PhD Position Integrated Planning and Learning for Drones

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 12 Jun 2024

PhD Position Integrated Planning and Learning for Drones
PhD Position Integrated Planning and Learning for Drones
Published Deadline Location
yesterday 12 Jun Delft

Job description

Drones have become increasingly prevalent in various domains including agriculture, environmental monitoring, search and rescue, and surveillance. To realise their full potential, new methods are needed to support autonomous decision-making within unstructured, dynamic environments.

Conventional approaches to drone mission planning often rely on predefined trajectories or reactive behaviours, limiting their versatility and robustness in real-world scenarios. In contrast, integrating planning with novel learning paradigms enables drones to dynamically adapt their actions based on environmental feedback and past experiences.

The PhD candidate will develop innovative planning algorithms which exploit elements of robotic learning. The research will especially focus on planning for small drones operating in challenging scenarios, e.g. monitoring plant parameters in greenhouses, where commonly used conventional methods fall short. The candidate will explore various techniques in robotic learning, ranging from reinforcement learning to active learning, with the aim of enhancing the autonomy, adaptability, and efficiency of embodied drone platforms in such scenarios.

The candidate will be guided by dr. Marija Popović at the Micro Air Vehicle laboratory (MAVLab), which is part of the Control and Operations department of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at TU Delft. They will have access to state-of-the-art tools and facilities needed to conduct their research. They will have the opportunity to collaborate with other researchers from within the laboratory, as well as on an international level.


Specifications
  • 32—40 hours per week
  • €2770—€3539 per month
  • Delft View on Google Maps

Delft University of Technology (TU Delft)


Requirements

Requirements:

  • An excellent degree in robotics, artificial intelligence, computer science, or a related subject at Masters level or equivalent.
  • Good programming skills in python and/or C++.
  • An independent scholar who wants to shape research in the field.
  • An interest in interdisciplinary and collaborative research.

Beneficial:

  • Hands-on experience with robot or drone hardware.
  • Previous research experience.
  • Knowledge of ROS.

Doing a PhD at TU Delft requires English proficiency at a certain level to ensure that the candidate is able to communicate and interact well, participate in English-taught Doctoral Education courses, and write scientific articles and a final thesis. For more details please check the Graduate Schools Admission Requirements .


Conditions of employment

Fixed-term contract: 4 years.

Doctoral candidates will be offered a 4-year period of employment in principle, but in the form of 2 employment contracts. An initial 1,5 year contract with an official go/no go progress assessment within 15 months. Followed by an additional contract for the remaining 2,5 years assuming everything goes well and performance requirements are met.

Salary and benefits are in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities, increasing from € 2770 per month in the first year to € 3539 in the fourth 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 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.


Employer
Delft University of Technology

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!


Department
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 270 PhD candidates and close to 3000 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. 

Click here  to go to the website of the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering.


Additional information

For more information about this vacancy, please contact Marija Popović ([email protected] ). 


Working at TU Delft

Join the oldest and largest technical university in the Netherlands. Work on clever solutions for worldwide challenges, to change the world and make an impact. Ready to bring your energy to our research?


Challenge, change, impact!

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Application procedure

Are you interested in this vacancy? Please apply no later than 12 June 2024 via the application button and upload:

  • A letter of motivation (max. 1 page).
  • A curriculum vitae (CV).
  • Copy of your master’s degree, including transcripts.
  • The names and contact details of two referees.
  • It is highly recommended to include samples of your work (reports, previous publications, videos, code, etc.).

Please note:

  • A pre-employment screening can be part of the selection procedure.
  • Applying for an exemption for specific research and educational areas is an obligatory part of the selection procedure for this vacancy. This exemption must be obtained from the Ministry of Education, Culture and Science (OCW) before an employment contract is agreed upon. Click here for more information.
  • 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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