PhD Position in Soft Mechatronics
University of Twente Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Netherlands

You will work in the Robotics and Mechatronics group at the University of Twente (UT) in the Netherlands, in close collaboration with the research group in Human Media Interaction (HMI), as well as the Design Lab.

The Robotics and Mechatronics group has a strong focus and track record on modelling, simulation and rapid manufacturing of mechatronic and robotic systems, see http://www.ram.ewi.utwente.nl to get an impression of the scope of projects currently worked on.

This PhD position will be part of H2020 project WEAFING which (at the UT side) is internalised as close collaboration between the HMI group and RaM group. The DesignLab will act as catalyser and hub, enabling a user-centred iterative design research approach.

Job description

You are fascinated by robotics and would like to play a part in a future where robots become wearable co-bots, systems that augment or enhance body motor functions, giving tangible feedback in a more natural way than the current widely used vibrotactile actuators. The next generation of robotic exoskeletons will be a combination of stiff but flexible structural elements as well as flexible, soft-robotic actuators that follow the motions of- and adapt to the body of the wearer. In the project WEAFING the design and production of a novel type of textile electro-active polymer based actuators is central. The intended (first) application will be haptic stimulation.

 
The assignment for this project on soft-mechatronics will be the design and control (prototyping, simulation, emulation) of these newly developed actuators within specific use cases. We propose a Research-Through-Design approach in which practical prototypes are built as a benchmark and test for haptic stimulation. A requirements analysis of these use cases has to give input to the design and manufacturing process of the developed actuators. The final goal is to develop the embedded control hardware necessary to make the haptic garments work.

Your profile

You have a background in mechatronics, electrical or (bio)mechanical engineering, or in a closely related discipline.
You have strong communication skills, including fluency in written and spoken English.
You are enthusiastic and highly motivated to work as a Ph.D.
Programming experience and experience with simulation tools (Matlab) are a prerequisite. Affiliation with design research methods (UxD, UcD) and/or wearable technology is a plus.

INFORMATION AND APPLICATION

Applications should include the following documents:
- A motivation letter describing why you want to apply for this position.
- A description of your research interests.
- A detailed CV.
- Email addresses of at least two references who are willing to send a letter of recommendation on your behalf.

An interview with a scientific presentation will be part of the interview process. Since only three documents can be uploaded per application, please combine documents if needed.

An assessment will be part of the selection procedure.

Our offer

  • We offer a challenging full-time Ph.D. position. The duration of the contract is 48 months
  • Gross salary: ranging from € 2.395 to € 3.061 per month;
  • An annual holiday allowance of 8% of the gross annual salary, and an annual year-end bonus of 8.3%.
  • A minimum of 29 leave days in case of full-time employment.
  • We provide excellent mentorship and a stimulating research environment to accelerate your further professional and personal growth.
  • The University of Twente is situated on a green and lively campus with lots of facilities for sports and other extracurricular activities.

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 Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science (EEMCS) comprises three disciplines that shape Information and Communication Technology. ICT is more than communication. In almost every product we use mathematics, electronics and computer technology and ICT now contributes to all of societies' activities. The faculty works together intensively with industrial partners and researchers in the Netherlands and abroad and conducts extensive research for external commissioning parties and funders. The research which enjoys a high profile both at home and internationally, has been accommodated in the multidisciplinary research institutes: Mesa+ Institute, TechMed Centra and Digital Society Institute.


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