TU Delft

PhD Position Optimized AI Control for Autonomous Search-and-Rescue Robots

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Faculty Aerospace Engineering

The Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at Delft University of Technology is one of the world’s most highly ranked (and most comprehensive) research, education and innovation communities devoted entirely to aerospace engineering. More than 200 science staff, around 250 PhD candidates and over 2,700 BSc and MSc students apply aerospace engineering disciplines to address the global societal challenges that threaten us today, climate change without doubt being the most important. Our focal subjects: sustainable aerospace, big data and artificial intelligence, bio-inspired engineering and smart instruments and systems. Working at the faculty means working together. With partners in other faculties, knowledge institutes, governments and industry, both aerospace and non-aerospace. Working in field labs and innovation hubs on our university campus and beyond.

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Functie omschrijving

This interdisciplinary PhD project is a part of a joint research program at the Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab AI*MAN. The focus of the joint research program is on human-AI teamwork. The main challenges of human-AI teamwork include obtaining mutual understanding among the team members and making optimal decisions to realize the team's global objectives. To tackle these challenges, we will integrate various methods from control theory with knowledge-based methods from AI.
This PhD project will particularly be focused on developing optimized knowledge-based AI methods for autonomous optimal decision-making of AI-based agents (e.g., autonomous robots) in a team that is composed of human operators and AI-based agents. One of the main challenges is coordination of the decisions made by AI-based agents and humans, in such a way that the team’s goals are achieved in an optimal way. The main application of the project includes search-and-rescue missions with robots.

AI*MAN-lab is a Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab. Artificial Intelligence, Data and Digitalisation are becoming increasingly important when looking for answers to major scientific and societal challenges. In a DAI-lab, experts in ‘the fundamentals of AI technology’ along with experts in ‘AI challenges’ run a shared lab. As a PhD, you will work with at least two academic members of staff and three other PhD candidates. In total TU Delft will establish 24 DAI-Labs, where 48 Tenure Trackers and 96 PhD candidates will have the opportunity to push the boundaries of science using AI. Each team is driven by research questions which arise from scientific and societal challenges, and contribute to the development and execution of domain specific education. Instead of the usual 4-year contract, you will receive a 5-year contract and spend approximately 20% of your time on educating students. All team members have many opportunities for self-development. You will be a member of the thriving DAI-Lab community that fosters cross-fertilization between talents with different expertise and disciplines.

The Delft Artificial Intelligence Lab AI*MAN, led by Dr. Anahita Jamshidnejad and Dr. Myrthe Tielman, is a collaboration between the faculties of Aerospace Engineering and Electrical Engineering, Mathematics, and Computer Science of the Delft University of Technology. The main focus of the research done at AI*MAN-lab is on optimal decision-making and transparent interactions of AI-based agents with humans in human-AI teams.

Functie eisen

We are looking for a candidate with an MSc degree in systems and control, robotics, electrical engineering, or a related field, and with a strong background or interest in control theory, mathematical modeling, and artificial intelligence, particularly fuzzy logic and fuzzy logic control. The candidate is expected to work on the boundary of several research domains. Prior experience with programming and/or with robots/drones is appreciated. A good command of the English language is required. The successful candidate should be independent, motivated, reliable, and should work closely with partners inside and outside the faculty to help achieve the objectives of the main joint research project. The PhD student is expected to spend 20% of her/his time (1 day per week) on the education program of the faculty.


TU Delft offers DAI-Lab PhD-candidates a 5-year contract (as opposed to the normal 4-years), with an official go/no go progress assessment after one year. Approximately a fifth of your time will be allocated to developing ground breaking learning materials and educating students in these new subjects.
Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2395 per month in the first year to € 3217 in the fifth year. As a PhD candidate you will be enrolled in the TU Delft Graduate School. The TU Delft Graduate School provides an inspiring research environment with an excellent team of supervisors, academic staff and a mentor. The Doctoral Education Programme is aimed at developing your transferable, discipline-related and research skills. The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance and sport memberships, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged. For international applicants we offer the Coming to Delft Service and Partner Career Advice to assist you with your relocation.

Informeren en solliciteren

For information about this vacancy and the selection procedure, please contact Anahita Jamshidnejad, Assistant Professor, email: A.Jamshidnejad@tudelft.nl.

Submit your letter of application along with a detailed curriculum vitae, a motivation letter describing why the proposed research topic interests you, your BSc and MSc transcripts, a list of publications, and the names and contact information of two to three reference persons, and all other information that might be relevant to your application to Bertine Markus, email: B.M.Markus@tudelft.nl.

A pre-employment screening can be part of the application procedure.

Acquisitie naar aanleiding van deze vacature wordt niet op prijs gesteld.

Uren per week: 32-38 uur per week


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