PhD positions: Bird flight research & Aerial robot design (2.0 FTE)

Updated: about 2 months ago
Deadline: 31 May 2022

Are you passionate about discovering how animals fly to improve aerial robot design? Applications are invited for two fully funded PhD positions with Prof. David Lentink in the Biomimetics Group at Groningen. You will study how birds dynamically shape-shift their body to fly in turbulence as inspiration for developing advanced biomimetic aerial robots:

PhD 1 studies bird flight to unravel the aeromechanics and biomechanics of flapping bird wings and tails in a high turbulence wind tunnel.
PhD 2 studies bird-inspired aerial robot design and control to develop of a new flapping and morphing robot that flies in turbulence.

We seek PhD candidates who are passionate about curiosity-driven research, bioinspired design, and outstanding scholarship. We are a social and dynamic research community with a fully equipped animal and robotics research lab, aviaries, and makerspace for high-quality research. The research instrumentation is world-class and includes a Wind Tunnel, Automated Turbulence Generation System, 3D High-Speed Videography and Surface Imaging, Automated Motion Capture, Particle Image Velocimetry, Anemometers, Large Volume Stereo Fluoroscopy (XROMM), 6-axes Load cells among other instruments and setups. Our robotics maker space includes 3D printers, a laser cutter and machining equipment complemented with robot flight testing resources and strong university machine shop support.
The PhD learning experience includes multidisciplinary experimental research, designing setups and robots, and multidisciplinary modelling to corroborate data. Soft skills include team-based research, high-impact writing, visual & oral presentation, networking, and career development.

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