PhD scholarship in Remote Control of Aerial Robots for Tool Manipulation

Updated: about 1 month ago

Do you want to be part of a vibrant training network on Aerial Robotics? Do you want to be one of the Early Stage Researchers that will fill the technological and scientific gaps between aerial robotics and the Operations & Maintenance industry, thus making an impact for society and the industry? Do you believe that the potentials of aerial robots are yet to be unleashed, and you want to be at the forefront of this technological innovation?

The Automation and Control Group at the Department of Electrical Engineering, Technical University of Denmark invites applicants for a 3-years PhD position in the area of Aerial Robotics for tool manipulation.

At the Automation and Control group at DTU, you will be part of a group with broad competences in robotics and autonomous systems, and you will have access to unique facilities where you will be able to conduct your research in a highly motivated, technology-oriented environment where you will enrich your competences through collaboration with several peers and senior staff members.

This position is one out of 15 Early-Stage Researcher (ESR) positions offered within the Marie Skłodowska-Curie Innovative Training Network (ITN) “AErial RObotic TRAINing for the next generation of European infrastructure and asset maintenance technologies” (AERO-TRAIN; ). 

The AERO-TRAIN project is carried out by a consortium of 14 academic and industrial organizations from Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Finland, Spain, Italy and Switzerland. AERO-TRAIN aims to close the gap between the Infrastructure Operations & Maintenance industry and aerial robotics, with the ambition to keep our invaluable assets operational and safe. The project addresses the fundamental challenges of human-machine interface (e.g., immersive technology, augmented reality) and of precise and robust aerial manipulation for enhanced remote manipulation and inspection evaluation. 

Responsibilities and qualifications
As an ESR in the AERO-TRAIN project, you will contribute to the overall research through your ESR project, where you will develop innovative approaches for safe and reliable remote operation of aerial robots manipulating tools on the environment for maintenance and repair work. The project is also aimed at improving the intuitiveness of the remote control of aerial manipulators by the human, as well as assessing the confidence of the human-in-the loop for reliable and safe maintenance operation. You will work with colleagues at DTU Automation and Control group, as well as with the other ESR of the AERO-TRAIN project. Besides working on their project at DTU Automation and Control group, the successful candidate will participate in network-wide training events like summer schools and retreats. Moreover, the PhD student will conduct secondments at other network partners.

The successful candidate will receive an employment full time contract and a competitive gross salary..

The ESR applicants should have:

  • An outstanding academic record, excellent skills and ideally proven experience in the fields of Control engineering, Communication engineering, Human-Machine Interaction, Robotics or similar. Experience in the field of robot programming, drone technologies, AR/VR, remote interfaces for Human-Robot interaction is beneficial.
  • Excellent methodological skills and an analytical mind-set, ability to work both independently and as a member of a research team.
  • Outstanding communication skills in English, both oral and written.
  • High motivation, ambition and enthusiasm about research in human-robot interaction and remote operation of robots.
  • Excited to work and collaborate with a diverse team of robotics researchers and engineers.

To be eligible for recruitment, the following eligibility criteria must be met:

  • At the time of their recruitment, candidates must be in the first four years (full-time equivalent research experience) of their research careers and have not been awarded a doctoral degree.
  • Applicants can be of any nationality. However, applicants must not have resided or carried out their main activity (work, studies, etc.) in Denmark for more than 12 months in the 3 years immediately before the appointment. Short stays, such as holidays are not taken into account.
  • Applicants must have a university degree that qualifies for PhD studies at the time of recruitment.

Approval and Enrolment
The scholarship for the PhD degree is subject to academic approval, and the candidate will be enrolled in one of the general degree programmes at DTU. For information about our enrolment requirements and the general planning of the PhD study programme, please see the DTU PhD Guide .

We offer
DTU is a leading technical university globally recognized for the excellence of its research, education, innovation and scientific advice. We offer a rewarding and challenging job in an international environment. We strive for academic excellence in an environment characterized by collegial respect and academic freedom tempered by responsibility.

Salary and appointment terms
The appointment will be based on the collective agreement with the Danish Confederation of Professional Associations. The allowance will be based on the salary conditions of Marie Skłodowska-Curie ITN projects. The period of employment is 3 years. The expected start date for the position is May-September 2021.

You can read more about career paths at DTU here

Further information

Further information may be obtained from Associate Professor Matteo Fumagalli, +45 93 56 22 36,

You can read more about DTU Elektro at

If you are applying from abroad, you may find useful information on working in Denmark and at DTU at DTU – Moving to Denmark .

Aplication procedure
Your complete online application must be submitted no later than 28 May 2021 (Danish time). Applications must be submitted as one PDF file containing all materials to be given consideration. To apply, please open the link "Apply online", fill out the online application form, and attach all your materials in English in one PDF file. The file must include:

  • A letter motivating the application (cover letter)
  • Curriculum vitae
  • Grade transcripts and BSc/MSc diploma
  • Excel sheet with translation of grades to the Danish grading system (see guidelines and Excel spreadsheet here )
  • A project proposal for the position (max 2 pages). Proposals can include a research statement, a short plan related to the position, a plan for publications and research risk management.
  • A list of Degrees and grade transcripts.
  • The position for which you apply is part of a call for 15 candidates within the AERO-TRAIN project (visit for information about all the available positions). If you have applied or are planning to apply to any of the other positions, please provide a statement containing all the positions you applied for and rank them according to your preferences.


  • A list of scientific and technical publications, awards and certifications that are relevant for the vacancy.
  • Up to 3 relevant publications in related scientific fields.
  • Up to 3 reference letters.

Candidates will be selected based on their merits in the fields related to the expected ESR area of expertise. The board of the network will evaluate all applications, and the top-ranked candidates will be invited for interviews. Note that your data will be made available to the AERO-TRAIN partners for the purpose of conducting the assessment of all candidates.

You may apply prior to ob­tai­ning your master's degree but cannot begin before having received it. Applications via email or postal services will not be considered.

All interested candidates irrespective of age, gender, race, disability, religion or ethnic background are encouraged to apply.

DTU Electrical Engineering educates students within electrical engineering technologies. We offer studies at BEng, BSc, MSc and PhD levels, and participate in joint international programmes. We conduct state-of-the-art research within antenna and microwave technology, robot technology, power and physical electronics, acoustic environment, electro-acoustics, electric power and energy. Our department has more than 200 members of staff. 

Technology for people
DTU develops technology for people. With our international elite research and study programmes, we are helping to create a better world and to solve the global challenges formulated in the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. Hans Christian Ørsted founded DTU in 1829 with a clear vision to develop and create value using science and engineering to benefit society. That vision lives on today. DTU has 12,900 students and 6,000 employees. We work in an international atmosphere and have an inclusive, evolving, and informal working environment. Our main campus is in Kgs. Lyngby north of Copenhagen and we have campuses in Roskilde and Ballerup and in Sisimiut in Greenland.

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