PhD Position in Physics-guided Learning Algorithm in Control
University of Groningen

PhD position in Physics-guided Learning Algorithm in Control (1.0 FTE) (220205)

Job description

PhD position for project on "Physics-guided learning algorithm in control"
within the TTW Perspectief programme on DIGITAL TWIN.

Project description
In this project, we will develop recursive regression methods that combine tools from artificial intelligence and from nonlinear systems & control theory. In particular, integrated models, where first-principle models (e.g. Euler-Lagrange, port-Hamiltonian or thermodynamics models) are complemented with machine learning models (e.g. support vector machine models), will be studied. The PhD student will be embedded in the Engineering and Technology Institute Groningen at the University of Groningen and will collaborate with the Leiden Institute of Advanced Computer Science (LIACS) at the University of Leiden.

This PhD project is part of the Dutch NWO AES Perspectief programme on DIGITAL TWIN.

The development of reliable and agile digital twins of high-tech systems and materials is key to enabling shorter time-to-market, zero-defect and flexible manufacturing systems with accurate predictive maintenance. This crucial development is currently hampered by the lack of synergy between model-based engineering and data-driven/artificial intelligence approaches. The DIGITAL TWIN programme will develop key-enabling technologies for full digitisation of the value chain of high-tech systems and materials by the integration of data-driven learning approaches and model-based engineering methods.

This NWO AES Perspectief programme is a five-year comprehensive research programme on the development of digital twin and digital twinning methods, financed by the Dutch Research Council (NWO) within the domain of Applied and Engineering Sciences (AES). This collaborative programme involves six universities: University of Groningen, Eindhoven University of Technology, TU Delft, University of Twente, Leiden University and Tilburg University and twelve industrial partners.

Position description
In this advert, we will hire a PhD student who will focus on the development of learning algorithm that combines physics-based methods and AI approaches. It is expected that the PhD student will collaborate with other PhD students within the TTW Perspectief programme and work together with a number of industrial partners in the Dutch high-tech industry. The PhD appointment is for four years. The PhD candidate has to complete the graduate courses offered by the Dutch Institute for Systems and Control (DISC, ).


You have:

• a master degree in Electrical & Electronics Engineering, or Mechanical Engineering, or Mechatronics, or Computer Science, or other equivalent degree programmes from top universities
• strong academic credentials, written and spoken English proficiency
• strong knowledge in systems and control, mechatronics and mathematics.


Since its foundation in 1614, the University of Groningen has enjoyed an international reputation as a dynamic and innovative centre of higher education offering high-quality teaching and research. Balanced study and career paths in a wide variety of disciplines encourage currently more than 32,000 students and researchers to develop their own individual talents. Belonging to the best research universities in Europe and the top 100 universities in the world (see our ranking:, the University of Groningen is truly an international place of knowledge.

Within the Faculty of Science and Engineering (FSE), the Engineering and Technology institute Groningen (ENTEG) conducts engineering science research and covers a broad area of mechanical engineering, control engineering, materials engineering, and (bio)chemical engineering. The research unit Discrete Technology and Production Automation (DTPA) is focused on the dynamical modeling, analysis, mechatronics and control of complex electro-mechanical systems. The application areas include smart energy systems, mechatronic systems, robotic systems, as well as, multi-agent autonomous systems. For more information about the DTPA group, please use the following link:

Conditions of employment

We offer you in accordance with the Collective Labour Agreement for Dutch Universities:

• a salary of € 2.395,- gross per month in the first year (salary scale PhD students Dutch Universities), up to a maximum of € 3.061,- gross per month in the final year, based on a full-time position
• a holiday allowance of 8% gross annual income
• an 8.3% year-end bonus.

The position requires residence in Groningen and must result in a PhD thesis within the 4-year contract period. A PhD training programme is part of the agreement and the successful candidate will be enrolled in the Graduate School of Science and Engineering. The successful candidate will first be offered a temporary position of one year with the option of renewal for another three years. Prolongation of the contract is contingent on sufficient progress in the first year to indicate that a successful completion of the PhD thesis within the next three years is to be expected.

The preferred starting date is as soon as possible.


Applications, including a letter of motivation, a curriculum vitae, a list of publications (if any), transcript of master and bachelor degrees, and the contact information of two academic referees, must be submitted by means of the application form (click on "Apply" below on the advertisement on the university's website).

All applications received by 7 August 2020 will be given full consideration.

Unsolicited marketing is not appreciated.


For information you can contact:

Please do not use the e-mail address(es) above for applications.

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


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