PhD Position in Automatic Robot Assembly with Formal Guarantees
Technical University of Munich

PhD/Postdoc Position for Automatic Robot Assembly with Formal Guarantees

01.06.2021, Wissenschaftliches Personal

The research group Cyber-Physical Systems of Prof. Matthias Althoff at the Technical University of Munich offers a PhD/Postdoc position in the area of automatic robot assembly with formal guarantees in collaboration with Siemens. The Technical University of Munich is one of the top research universities in Europe fostering a strong entrepreneurial spirit and international culture.

Expected Starting Date: 01 August-01 October 2021
Closing Date for Applicants: 31 July 2021
Duration: 3 years with a possible extension (individual duration for Postdocs).
Project and Job Description
Automation has had an enormous impact on modern production. It allows us to produce faster, safer, more reliably and more efficiently, freeing us from boring and repetitive tasks. This success in automation makes our modern lifestyle possible. While classical automation is highly successful when vast numbers of the same product are produced identically, there are still areas where this is not feasible. One particular example is limited production runs of items with varying configurations – one of the greatest remaining challenges in automation.
Robotic manipulation systems offer a large potential for flexible manufacturing; however, due to frequent changes in production, classical robot programming or teaching is not feasible anymore, instead requiring automatic motion planning. For industrial production, one needs short and reliable cycle times with little defective goods or human interaction. Therefore, guarantees for performance and success are essential. These cannot be achieved with classical testing due to the flexibility in production. The solution to this problem would be combining formal methods like reachability analysis with optimization, control, and planning to obtain an automatic planning framework that includes success guarantees despite uncertainties, such as measurement noise, small inconsistencies in production, or changing parameters.
The topic of automatic planning for robotic manipulation with the guarantee of success offers many interesting and challenging questions, both from an academic as well as from a practical point of view. It is therefore a great area for PhD or post-doctoral research. Due to the combination of many research fields like optimization, robotics, planning, control, and formal methods, it is possible to make contributions in an exciting, inter-disciplinary context, while at the same time solving actual real-world problems facing the industry. The research group provides a supportive academic environment due to its strong background in relevant areas including reachability analysis, controller synthesis with formal guarantees, and robotics. The research is conducted in collaboration with Siemens, which emphasis its relevance for industry. The results can be tested on hardware at both the university and the Siemens research facility.

Previous Work
An example of previous work of our research group on reachability analysis can be found here:
A previous application of reachability analysis in the area of robotics is described here:
Job Specifications
  • For PhD applicants: Excellent Master’s degree (or equivalent) in computer science, engineering, or related disciplines (typically mathematics, physics).
  • For Postdoc applicants: Excellent track record in computer science or engineering.
  • Fluency in spoken and written English is required.
  • Good programming skills in at least one programming language, e.g. MATLAB, C/C++, Python.
  • Highly motivated and keen on working in an international and interdisciplinary team
  • Applicants with strong background in the following fields are preferred:
    • Robotics
    • Control theory
    • Formal methods
    • Optimization
The applicant will be directly advised by Prof. Matthias Althoff ( Besides excellent skills for conducting innovative science, the candidate should also be talented in implementing research results on a real robot and lead teams of students. Our Offer PhD remuneration will be in line with the current German collective pay agreement TV-L E13 (around 4300 Euros/month). Technical University of Munich is an equal opportunity employer committed to excellence through diversity. We explicitly encourage women to apply and preference will be given to disabled applicants with equivalent qualifications.
International candidates are highly encouraged to apply. Please send a complete application (in English or German) including a CV, your Master’s thesis (only for PhD applicants), your full transcript of records (only for PhD applicants) and contact details to Mark Wetzlinger ( Please do not include a cover letter. We kindly ask you to use the subject line “Application to automatic robot assembly with formal guarantees” in your application email. Further similar job offerings will be announced on

Hinweis zum Datenschutz:
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Kontakt: Mark Wetzlinger (

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