Postdoctoral Researcher in Epistemic Reinforcement Learning for Safe Autonomous Driving

Updated: 3 months ago
Deadline: 15 Dec 2023

The Intelligent Vehicles group at the Cognitive Robotics department of TU Delft is seeking a motivated and talented Postdoctoral Researcher. This 1,5 – 2-year position is fully funded by the EU H2020 FET project "Epistemic AI" (E-pi), https://www.epistemic-ai.eu/. E-pi develops fundamentally new machine learning techniques that provide worst-case guarantees on predictions through comprehensive modelling of real-world uncertainties. The consortium includes Oxford Brookes University (UK), KU Leuven (Belgium) and TU Delft (The Netherlands).

As a Postdoctoral Researcher, you will work on the project’s science-to-technology challenges by developing and applying the new Epistemic Reinforcement Learning techniques to Autonomous Driving use cases. You will collaborate closely with the project's PhD researchers, and investigate how well theoretic results translate to practical settings. You contribute to (joint) research papers, and demonstrate the techniques in driving simulations and/or with real-world driving data. The E-pi consortium frequently organizes workshops at ICML, ICCV, IV, and has published its self-driving research at T-PAMI, among others.

Potential research topics:

  • Testing and validating developed RL theories in simulated and real-world driving settings.
  • Exploring robustness in RL and ensuring safety through risk-averse Epistemic policies.
  • Path planning under uncertainty using Epistemic optimization.     
  • Strong academic record in (Deep) Reinforcement Learning for Mobile Robotics or Autonomous Vehicles, or in a closely related topic in machine learning.
  • Solid understanding of probability theory and uncertainties in policies.
  • Good programming skills (python and/or C++) are expected.
  • Good English skills are required.
  • The successful candidate is expected to be able to act independently as well as to collaborate effectively with members of a larger team.

Nice to haves:

  • Proficiency in Sim-to-Real techniques and domain adaptation in RL.
  • Familiarity with self-driving simulators, such as CARLA, AWsim.
  • Hands-on experience using the Robot Operating System (ROS).

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities (salary indication: € 4.036 - € 5.090  per month gross). The TU Delft offers a customisable compensation package, discounts on health insurance, and a monthly work costs contribution. Flexible work schedules can be arranged.

For international applicants, TU Delft has the Coming to Delft Service . This service provides information for new international employees to help you prepare the relocation and to settle in the Netherlands. The Coming to Delft Service offers a Dual Career Programme for partners and they organise events to expand your (social) network.

This postdoc position has a fixed-term contract of 12 - 18 months.

Delft University of Technology is built on strong foundations. As creators of the world-famous Dutch waterworks and pioneers in biotech, TU Delft is a top international university combining science, engineering and design. It delivers world class results in education, research and innovation to address challenges in the areas of energy, climate, mobility, health and digital society. For generations, our engineers have proven to be entrepreneurial problem-solvers, both in business and in a social context.

At TU Delft we embrace diversity as one of our core values  and we actively engage  to be a university where you feel at home and can flourish. We value different perspectives and qualities. We believe this makes our work more innovative, the TU Delft community more vibrant and the world more just. Together, we imagine, invent and create solutions using technology to have a positive impact on a global scale. That is why we invite you to apply. Your application will receive fair consideration.

Challenge. Change. Impact!

From chip to ship. From machine to human being. From idea to solution. Driven by a deep-rooted desire to understand our environment and discover its underlying mechanisms, research and education at the 3mE faculty focusses on fundamental understanding, design, production including application and product improvement, materials, processes and (mechanical) systems.

3mE is a dynamic and innovative faculty with high-tech lab facilities and international reach. It’s a large faculty but also versatile, so we can often make unique connections by combining different disciplines. This is reflected in 3mE’s outstanding, state-of-the-art education, which trains students to become responsible and socially engaged engineers and scientists. We translate our knowledge and insights into solutions to societal issues, contributing to a sustainable society and to the development of prosperity and well-being. That is what unites us in pioneering research, inspiring education and (inter)national cooperation.

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Mechanical, Maritime and Materials Engineering. Do you want to experience working at our faculty? These videos  will introduce you to some of our researchers and their work.

For more information about this vacancy, please contact dr. Julian Kooij ([email protected]).

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply by December 15th, 2023 via the application button and upload the following documents as a single PDF file:

  • Curriculum vitae (CV) including a list of publications.
  • A link to your Ph.D. Thesis.
  • Motivation letter outlining your research interests, relevant background, and why you believe your profile is well-suited for this position.
  • Contact information for two academic references.     

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

You can apply online. We will not process applications sent by email and/or post.

Please do not contact us for unsolicited services.



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