PhD Position in Mechanics and Control in Human Robot Interaction
University of Twente Department of Biomechanical Engineering

Job description

The Department of Biomechanical Engineering (BE) within the Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) at the University of Twente (UT) has an opening for a full-time, 4-year, fully-funded PhD project in the control of human-robot interaction!

The challenge

With an ever-growing an increasing aging population, the pressure on our healthcare systems is expected to grow. To prevent exceeding worker capacity in the healthcare sector, and to prevent reducing the quality of life of the people receiving care, solutions are required that allows existing medical staff to perform the various healthcare-related tasks more efficiently, and allow those tasks to be executed more autonomously, with minimal human intervention and supervision.

Robotic workers that collaborate with human staff could alleviate said pressure. Unfortunately, most current robots do not perform well when tasks and environments are not explicitly defined. Hence there is a need for robots that can flexibly learn to execute new interaction tasks, and generalize learned knowledge to new scenarios.

Job description

We are looking for a highly motivated PhD candidate to strengthen our research. You will work in a multidisciplinary setting to bring together aspects from machine learning, tele-operation, computer vision, simulation, and control. Specifically, you will 1) create interfaces that allows a human to demonstrate new movements to a state-of-the-art humanoid robot, such as through tele-operation, 2) use collected demonstration data and machine learning techniques to teach a robot new autonomous movements or tele-operator support, 3) Investigate methods to generalize learned motion control for application in new scenarios.

Your profile

  • A MSc degree in Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, or related field.
  • Proficient in written and oral English.
  • Strong, proven programming skills in Python and/or C++.
  • The ability to operate at the intersection of various fields.
  • A high degree of responsibility and independence, able to collaborate with colleagues, researchers, and other university staff.
  • Experience with PyTorch, C#, Unity, and/or ROS2 would further strengthen the application.

Please submit your application before October 1, 2020 using the “Apply now” button, and include:
  • A cover letter of at most 1 page A4, explaining specific interests, the motivation for the application, and why you qualify for this project.
  • A full Curriculum Vitae.
  • A short movie of at most 90 seconds, in which you briefly talk about your recent research, such as your master thesis.
Interviews will be held following the submission closure. Additional information about this position can be acquired from Dr. ir. Mark Vlutters (email: A Game-Based assessment will be also part of the selection procedure.

Our offer

The UT provides a dynamic and international environment, combining the benefits of academic research with a topic of high industrial relevance, excellent working conditions, an exciting scientific environment, and a green and lively campus. We offer:
  • A full-time 4-year PhD position;
  • Excellent mentorship in a stimulating research environment with excellent facilities;
  • An offer for a personal development program within the Twente Graduate School;
  • A gross monthly salary of € 2.395 in the first year, increasing each year up to € 3.061 in the fourth year;
  • A holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and a year-end bonus of 8.3%;
  • A minimum of 29 holidays per year in case of full-time employment;
  • Full status as an employee at the UT, including pension and health care benefits.

The organization

The University of Twente. We stand for life sciences and technology. High tech and human touch. Education and research that matter. New technology which leads change, innovation and progress in society. The University of Twente is the only campus university of the Netherlands; divided over five faculties we provide more than fifty educational programmes. We have a strong focus on personal development and talented researchers are given scope for carrying out groundbreaking research.

We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, gender, sexual orientation, age, marital status or disability status. Because of our diversity values we do particularly support women to apply.

The Faculty of Engineering Technology (ET) is one of the five faculties of the University of Twente. ET combines Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering and Industrial Design Engineering. Our faculty has approximately 1800 bachelor and master students, 400 employees and 150 PhD candidates. The departments of the faculty cooperatively conduct the educational programmes and participate in interdisciplinary research projects, programmes and the research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.

If you apply for this position please say you saw it on Engineeroxy


All Jobs


Harvard University Academic Positions

Kuwait University Current Faculty Openings

Osaka University Academic Opportunities

Purdue University Job Postings for Faculty Positions

Texas Tech University Faculty Openings

Tsinghua University Job Postings

University of Cambridge Job Openings

University of Geneva Faculty Opportunities

University of New South Wales Job Openings

University of Nottingham Research Positions

University of Oslo Academic Jobs

University of Saskatchewan Faculty Positions

University of Southampton Research Vacancies

University of Tokyo Current Academic Vacancies

University of Toronto Open Faculty Positions

University of Zurich Job Postings