The Engineering Doctorate (EngD) programme Business & IT (BIT) offers you a 2-year position combining postmaster education and a design project to be carried out at 5ahead in Enschede.

The educational programme, carried out at the University of Twente, will have an in-depth and broadening character with ample attention for professional development and partly tailored to the design project. Together with 5ahead you will develop a high-level and creative solution for the given challenge. Note: EngD replaces the PDEng degree as of 1 September 2022. This means that if you graduate on or after 1 September 2022, you will receive a diploma with the degree of EngD. EngD is used as a degree already in the United Kingdom (UK) for programs that resemble our programs. We change our degree because the Universities of Applied Science in the Netherlands are starting with Professional Doctorate (PD) trajectories. Therefore, we want to avoid confusion between those trajectories and our programs at academic level. Only the name of the degree changes; the content of our programs is not affected. If you want to know more, please read more here

The challenge & the project

Current data generated by ELA Container and its partners are not being used to its full potential, so there is a sense that there are many opportunities to be seized. ELA Container therefore has the ambition to work more data-driven, leading to new products, services, and possibly new business models, which can be derived from existing data, but also from new data coming from new sensors or by using other external data generated by partners. At the moment, there are no smart products nor services making use of these data.

5ahead, located in The Gallery on the campus of the University of Twente, is the corporate startup of ELA Container working by the mission: ‘Always on the edge of business innovation’. Since ELA’s founding in 1972, it has been constantly advancing the range of products on offer. Intelligent solutions make the containers flexible and efficient all-rounders. Modern production and manufacturing technologies and high-precision craftsmanship guarantee maximum quality and safety.

The team of 5ahead is working hard to constantly initiate, analyze, develop, and implement innovation. Internal process innovations, as well as technical innovations and development of new business opportunities, continually in contact with the environment, and always thinking 5 steps ahead.

5ahead is developing an IT-platform for customers of ELA Container. A platform to store, process, interpret and enhance data. The platform will be capable of processing ELA-data, new data derived from sensors and data from external suppliers and partners. This platform also needs to offer a front-end to ELA customers that fits a new business model. This platform will make use of hardware components for smart solutions, which will be researched and validated in this EngD project.

As EngD trainee you are part of the project team of 5ahead and involved in the development of the IT-architecture of the platform. Hard- and software scouting for prototypes of new applications is part of your project. Above all there will be a need for your expertise to process and interpret the data and distract new possibilities from this data.

As a customer-focused corporate startup, 5ahead aims to show results quickly and continuously optimize these while conducting further research. This is where agile working methods with clearly defined sprints can help. Continuous validation of results with users will help keep the focus on customer experience.

The general planning of the project is as follows:

Month 1-6          Problem definition, demands, architecture

Month 7-18        Product development in sprints, first version of the platform after month 9

Month 19-24      Finishing, validation and delivery of the end report and product


  • You hold a MSc (masters) degree in: – Computer Science – Internet Science & Technology – Software Technology – Business Information Technology (BIT) – Industrial Engineering and Management – Interaction Technology, or a related specialization.
  • You have knowledge of software development and operations (tools, collaboration, experience).
  • Analytics knowledge or willingness to learn.
  • Programing knowledge and skills (on Python or similar).
  • Some knowledge of Data Science.
  • You have demonstrated affinity with design and multidisciplinary assignments.
  • You have a passion for finding solutions for complex IT-related issues.
  • You have excellent collaboration and communication skills.
  • You are self-starting and self-motivating, willing to take initiative and feel the responsibility for your own project.

Applicants with a non-Dutch qualification and who have not had secondary and tertiary education in English can only be admitted with an IELTS-test showing a total band score of at least 6.5, Internet TOEFL test (TOEFL-iBT) showing a score of at least 90, or a Cambridge CAE-C (CPE).


University of Twente and 5ahead offer you a very challenging position for two years in an inspiring multidisciplinary and international environment. In this time, we will provide you with a tailor-made postmaster design programme that has an educational component (~50%) as well as a design project (~50%). You will be supervised by a team of experts from both 5ahead and the University of Twente. The salary is € 2.009,- gross per month.

On successfully completing the programme, you will receive a certified degree. You will be entitled to use the academic degree Engineering Doctorate (EngD) and will be registered as a Technological Designer in the Dutch register kept by the Royal Institution of Engineers in the Netherlands (KIVI).


Please submit your application until 30-09-2022 by using the “Apply now” button below. Applications should at least include:

·         Letter of motivation

·         Curriculum vitae

·         List with grades of courses attended

·         References and, if applicable, a list of publications.

General information about EngD (formarly PDEng) programmes you can find her

If you have any further questions about this vacancy of the EngD programme in Business & IT, please contact Dr. Luís Ferreira Pires at or telephone +31 534 89 38 43


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