (yet) abundantly available is equally relevant in the field of data analytics. There are still many situations where abundant data availability is a problem (e.g. with new product development and introductions or the use of new processing technologies). Prediction using such 'small data' is a field that is also becoming more and more relevant in data analytics and essential to feed optimization models aiming to provide prescriptive analytics.

The ORL group is active in teaching at both the Bachelor, Master and PhD level. The successful candidate may support existing courses as well as develop new courses that fit the profile of the group. The successful candidate is furthermore expected to conduct data driven research that is focused on and inspired by industry applications, using advanced statistical skills for processing and analyzing datasets programmed in software such as Python or R. Candidates who have experience with connecting machine learning and optimization approaches are especially welcome.

Your key responsibilities:

  • establish a research portfolio that is embedded within the Operations Research and Logistics group;
  • undertake research that leads to high quality research outputs;
  • lecture courses (lectures, practicals) on Data Driven Supply Chain Management and Decision Science for Technology and develop new educational materials;
  • supervise BSc and MSc thesis students, as well as PhD students where possible;
  • submit relevant grant applications in line with the group’s research focus and obtain research funding;
  • communicate outcomes of research to relevant partners.


We ask

The ideal candidate is characterized by:

  • a PhD in preferably Operations Research/Operations Management, Computer Science, or Industrial Engineering;
  • experience in machine learning and optimization, big data analysis;
  • knowledge of and proven interest in Logistics and Supply Chain Management;
  • preferably knowledge of and proven interest in agri-food supply chains;
  • a strong, good publication record in the top quartile of peer-reviewed ISI journals (i.e., top 25% by impact factor);
  • result-driven teamplayer with creative ideas and good networker;
  • capacity to acquire funds for research;
  • hardworking and enthusiastic educator, with the drive to implement innovative methodologies in education;
  • good technical skills with modelling and programming software, e.g. Python or R.

This position requires an excellent English language proficiency (a minimum of CEFR C2 level). For more information about this proficiency level, please visit our special language page.


We offer

A challenging fulltime position in an international and ambitious group. The initial employment contract will be for a period of 6 years, with the possibility of obtaining a permanent position (tenure) and promotion to associate professor if criteria are met. In case of excellent performance, earlier tenure decisions are possible. See here more information on the Wageningen Tenure Track system.

Depending on your experience you will receive a competitive salary from a minimum of € 3.637,- to a maximum of € 4.978,- for a full working week of 38 hours in accordance with the Collective Labor Agreement Dutch Universities (scale 11).

In addition, we offer:
•    8% holiday allowance;
•    a structural year-end bonus of 8.3%;
•    excellent training opportunities and secondary employment conditions;
•    flexible working hours and holidays can possibly be determined in consultation so that an optimal balance between work and private life is possible;
•    excellent pension plan through ABP;
•    232 vacation hours, the option to purchase extra and good supplementary leave schemes;
•    a flexible working time: the possibility to work a maximum of 2 hours per week extra and thereby to build up extra leave;
•    a choice model to put together part of your employment conditions yourself, such as a bicycle plan;
•    a lively workplace where you can easily make contacts and where many activities take place on the Wageningen Campus. A place where education, research and business are represented;
•    use the sports facilities on campus.

Wageningen University & Research stimulates internal career opportunities and mobility with an internal recruitment policy. There are ample opportunities for own initiative in a learning environment.
We offer a versatile job in an international environment with varied activities in a pleasant and open working atmosphere.

More information

Address your application, including a covering letter with your motivation and a CV, to the chair of the Search Committee for this position, prof.dr. Sander de Leeuw. Please upload your application online at before March 2, 2020.

You will receive an automatic e-mail confirmation within 24 hours, applications not submitted via the online system are not taken into consideration.

The first round of interviews will be scheduled via telephone or Skype in the last week of March, 2020. A second round of interviews for this position will then take place in April, 2020 in Wageningen.

If you have further questions about this opening, please feel free to contact: Prof. Sander de Leeuw , telephone number +31 (0)317 48 1403, e-mail address:
Please do not use this email address to apply for this position.

We are

The mission of our University is to explore the potential of nature to improve the quality of life. Within Wageningen University & Research, nine specialised research institutes from the Wageningen Research Foundation and Wageningen University have joined forces to help answer the most important questions in the domain of healthy food and living environment. With approximately 30 locations, 6.000 employees, and 12.000 students, it is one of the leading organisations in its domain worldwide. An integrated approach to problems and the cooperation between various disciplines are at the heart of the unique approach of Wageningen.

We are an equal opportunities employer and welcome applications from all suitably qualified persons regardless of their race, sex, disability, religion/belief, sexual orientation or age.

The Operations Research and Logistics Group: our mission is to contribute to the state-of-the-art of Operations Research and Logistics Management in agrifood and biobased supply chains to cope with contemporary complexity issues by developing innovative logistics concepts, decision support models, and solution approaches.

In your application, please refer to


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