Engineering traffic flows with driverless cars – S2T Unit

The Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST; see is a dynamic new graduate university of science and technology in Okinawa Prefecture, Japan. The university is located on 85 hectares of protected forestland overlooking beautiful shoreline and coral reefs. The campus is striking architecturally, and the facilities are outstanding (OIST campus video tour). There are no academic departments, which facilitates multidisciplinary research. Outstanding resources and equipment are provided and managed to encourage easy access and collaboration. English is the official language of the University, and the university research community is fully international, with more than 50 countries represented. OIST is rapidly gaining recognition in the worldwide academic community as a model for excellence in education and research.


Position summary:

The Shocks, Solitons & Turbulence (S2T) Unit (lead by Emile Touber) is looking for a postdoctoral scholar to study the effect of driverless cars on traffic flows and the possibility of preventing unsafe and energy-consuming stop-and-go waves from forming. The work will investigate how the controller on a car (microscopic model) translates to a continuum level (e.g. equation of state) in order to position the traffic flow in a region of the phase diagram where shocks cannot form (e.g. where the fundamental derivative of gas dynamics vanishes). Starting with a single-lane road, the model will then evolve to account for multiple lanes and a road network. Whilst theoretical and computational in nature, the work will also include networking activities with the driverless-car industry and road-management authorities.


1919‐1 Tancha, Onna‐son, Okinawa, Japan 904-0495


  1. Perform innovative research in the context given above (see position summary)
  2. Publish the results in high-quality journals
  3. Present the results at conferences



  1. PhD in Fluid Mechanics, or related discipline
  2. Solid experience in high-performance computing, or non-linear hyperbolic PDEs
  3. Proficiency in English


  1. Experience with Molecular Dynamics, or numerical methods for hyperbolic PDEs
  2. Experience with compressible flows, or rarefied gases
  3. Knowledge of Python and Fortran

Starting Date 

As early as possible

Term & Working Hours 

Term: Full-time, fixed term appointment for 3 years

Working hours: N/A

Compensation & Benefits 

Compensation in accordance with the OIST Employee Compensation Regulations


  • Relocation, housing and commuting allowances
  • Annual paid leave and summer holidays
  • Health insurance (Private School Mutual Aid )
  • Welfare pension insurance (kousei-nenkin)
  • Worker’s accident compensation insurance (roudousha-saigai-hoshou-hoken)

How To Apply 

Apply by emailing your Submission Documents to:


(Please replace [at] with @ before using this email address)

Submission Documents 

  • Cover letter in English
  • Curriculum vitae in English
  • Contact details of at least two referees

Application Due Date 

Open until filled


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